I'd long had Aburiya Kinnosuke, a Japanese restaurant in Midtown East not far from Grand Central, on my list of places to go. My impression of it had always been a serious place with Japanese businessmen; it turned out to be a more mixed crowd but with a very Japanese menu (as in, no chicken teriyaki). The menu is wide-ranging with interesting dishes that will intrigue intrepid eaters and simpler comfort food that would satisfy most. The server was helpful in navigating the book of a menu, which can be overwhelming.
My dining companion and I started with the wasabi leaf, small crunchy stalks that had the distinct sharpness familiar to anyone who has eaten the paste served with sushi. There is a brief moment when you taste the leadup to the spicy kick, but just before it reaches that point, it fades out and you feel relief.
grandmotherly cooking, food you wouldn't expect out of a restaurant kitchen, even more so given that it takes 40 minutes to cook. It was a last-minute addition to our meal, at the suggestion of the waiter, and was our last dish of the evening. But I'm glad we didn't miss out on it.
We finished with a tofu cheesecake. It was blander and had a rougher texture than cheesecake made from cheese; I'll stick to the true dairy kind.
It takes several dishes to make a meal here, but the extensive menu will make you want to try lots of different things and after you have, you'll only want to come back to delve into the rest.