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Yakiniku Gen - Japanese Barbecue at E. 52nd Street and 2nd Avenue in Midtown East

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The silver lining to the place I had intended to dine tonight being unexpectedly shuttered was that I stumbled upon this gem about 20 minutes later trying to find some place that looked good.  Yakiniku Gen is an unassuming little place in the basement at 250 E 52nd St., just off of 2nd Ave, and purports to offer authentic Japanese barbecue.  I don't know squat about authentic Japanese barbecue, but the kalbi (isn't that Korean? but all - literally all - the other customers I saw were speaking Japanese to each other and the staff) was wonderfully marbled and flavorful.  Just some beautiful, beautiful beef.  There are a bunch of other cuts (mostly of beef) on the menu, and you grill it yourself at the table.  I made the mistake of ordering chicken thighs with my short ribs, before I realized I would be doing the cooking, and overcooked it all in fear that I'd undercook it.  Oh well.  The meal was worth it for that beef.

They serve beer, sake, and some other alcoholic drinks, but the selection is very limited (and not that interesting).

Most of the menu is 20% off through this coming weekend in celebration of their one year anniversary, in case anyone is in town.

Here's a nice little review of the restaurant from chopsticksny.com.

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