Sake Bar Hagi

I was dying for some more delicious caffeinated beverages the other day so we grabbed the train uptown to go to Fika. We actually stopped off on the way at the New York Public Library just to walk around and were surprised to see a really great exhibit on Jack Kerouac. We were delighted to have found such a great thing to do on a Saturday that didn't involve any money so....we decided to go out to dinner.  That's just the way we roll :)

After Fika we walked down into the Times Square area and headed towards Sake Bar Hagi. We had tried to go here once before and there were no tables. This time we showed up at 5:45 just 15 minutes after they had opened, and scored the last table.  5:45...Who eats at that hour? And this place is packed!

Even though this is in Times Square it is NOT a tourist destination. Hagi is a basement itzakaya barely visable from the street above. We sat down and ordered some Kirin Light, shochu and a bunch of dishes. The point of an itzakaya is to relax and take things slow, so it was about 20 minutes later when our first items started to arrive.  First up was one of the specials a Duck Yakitori Skewer.

Mmm Mmm... Fatty greasy goodness! The duck was really moist but also had a great smoky taste to it. I was about to order a couple more when Mr. T reminded me that this was only our first dish and I should probably wait for our others to see if I could eat more....(some times he has good ideas).  Next up was another special the Yellowtail Sashimi

This was pretty good. I was kind of expecting to be blown away by the sashimi like I was at Aburiya Kinnosuke but this was just your average good fish...Good but not melty transcendence.  Next we tried out the Yellowtail Collar.

I was really excited about this but because I heard the collar was awesome but this was kind of disappointing. First of all it was really fishy tasting and then there was tons of meat! I thought the collar was supposed to have very little meat and that's why it was so good and interesting tasting...I'll have to try and get it at Aburiya again and see what it's all about.  Next up was the Grilled Fatty Pork.

This was pretty good. The pork was a tad overcooked making it a little tough but the flavor was nice.  My favorite dish of the night was next the Sea Eel Tempura.

The eel was only slightly battered so it was light and crispy. The best part was the salt they served with it on the side that tasted like yuzu. Wow! I could have eaten a couple plates of this stuff!  So at this point I was feeling a little bad about eating so many salty, fatty and fried foods so we ordered a salad to end on. The Bacon and Spinach Salad to be exact.

Holy Cats! This was the fattiest thing of the night. I think what they did was fry up a bunch of REALLY fatty bacon in a pan, throw some spinach in a bowl and then pour the fried bacon and ALL of the grease in the pan over the salad as a dressing.  I mean this was literally dripping with liquid fat. I have to say it was disgusting.  The one big bust of the night.

Before I headed out I stopped off in the Ladies and saw this sign posted. I thought it was so funny I took a picture:

Kind of cute and comical.  So overall I liked Sake Bar Hagi. We decided next time we needed to order some different stuff because the people around us were eating some dishes that looked amazing!!! One of the best parts about Hagi is that it's cheap. You can try out tons of food without breaking the bank.

If you're going to come to Hagi- come early. By the time we left it was a little after 7:00 and there were at least 15 people waiting on the stairs for a seat. This is a pretty popular place.

Sake Bar Hagi