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Daruma-Ya Izakaya : fantastic

Sounds awesome, though doesn't Sakagura aim for the higher end of the spectrum as well? The last time I was there, it definitely was not loud. Just find it weird to lump Sakagura and Decibel together ... I guess both are below ground?

about 22 hours ago
avial in Manhattan

Where's the Happening Midtown Sichuan Right Now?

Agreed on the too much salt issue, totally forgot to mention it. Both times I've been, I've noticed that it seemed a tick too salty, have yet to try the original EV location but wonder if the same issue plagues them as well.

Apr 14, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Where's the Happening Midtown Sichuan Right Now?

I went to Hot Kitchen during their soft open (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/969001) and went back again two weekends ago for dinner.

On my second visit with my DC, we got:
1. hot+sour soup, large $5 - did not have the white pepper kick it had on our visit, and more noticeably, was served in a much smaller bowl, we each only got one full bowl

2. Steamed Pork w/Preserved Mustard Greens w/gua bao buns $18 - 10-12 slices of fatty pork belly, each about 1/6" thick or so, each 4" wide, all on a large bed of stewed+chopped mustard greens, comes w/4 bao. The fatty portion of each slice was perfect, meltingly soft and tender. The meat portion was a dry but in combination with the fat, was still quite good. Went well inside of a bun.

3. Assorted Spicy Wok $28 - they take every type of hot pot ingredient that they offer basically, and boil it for you - they said it was going to be stir fried but given how the proteins and vegetables looked and tasted, it was definitely boiled. Plenty of food but nothing I'd ever do again

4. Sauteed Cured Dry Bean Curd w/Garlic Shoots $14 - fairly smoky tofu 'gan', lots of garlic sprouts cut into short 1.5" segments, and likely using a more grown size as the pieces were about 1/2" wide flat, relatively mild though. Thought this dish was very tasty but also nothing to be impressed over.

There's still a lot of menu to go including the Northwest section of the menu which I have yet to touch except for the cumin lamb.

Will try to post some pics of the takeout menu tomorrow since the updated menu for this location is not online yet and it is reflective of the full menu except for dessert which they only offer western desserts like tiramisu and creme brulee (if memory serves).

We also noticed that they seemed to have trimmed the prices a little bit, a dollar or two at most on random items based on memory from the previous visit.

Apr 13, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Hot Kitchen opens in Midtown East - 53rd b/t 2nd+3rd

Per Eater on Thursday: http://ny.eater.com/archives/2014/03/...

Went with the SO to see how their first night of soft opening was and because we've never went to the original in EV - we have our fill of Sichuan here in Midtown East with LoP and Grand Sichuan, for better or for worse.

The space is seems bare yet fully decorated assuming they're not going for that Chinese kitch look. Space is broken into two sections, the front area has the bar on the left and tables for hotpots on the right. Other aspects of the restaurant are still in progress - no liquor yet for example, not too surprising. No formal menus yet but they have a stack of printer paper menus that they're handing to diners for now, owner/manager indicated that the final menu will mostly be the same but they will have more northwestern dishes at this location - and there is a menu section of ~10 items to that effect. Maybe 10% of the items on the menu were not available tonight, indicated by a handwritten X next to the item.

In terms of food, we weren't sure where to start as the menu feels very different than menus from Grand Sichuan and LoP, etc. and in a good way. As a result, we just went with some of our standbys from our Sichuan takeout/delivery rotation - tongue+tripe, dry fried string beans, cumin lamb, and hot+sour soup for the SO.

tongue+tripe - typical execution, both tongue and tripe were clean, oil/sauce not that spicy, no ma la, but a generous portion.

dry fried string beans w/preserved veggies - these were great, simple dish but the wok hei really showed in the blistered skin of the string beans but not blackened while the interior beans still had a bit of a snap and tasted really fresh. They do have an option to get it with ground pork which I assumed was going to be the default but it came without. We didn't mind as it made the dish lighter probably. Hard for us to say if this is better than those found at LoP, Grand Sichuan, and the other nearby Sichuan joints as we typically get takeout or delivery and by the time this gets to us, it's been steamed a good deal, I imagine.

cumin lamb - serviceable, decent amount of cumin flavor, lamb not as crispy as I would like, served with loads of cilantro stems and onion chunks (squares? petals? pieces?). I feel that this dish should always be served on an cast iron plate or cast iron wok so it doesn't cool down so quickly which this did despite our best efforts. The last time I saw it served that way was north of Boston at Fu Run in Malden.

hot+sour soup - flavor was a bit more bitter/earthy, peppery (black/white), and packed a surprising but nice heat that lingered a bit. Texture-wise, a bit thicker than normal.

