The Madison Square Park area has never been known for izakaya, the Japanese gastropubs that are haunts of salarymen, sake drinkers, and adventurous eaters alike. Izakaya NoMad is out to change all that as I learned during a press dinner recently. With a whimsical dining room featuring a Godzilla mural, it offers an accessible alternative that sits somewhere between the rarefied air of a Sakagura and St. Marks’ grease bespattered yakitori joints.
Izakaya NoMad’s yakitori, particularly the chicken wings and short rib were excellent, as was a stomach-settling oden. My favorite item of the night though was a nigirizushi one-two punch: briny creamy uni draped over unctuous toro.
I count myself a fan of both uni and toro, but never thought of combining the two. The sea urchin and fatty tuna were a flavor and texture powerhouse. While some might say it’s gilding the lily, for me it’s an off-menu special well worth seeking out.
Izakaya NoMad, 13 West 26th St., 212-213-6258