I used to go to Hatchan on 44th Street, which was closed due to a fire. They supposedly moved to the East Japanese Restaurant on 3rd Ave, but the website makes no mention of it and I'd like to find someplace with a bit better food.
I see mention of a shochu bar at the Soba Totto place on 43rd street, but is the bar there really just a few seats where people would only have a drink before being seated for dinner?
EN is probably more upscale than what I'm looking for. And I'm guessing too crowded. Is there a separate bar more relaxed than what the restaurant appears to be? Does this vary by night?
What about Shimizu, is that more of just a restaurant where nobody would just sit at the bar for a couple of shochus and maybe an appetizer or two?
It sounds like Umo No Ie is the closest to what I'm looking for, but does that place get ridiculously crowded? Can I count on walking in there at any time on say, a Thursday night and expect to find a table or a couple of seats at the bar?
Any ideas are appreciated. And ideally the bar will serve shochu flights and perhaps have fresh squeezed grapefruit juice available as well.