I've finally found an authentic "Izakaya" (Japanese-style pub) in NYC.
The entrance of the place was so hidden that I couldn't believe it was a dining place. There was no glass window that you could look through inside and there was only a small sign bearing the restaurant's name: "Tsu ku shi." Yet I entered a heavy double‐paned side door and found JAPAN there.
No menu at this this place; dishes come after you order a drink and they are all up to the chef.
Here is the line-up of what I had:
1. Japanese gumbo
2. Chicken liver
4. Sesame tofu
5. Simmered tilefish
6. Glutinous rice dim sum
They all tasted nostalgically Japanese. The highlight for me was the simmered tilefish, which was the head of the tilefish and it tasted superb. The quality of the simmered tilefish is really hard to come by, even in Japan. I personally loved the meat right behind the fish's eyes.
After having the dishes above, you can order main dishes like ramen, Japanese-style curry, and rice in soup. I ordered rice and cod-fish eggs in soup, which tasted authentically Japanese and, of course, great. You can pair your dishes with Japanese beer and all kinds of sake, which they have lined up on display.
I can tell that this hidden gem is very popular among native Japanese. I heard that Tsu ku shi has many repeating customers. The chef is from Kamifurano, Hokkaido, so there are numerous pictures taken from the city. The tip was included in the check as a gratuity, and I thought that this place has a detailed consideration for Japanese.