Okay, so I'm tired of the local lunchtime offerings in Harrison, and I've passed by this place a few times in the recent past, and was intrigued by the name alone - who's ever heard of a Japanese deli? I walked in the other day, and was immediately enchanted. The proprietors are a lovely Japanese woman, who works the front, and her husband, the chef, who peeked out from behind the scenes to say a quick, warm hello. She was quick to inform me that she has "the first Japanese deli in NY."
The first thing I noticed on the counter was a tray of what looked like shredded cabbage, but which turned out to be a cooked daikon and tofu skin dish, flavored with soy sauce. That name doesn't do it justice, for when the owner obligingly gave me a sample, I was met with a slightly salty/tangy/smoky taste. That's a poor description, I know, but it was DELICIOUS!! I perused the offerings, which included a Bento box lunch special, w/choice of roll, vegetable and chicken teriyaki. The owner told me that this is what she offers the Americans, "because that's what they like." Well, that's a Chowhound Challenge if I've ever heard one!! I asked what the Japanese people order, and then decided to take my chances.
She brought me a lovely plate with several items: a largish potato croquet, made to order, which was absolutely greaseless and crisp on the outside, and creamy on the inside; a small mound of the lovely daikon; a bit of chilled bokchoy, cooked "with Japanese spices" (tasted like a smoky hint of tamari); potato salad w/egg, red pepper and onion; and a bowl of white rice dotted w/black sesame seeds and strewn with tart Japanese pickles.
Oh yes - and a tiny lettuce and tomato salad with that addictive ginger dressing. All this was $7.50, very reasonable, I think. The service was so nice too, but I was worried because no one else was in there. I'd like to ask local hounds to stop in, and report back too. It'd be a shame to have a nice, local small business, especially a unique one like this, go under due to lack of interest.
There were plenty of other interesting-looking things in the deli case that I plan to go back and try. Just wanted to get the word out.
109 Halstead Avenue
Harrison, NY 914-777-0775
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