Continued from previous post:
6. Katz’s Deli (Houston and Ludlow ): Yes – it’s the same famous deli in When Harry Met Sally where Meg Ryan showcased her talent to fake an orgasm and the old lady next to her told the waiter, “I’ll have what she’s having.” The pastrami on rye is well worth the jaw-dropping $14 they charge for a sandwich because it is hands down the best pastrami I’ve ever tasted and humongous enough for two. Get a side of sweet potato knish and a refreshing Cel-Ray (celery soda) to complete your meal. Don't let the burly guys behind the counter intimidate you - just don't lose your ticket before you pay on your way out.
7. Congee Village (Allen and Delancey): I chink you can’t go wong with the best Chinese food in town – scrumptious and cheap! (Hey only I can say that because I’m Chinese.) Try their silken tofu with mushroom and rice clay pot, steamed fish with ginger and scallions, and dow mew (Chinese spinach) stir fried with garlic - definitely not your kung pow chicken or shrimp fried rice. And if you're feeling a little adventurous, order the various frog dishes (like the deep fried frog with pepper and garlic) - it's actually very tasty.
8. Kunjip (32nd and Broadway in K-town): Mouthwatering Korean BBQ and spicy bibimbop are a must at this busy restaurant which is always a good sign. (Bibimbop is rice in a stone pot with fried egg and ground beef – make sure you mix it up really well with their red house sauce.) My only warning is your clothes will stink of Korean BBQ for days!
9. Asia de Cuba (Morgans Hotel on Madison Ave): As the name suggests, this trendy restaurant fuses Asian with Cuban cuisines. A teensy bit on the tres cher side (I’d have to sell an organ or two to be a regular patron there), but the uber hip crowd and the uber stylish décor where the bathroom door magically transforms from transparent to translucent when you shut it are enough for me to break my piggy bank for one more visit.
10. Beard Papa’s (Broadway and 8th): No list of mine would be complete without something sweet which I purposely saved for last. I was first lured by the sweet smell of cream puffs at the Beard Papa’s in Hawaii. Then I devoured the green tea and the pumpkin variety in Tokyo. When I kept passing by their location in Midtown, I just couldn’t resist. I would gladly give up my firstborn for a lifetime supply of their fondant au chocolate and royal milk tea cream puffs. The royal milk tea flavor is only available on Thursdays, but you can still get the original Vanilla any day of the week.
So here it is. Check out my recommendations for yourself and let me know if you disagree with my taste (I will pretend to give a sh*t.) The best part is you don’t ever have to repeat a restaurant in Manhattan so I can continue to expand my list. I wish I had compiled something similar while I was in Tokyo. Unfortunately, if you were to ask me for any good recommendations for your next trip there, I wouldn’t be able to remember anything to save my life…or my firstborn that I’m planning to give up for cream puffs.