Masahiro Urushido, who ran the bar at Saxon + Parole and Cocktail Kingdom Hospitality’s James Tune and Greg Boehm teamed up to gift New York with another cocktail bar with great food. Katana Kitten, which opened this week, is a new Japanese party bar in Greenwich Village.
Intended to be a casual and fun combination of Japanese and American fare, it’s a two-level establishment with loud music and even louder decor that might look more like a dance club than a place for serious cocktails. Yet somehow, it manages the combination seamlessly.
Inspired by the Golden Gai district of Tokyo, where tiny, tightly packed bars line the streets, the downstairs area of Katana Kitten is dark and “basement-y”. Although they serve the same menu, the lower level has table service and has a feel that’s completely separate from the upstairs. “It’s weird in a good way,” Urushido told Eater.
The menu, although slim, is full of flavor. There’s five highballs, five signature cocktails, and five boilermakers (a play on traditional beer-and-shot combos) that all feature Japanese ingredients. The hinoki martini is a combination of grey goose, spring 44 mountain gin, fino sherry, junmai-daiginjo, hinoki tree essence and the fancy ramune is an Other Half IPA plus lemon-daiginjo.
The food menu is split between a selection of small bites, skewers, and “sandos”. There’s crinkle cut nori fries with sea salt and an optional curry sauce, crispy chicken with a soy-garlic and sake marinade, and the teriyaki burger with picked pineapple, shiso, and masa special sauce served on a potato roll.
And the best part, is that none of the offerings are particularly expensive, at least by Manhattan standards. The drinks are generally between 13 and 18 and the most expensive thing on the food menu is the $15 teriyaki burger.
Katana Kitten is located at 531 Hudson St. at Charles Street and is now open 4pm to 1am daily.