A Go-To Spot for Casual Japanese

Momokawa saved the best for last in E Eto's recent feast of small plates. The satisfying climax to his dinner was hamaguri ramen in a light, refreshing clam-based soup that offered a welcome change of pace on a menu otherwise heavy in meat and fish. Yet what had come before also excelled: sanma sashimi, mizuna salad, fried baby shrimp, salted firefly squid, satsuma-age (fried fish cakes). All hits, no misses, and better than competitors that work comparable turf.

Also worth trying at this year-old restaurant are multicourse kaiseki-style dinners, a relative bargain at $55 to $60, and nabemono (hot pots) that promise to fill the gap left by the recent departures of Lan and Naniwa. For basic, moderately priced Japanese, E Eto says, "Momokawa joins Takesushi as my primary go-to places."

Momokawa [Kips Bay]
157 E. 28th Street (between Third and Lexington avenues), Manhattan

Discuss: Add Momokawa to the list of better casual Japanese places in NYC

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