Did not ask if they had dessert as we were pretty full and didn't see it on the menu when we were ordering.

Look forward to going back and exploring the menu a lot more, especially the hotpot section. Glad that there's another option in this part of town.

Mar 15, 2014
avial in Manhattan

1 night alone in NYC

How about:

Crave Fishbar on 50th+2nd
Salvation Taco 39th b/t Lex+3rd

Mar 12, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Large Mixology Bar - 8 People on a Thurs

Raines Law Room can fit 8 in their curtained couch areas

Middle Branch downstairs standing room.

Bathtub Gin possibly if they put seats on the outside edge of the booth

Freemans upstairs definitely has space

Mar 11, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Large Format / Group bachelor party dinner for 20? (Cross-posted from Manhattan)

cross-posting here to cover ze boroughs, Manhattan thread here:http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/967993

Working to plan a bachelor party dinner for 20 heads in NYC in late May and wondering if I'm missing any great options. Help!

Not as familiar with borough large format/group dining options except usual suspects like Chinese banquet or Russian banquet. Anything in the Korean vein?

Mar 07, 2014
avial in Outer Boroughs

Large Format / Group bachelor party dinner for 20?

Working to plan a bachelor party dinner for 20 heads in Manhattan in late May (or possibly the boroughs, will post separately there), and wondering if I'm missing any great options. Help!

The only place that specifically says they can do 20 is Resto from what I've seen. Planning to call some of the obvious choices like Ma Peche, Breslin, DBGB, to see if they have options to accomodate a larger group. Other thought is Chinatown mini-banquet style w/BYOB if permissible, something like one of the Congees, etc.

Also thought about something Korean (no idea where to start but have some Korean colleagues) or one of those Russian banquet halls (Brooklyn I suppose...) but it might be too far out in terms of transportation and logistics.

Mar 07, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Going to Txikito for dinner, any must have dishes and recs for drinks near by?

bathtub gin is at 19th+9th inside Stone St. Coffee, wicked close to txikito, but it is of the 'craft cocktail' BS.

Tipsy Parsons is also near by just a block north of bathtub gin.

you could also hustle over to 10th - both Red Cat and Trestle on Tenth have bars where you get 'drinks' nearby.

Mar 04, 2014
avial in Manhattan

Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen (Midtown West)

has the video about the chef been posted here yet?

http://www.grubstreet.com/2014/01/kun...

Feb 12, 2014
avial in Manhattan

China Blue

perhaps a bit OT but, I thought the owners were mainlanders, one from Shanghai at least.

though the only reference I can find is this China Daily article:http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2...

Dec 31, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Good Cocktails, Atmosphere, Casual dancing

Just thinking of places with a space that could fit a small dance floor. Have you actually checked with any of these places?

Dec 15, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Good Cocktails, Atmosphere, Casual dancing

Check EO or Bathtub Gin maybe, Clover Club in Carroll Gardens perhaps if you don't mind going that far.

other random plausabilitie based on size:
bar in the Royalton
Pulque in Chinatown
Experimental Cocktail Club
Pouring Ribbons
Back Room
Mother's Ruin
Randolph on Broome

Dec 13, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Decent happy hour in Financial District, Bowling Green side?

dollar short and day late, maybe no happy hour, but Dead Rabbit Tavern at Broad+Water is great.

Dec 12, 2013
avial in Manhattan

bars near Nom Wah

there's also Whiskey Tavern on Baxter

Nov 24, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Dinner Near Sleep No More

Heath just opened at the McKittrick from what I've heard, you can only get in currently with reservations for SNM, the jazz band or the club, Heathen.

A coworker went to a friends & family event two weekends ago and was blown away by the food. Don't know how useful this info will be but maybe give them (the McKittrick) a call and see what they say.

