Your Roommate's Midwestern Cousin
Restaurant: Sake Bar Hagi
Neighborhood: Times Square, Manhattan
Address: 152 West 49th St.
For the ultimate double-duty outing, I suggest Sake Bar Hagi. Situated on 49th Street, she can get in the requisite stroll through Times Square and avoid having to face the perils of the subway to meet you for dinner. This electric rathskeller, tucked beneath Iroha, defies its touristy location with raucous Japanese izakaya plates. She's never seen stuff like this before: squid and cabbage okonomiyaki topped with undulating flakes of bonito; raw cucumbers with funky beads of red miso for dipping and bowls of deep-fried gizzards. For providing this sort of only-in-New-York (or, um, Tokyo) experience, she'll think you're terribly in the know.