DINING OUT: Japanese delights with a twist

A relatively new and unique Japanese restaurant is quickly becoming a favorite in the Williamsburg neighborhood.

Cherry Izakaya had its grand opening on July 24, 2014 and has built a dedicated following among the community. On Sunday, May 10, the restaurant officially began serving brunch. Offered from11:30 a.m. through 4 p.m., the unique brunch menu is a hybrid of Japanese dishes, such as Tuna Crispy Rice Benedict, along with American eats, such as Fried Chicken and Waffles.

I first tried one of the restaurant’s most popular items, its French fries ($5). What makes these fries unique is the several-step process used in cooking them which includes cutting, blanching, freezing them then blanching again. The fries have a savory taste and crispy texture, yet the potato inside is soft as mashed potatoes. Kicking it up a notch, the potatoes come with a Sriracha sauce that adds a unique element to the dish.

I then tried what is already considered an early brunch favorite, the Bacon, Egg and Cheeseburger ($15). This meal can be a bit messy, but is a delicious selection, providing an explosion of flavor on the palate. The bacon is hickory smoked, which adds a sweet taste, along with the Fontina cheese and the bun. The egg served in the burger has crispy corners and a soft yolk that makes for the perfect topping. The two eggs are also served as a side dish ($6) and make the perfect snack.

For those with more of a sweet tooth, the pancake ($12) is the perfect selection. Served on a cast iron skillet, the single pancake is thick and rich in texture. It is served with blueberries and sugar on top, which only adds to the richness of the meal, which is augmented by syrup and whipped cream served on the side. The pancake comes with a healthy portion of home fries, which provides a delicious contrast to the sweet dish. The home fries are also served as a side dish ($6).

Owner Justin Gonzalez discussed the diverse menu. “This is our second week of brunch. We’re starting to build momentum. The new chef and I took over during early March and retooled the menu,” he said. “It’s such an interesting menu for a Japanese restaurant. We played off the Japanese gastro but not to be super hardcore and contemporary Japanese. We wanted to be a little more fun with the menu and go towards the pub side. That’s why we have things like a burger.”

Cherry Izakaya
138 North Eighth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11249

Monday-Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.-12:00 a.m.
Thursday-Friday, 5:30 p.m.-2:00 a.m.
Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-2:00 a.m.
Sunday, 11:30 a.m.- 12 a.m.

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