A fixture among Japanese expats and local foodies since the 1980s, the late Jonathan Gold even gave the restaurant his stamp of approval in 1991, writing “once you get past expecting anything here to taste like Italian food, some of the Spoon House specialties are actually delicious.” Spoon House serves a mind-boggling variety of wafu spaghetti on its menu, from a classic tarako butter sauce spaghetti topped with chiffonade shiso leaves, to pasta tossed in tuna, daikon radish, and lemon soy sauce, to spaghetti topped with creamy fermented soybeans, or natto. The expansive menu even has classic non-spaghetti items, such as doria, which is a Japanese take on a rice casserole served baked, covered in a layer of white cream sauce, and topped with another layer of meat sauce or seafood. What distinguishes Spoon House from others on this list is its signature boil-to-order “al-dente yudeage” system—which you can glimpse if you sit at the bar counter. All of Spoon House’s spaghetti noodles are cooked to order, which means that when your spaghetti dish hits your table, it will always be served the right way: al dente and steaming hot.
How to order: Walk-ins only.