New York, A Second Home: Aoi Kitchen

Let’s take a short break from our Hawaii series to recapture some of my home-away-from-home favorites. I’ve lived in many cities and multiple countries before, but of all places, New York city is the one place that I truly thrived. I liked my job, I loved my dance community and my social circles, it was probably the first time in my life (my very late in life) that I could say I felt “happy”. At the very least, I was finally content. One of the things that I love about New York is it’s insane amount of diversity – this extends from people populations but to also the food scene. You literally get the best of everything here (and also sometimes the worst haha).

Japanese cuisine is a long-time favorite of mine. One food in particular though, that I have yet to come to love until I came to this place, is omurice. It is NOT korean. It is Japanese by descent when Western influences came to the country. I’ve never really had omurice where it was so amazing that I would go back for it. However, Aoi Kitchen crushed that record by a thousand miles.

I rarely give 5 stars on Yelp, but this is the best omurice that I’ve had yet in Manhattan. Me and my friend came here with two things in mind: 1) Katsu sando and 2) omurice. To be honest, it’s hard not to compare. But this one, in comparison to multiple places in Manhattan, is the best I’ve found yet. I try not to base it off the fact on who owns it since I’ve also known plenty of non-Japanese friends who went to Japan specifically to study their craft. I just want to judge the food and the service for what it is. We came here during outdoor dining and while I was a bit scared with the enclosed cabin, the food was worth it. The chairs made it somewhat hard to eat though and I would still prefer to have had a regular table and chair. But let’s move on to food:

Tako Wasa: raw octopus with fresh wasabi (appetizer)


  • very nice balance of wasabi to octopus
  • clean, fresh
  • I can’t knock it as I’ve never had it bad anywhere that’s served it.


  • hard to eat with just chopsticks. I can get the big pieces but the small ones were a bit difficult. Maybe just a user-error deal and not so much a dish con.
tako wasa

Katsu Sando: donkatsu (pork tempura cutlet) sandwich.


  • DEFINITELY shareable if you’re a small to medium sized eater.
  • the thickest cut of meat I’ve seen
  • perfectly fried, not greasy (this is key)
  • not overcooked, not undercooked (not safe to eat undercooked pork)
  • toast was perfect as well, not burnt, perfect little outer crispy layer.

CONS: none

katsu sando

Omurice: Egg omelet over fried rice with demi glace sauce


  • the egg was perfect. I actually took a video of it being cut open but I can’t upload it on here. Texture was SOLID and not raw like people would think.
  • Rice was also flavorful but nicely balanced (not too salty, not too bland)
  • I actually prefer the demi glace sauce. I’ve had “tonkatsu” sauce on omurice before (plenty of korean “omurice” places back home in Atlanta), but I’ve also had demi glace sauce at plenty of other (mostly French-based) restaurants. To be honest, I feel like some people will like it and some people won’t. It’s kind of like how some people prefer ketchup over mayo-ketchup with their fries. It’s all based on fried potato strips but some will say one dipping sauce is way better than the other.

CONS: none!

Omurice combo

Like I said, I would definitely come here again just for the omurice. You can find them here:

320 E 6th St New York, NY 10003 | (646) 454-0084

Seriously, the omurice!


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This entry was published on October 11, 2021 at 22:00. It’s filed under The Traveller and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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