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52 East 8th Street
JP Street 1 Japanese East Village

JP Street is a great place for students and those looking for good food on a budget. We met with the lovely Iris Pan who spoke to us about the restaurant and gave Manhattan Sideways a tour through the menu.

“The owner puts a lot of heart in this, his whole soul,” she told us. His passion is evident in both the restaurant design and the menu, which he personally put together. He is also in charge of creating the sauces to his exacting requirements. Iris explained that this is so the food remains consistent, as that is what his loyal customers have come to expect. The owner’s teriyaki sauce, which we tasted, has no added sugar. “Everyone here is about healthy, healthy, healthy,” Iris said. JP Street also uses purple rice, which tastes a bit like red bean paste, and is a more nutritious alternative to white rice.

The owner is in love with Japan, Iris informed us. Before JP Street, he worked with fusion cuisine, but chose to open something authentic on 8th Street. As an example of his commitment to taste and tradition, he only uses 100% Kobe beef. Iris told us that “Kobe beef” is often only 20% genuine in other restaurants, but JP Street goes the extra mile. The Japanese Burger with grilled onions, mushrooms, and wasabi teriyaki is not expensive and the meat is of such good quality that it melts in one’s mouth.

JP Street is also known for its Onigiri, a traditional rice ball that is eaten in Japan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is easy to wrap up and take to go, which makes it perfect for busy students. It also comes in a variety of flavors: Unagi, Spicy Tuna, Vegetable, Crab and Shrimp, and Lobster Salad. The Manhattan Sideways team tried a few of the rice balls, as well as the rock shrimp, wrapped in crispy potato noodles, and the JP wings, which are conveniently shaped to ensure non-messy eating. The most distinctive item on the menu by far was the sushi burrito. It is essentially a large hand roll chock full of goodies. Our team members tried the Atlantic Sea Burrito and Sea Dragon Burrito. They come in two sizes: small and large, if one is extra hungry.

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More places on 8th Street

Lost Gem
Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor 1 Bars Beer Bars undefined

Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor

What a find... down a flight of stairs from street level on 8th Street, Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor is the "antithesis of a sports bar. " Artisan and craft beer are brought together in a friendly environment that certainly had us feeling like we were right at home. The Parlor is also named for the Arts and Crafts movement, “a cultural revolt against the ideals of industrialization. ”When we visited, we spoke to Robert, one of the two owners, with whom we thoroughly enjoyed chatting. Robert is an internationally recognized speaker and writer on dining out and traveling with special diets (he co-authored the series Let’s Eat Out! ), and he also has a background in acting and producing on Broadway. He told us that the other owner, Don, has an impressive resume working with the FBI and counterterrorism efforts both in New York and around the world - which left us wondering what brought this dynamic duo together as friends and eventually co-owners. Robert informed us it was a love of American Craft Beer and the visual and performing arts... and that they actually met enjoying a pint of beer in Manhattan. Just as intriguing as its owners, the interior of Arts and Crafts is beautifully designed; the sophisticated wallpaper is custom made by Bradbury and Bradbury, and the soft green and beige pattern was Frank Lloyd Wright’s favorite, supposedly. The constantly changing art is displayed along the wall opposite the bar, and an exposed brick wall and fireplace give the parlor a true “extension of your living room” feel. Described by Robert, as the “Bugatti of beer systems, ” the twenty plus beers the Parlor keeps on tap rotate monthly and are kept by this state of the art system at a refreshing 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Robert also astounded us with how small the carbon footprint of the Parlor is — he told us they are very conscious of keeping things compostable and earth-friendly. In addition to their rotating display of art from both established and up-and-coming artists, the Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor also hosts a monthly lecture series on the subjects of art as well as culinary topics. We could not get enough of how interesting this place is — both the concept of art and beer coming together and the two fascinating minds behind it.