Otherwise, I enjoy Ovest a lot, and it's across the street from SNM entrance.

Nov 18, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Congee Bowery recs?

how was the dinner, what dishes made the short list?

Nov 11, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Congee Bowery recs?

the crab, oysters, and razor clams were great, everything else was fine, the salt&pepper combo seemed small but it may have been just that I got to it late in the game.

some of the Shanghainese places in Queens do salted egg yolk as well but with just a stir fry, not a deep fry then stir fry, for example, I remember having this at Da Jiang Nan Bei on Kissena across from the Golden Supermarket a few years ago.

Nov 07, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Congee Bowery recs?

was just there two weekends ago, ordered:

salted egg yolk dungeness crab
sitr-fried razor clams (whole, de-shelled) on a bed of mushrooms
salt&pepper tilapia/shrimp/squid
xo oysters on the shell
sliced conch w/shrimp stuffed tofu

Nov 07, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Mission Chinese - what are the best things to order?

wow, this sucks, though I do appreciate what he's saying and their willingness to move forward and make that capital investment in the place. Been thinking about ordering every day since I got back from vacation, wicked sad now.

here's to hoping he'll have some kung pao pastrami tacos or some crispy fried tripe tacos at Mission Cantina...

Nov 05, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Dinner Idea Near Bowery (New Museum)

Congee Bowery is about 100ft from The New Museum, at 6pm, I imagine you could get 3 dishes to share for $40 and be done in 30m

sweet & sour pork chops
salt & pepper calamari
stir fried veggies (pea shoots if you want to push budget a tad)

Nov 05, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Famous Halal Guys Store Front

don't think the brick and mortar is open just yet, they have a cart operating outside until the wee hours, confirmed by me last Sat/Sun at 5am.

Nov 02, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Exceptional Ramen in NYC

Hide-chan is still my go to for noodles, Totto for broth.

Still looking for an excellent tsukemen place, tried Minca's about two months ago and it was just noodles in one bowl, normal broth in another.

Oct 27, 2013
avial in Manhattan

[Great Bargain!] Highway Robbery Lunch @ Yakiniku Gen

I believe this is next to Hide Chan on 52nd b/t 2nd+3rd, closer to 2nd, sub-floor level, I think.

Oct 08, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Most Embarrassing Meal You Have Had Lately

half slice of Lady M green tea and chocolate mille crepes for lunch, followed by a small cup of soup from the soup spot.

Oct 08, 2013
avial in General Topics

Get hoppin' and head to The Dead Rabbit

3rd floor is open to the public randomly I think. I went for the first time in June and the 'cocktail room' as they referred to it was open, there was a private party of 15 ppl by the window but they were letting others go up and sit at the bar or at one of the high tops.

It is definitely geared more for events, given how the space is decorated (or lack of compared to the tap room and the parlour) and the removable furniture and bar.

Oct 03, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Lively place for drink and good food near Penn Sta

American Whiskey on 30th b/t 7+8 just opened two weeks ago, long list of you know what, food is passable for the immediate Penn Station area.

Pennsylvania 6 on 31st b/t 6+7 is swankier, longer food menu.

Lugo's in 1 Penn Plaza building on 33rd - probably try to get a reservation, it'll be crowded during happy hour.

Hill Country is on the same block as Hanjan and Maysville.

Anyone been Nick+Stef's steakhouse? Is that inside MSG? Given the construction on MSG, I've never been able to figure out where it is.

Sep 30, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Closing time Discount/Sale in Manhattan

ComeBuy on 29th+5th NE corner discounts their Dough donuts around 7-8pm, forgot how much cheaper, 50% off I think.

Sep 26, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Any idea of wait time at Txikito on a Saturday night for a table of 3 (at 8ish)?

Tipsy Parson, Bathtub Gin for drinks are only a few blocks away on 9th.

Sep 03, 2013
avial in Manhattan

Authentic Mexican (Tijuana) food in NYC?

Look for Mexican taco joins in East Harlem (116th-125th and 3rd/Lex/2nd) and Bushwick, avoid hipster taco joints.

Check outer boroughs board.

Aug 25, 2013
avial in Manhattan