5 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012
Japanese comfort food gets the New York treatment at Bessou, which translates roughly to "second home" in Japanese. After working for contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, owner Maiko Kyogoku was inspired to share her own love of Japan's culture with food, instead of art, as her medium. The menu is a conglomeration of Kyogoku's Upper West Side upbringing as a child of first-generation immigrants, and much of the recipes are influenced by her mother's cooking. Expect homestyle fusion dishes like scallion pancakes with tofu aioli, cold udon noodles with an assortment of tempura, and Japanese fried chicken.