Step Into the Beef Butchering Operation at Takashi

[Photographs: Eunice Choi]

The West Village has no shortage of excellent restaurants, but tucked farther West than most would venture is Takashi, a rare find not just for the neighborhood, but New York as a whole. Takashi is singularly devoted to beef; there's ribeye and short ribs, but also off-cuts like stomach (all four!), liver, Achilles tendon, and brain.

Before dinner begins, the kitchen spends much of their prep time butchering all those cuts from larger hunks of beef. Most of the food that leaves the kitchen is raw, to be cooked on tabletop grills by customers. The beef mostly speaks for itself, though there are some garnishes—a touch of sesame oil and sea salt with liver, perhaps.

This makes for a different kind of kitchen than most, one focused more on butchery than cooking or prepping mise en place. What does the operation look like? We stepped into the kitchen to find out. See it all in the slideshow above.