Matsugen, Jean-Georges Vongerichten's temple to soba noodles in Tribeca, offers an outstanding amount of food (five courses) for comparatively little ($38). The view, of the kitchen through an eel- and tropical fish-infested tank, wasn't so bad either.
We began with spicy edamame and soft tofu (so soft a cracker or some other type of contrasting texture was sorely missed). Then we had shrimp and vegetable tempura. Even though only one of us ordered the prix fixe, the server generously made sure there were always two plates on the table.
The non-prix fixe main was tender pork belly. The prix fixe mains were two pieces of tuna and black miso cod. Biting into the sushi made us speculate on just how out-of-the-world incredible Masa must be, given the quality we were getting here for, roughly, 92% cheaper.
For the soba course, we had a hot chicken and scallions and a cold sesame. We hate to say it, but the cold soba was too cold, even in the midst of July. Another thing we liked? The way no one judged our slurping.