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Popular Japanese Restaurant Ootoya Coming to Times Square

By Mathew Katz | December 10, 2012 12:09pm

TIMES SQUARE — Think Applebee's — with raw fish. 

Ootoya, the cultishly popular purveyor of inexpensive Japanese food, will open its second Big Apple location at 141 W. 41st St. in Times Square — giving locals and tourists a place to get grub native to the Land of the Rising Sun, including soba, yakitori and sushi, according to the Times Square Alliance.

Often compared to a large-scale chain restaurant like Denny's and Applebee's, Ootoya has over 100 locations in Tokyo alone, and opened its first American location in the Flatiron District over the summer.

Like those eateries, Ootoya features a large menu of its country's staples, offering hefty portions for humble prices, given the real estate. Most meals, which include side dishes and dessert, cost less than $20.

The Flatiron location debuted to rave reviews from budget diners, and has since maintained a four-star rating on Yelp. The restaurant has drawn in curious visitors interested in Japanese cuisine beyond traditional sushi or teriyaki chicken, such as house-made tofu and pork belly. 

The spot also boasts a popular sake bar, which owners are presumably going to bring to the Crossroads of the World, as they're applying for a liquor license.

Representatives from the restaurant did not respond to requests for comment.