In 2006, a Tokyo-native opens Zenkichi, which quickly becomes one of New York's landmark eateries. The idea is to recreate an authentic atmosphere of Tokyo dining, with intimate mahogany booths and a tiny buzzer to summon the waiter, as most Japanese diners prefer quiet setting and concentration on food and their companion.
It is no wonder that crowds flock here to celebrate Valentine's day, and every year a special menu is offered. Zenkichi prides itself with sake made only with pure rice, water, and rice yeast. Other popular items: silky tofu dish, potato mochi, white miso-topped Japanese eggplant, chicken meatballs in a soft egg sauce and frozen black sesame mousse.
Low light and quiet, bamboo curtain blocks and the lantern-lit hallway all contribute to diners' privacy.