Jeff and I don't have a ton of neighborhood restaurants that we like. I mean, we have a Thai place that has delicious takeout, an equally delicious Mexican place, and a taco truck. (Man, do we LOVE the taco truck. If you're ever up by where we are, they are located at the south-west corner of 96th and Broadway. Eat some chivo. You won't regret it. Unless you're vegetarian.) For everything else, though, we are have to trek elsewhere.
Except for tonight, when we went to an easily overlooked, charming Japanese place two blocks away from the house, Sun-Chan. I'd been there a few times before, and each time I had one of those "DOH!" moments--why don't I come here more often?
Sun-Chan is great. It's this small, worn-looking box of a restaurant, squished between a 24 hour convenience store and something equally nondescript (a pizza place, maybe?). We didn't even notice it for a long time because it was obscured by this enormous scaffolding that was only recently taken down. But once inside, it's like a whole different place. The food is homey, reasonably priced, and extremely tasty. We also really enjoy the fact that a good two-thirds of the clientele are Japanese, young and old. We especially like their udon and soba soup (can you guess which one I got?) and their agedashi tofu: deep fried tofu in a ponzu/dashi broth. It's one of those dishes that I've always loved--my mom always ordered it when we went out for Japanese when I was little--and it's one of my litmus tests for quality food. And Sun-Chan's is outstanding. Hot, fresh, not oily. Perfect. Just like Sun-Chan itself.
If you're ever in the neighborhood:
New York, NY 10025