All About Japan

NY Serves Up a Traditional Japanese Breakfast

Restaurants Japanese Food Ichiju-Sansai

Depending on where you live, a Japanese breakfast can be hard to come by, since most overseas Japanese restaurants specialize in heavier fare for lunch and dinner crowds. If you live in New York, though, you’re in luck, as the restaurant Okonomi is giving local diners a chance to make breakfast a traditional Japanese one.

Founded by chefs Tara Norvell and Yuji Haraguchi, Okonomi serves up a healthy selection of dishes it calls “Mottanai cuisine” with an emphasis on locally sourced vegetables and seafood. While mottainai literally means wasteful, the word is typically used in the context of waste avoidance.

That said, it's the ichiju-sansai plate that's got everyone talking. The dish has all the elements of a Japanese breakfast: grilled fish, miso soup, Japanese-style pickles and boiled spinach. While plain white rice is more common, the brown genmai rice Okonomi uses is actually healthier, plus it has an alluring hue.

On weekends, Okonomi is only open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. During the week, though, you can stop by for breakfast, lunch (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), or dinner (6 p.m. to 11 p.m.). An evening visit would probably be the ideal time to enjoy an imported Japanese craft beer, too.

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