Hot Chef: Takashi Inoue’s got the guts … and the balls

Chef Takashi Inoue

New York is a city of immigrants who have historically made do with inexpensive cuts of meat that rarely saw the candlelight of upscale restaurants. But even if you didn’t grow up with tongue, liver or kidneys on your dinner plate, you’re seeing it now, with the nose-to-tail trend in dining. Still, we’re willing to bet that few of our grandmothers served us tendon, aorta, large intestine or (cover Nonna’s ears) testicles.

Korean-Japanese chef Takashi Inoue came to New York intent on opening a restaurant that specialized in yakiniku, a Japanese technique of grilling bite-sized cuts of meat developed out of necessity after World War II, when food was scarce and people were forced to get creative with offal (called “horomun” in Japanese). Two and a half years ago, he opened the doors of his eponymous restaurant, the first of its kind in New York.

Takashi’s mostly beef menu, he tells us, blends the simplicity of Japanese cuisine with the wildness of Korean — reflecting Takashi’s own mixed heritage. In fact, Inoue’s grandmother served yakiniku at her own restaurant in Japan. His sweet-hot barbecue sauce is a riff on her original recipe. “This is my soul food. I grew up with this food,” he tells us. “And I want people to enjoy offal cuts in a really fine way.”

It took Inoue about a year to source all of his beef ingredients, which come from sustainably raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free cattle.  Now thriving, Takashi is a favorite of the Bourdains. The couple dined there before it was featured in the New York episode of “The Layover” (of wife Ottavia, Takashi says, “She’s hard core.”)

The horomun arrives raw, either to be eaten that way or grilled yourself at the table. Note to parents: Kids love this. Each cut has a different cooking time, which your server will explain. You’ll soon develop a rhythm and a sense of what each piece looks like when it’s ready to eat. Strive for medium-rare: A char on the outside is good, but overcooked sweetbreads is not.

So how does it taste? Very chewy, in the case of the stomach and intestine. But the gnawing releases a rich, subtle flavor. The sweetbreads are velvety, and the heart and liver have a deep, mineral taste.
One of the most popular menu items strays from tradition. The testicargot are “cow balls” (as the menu plainly states)  prepared escargot-style, cloaked in shiso garlic butter.

“I have a lot of new dishes that I created in New York, because I had so much influence from this city,” Takashi says. “I keep adding, and I don’t want to cut anything — the menu’s getting so big!”

If you go
  
Takashi
456 Hudson St.
212-414-2929
www.takashinyc.com


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Two young children killed by deadly Queens fire

Two 4-year-old children died after a blaze at their Far Rockaway home on Saturday night.

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.