photo Courtesy Takashi
Chef Takashi Inoue’s paean to innards has sent exultant fooderati into rapture since it opened in the West Village in 2010. Rightfully so: The Korean Osaka native serves a mashup reflective of his heritage, celebrating horumon, which translates as “thrown-away things.” At Takashi that means a range of offal offerings that spans heart, achilles tendon, first and third stomach, testicles served like escargot, and brain, squeezed from a tube like toothpaste and eaten with blini and caviar. Inoue has had no trouble filling his tables; the cheerful space, framed by a long blackboard explaining why downing rich slice after slice of barbecued meat is actually good for you, teems with diners huddled around grills, where they cook various animal bits themselves. Start with niku-uni — a raw surf-and-turf of beef sashimi and sea urchin wrapped in shiso — and yooke, chuck-eye tartare topped with a delicate quail egg. Both are gorgeous to look at and transcendent to eat.