Among the many things New York City is known for, great restaurants definitely top the list. I'm not a food critic by any means, but my lack of culinary skills and plain laziness have caused me to venture and dine out quite a bit (or maybe just within the comforts of my surrounding neighborhoods). I know when it comes to food, I'm like that guy who'll hit on anything that resembles a girl and has a pulse, because I'll eat anything that resembles food and has an aroma. Although I don’t have much of a discerning taste or a refined palette, I have compiled a list of my top ten (in no particular order):
1. Jin Sushi (Broome and Orchard): I know I’ve become a bit of a sushi snob, but delish does not begin to do Jin justice, especially for the reasonable prices. I highly recommend the Tuna Amazing roll, Spicy Lobster roll, and the Kamikaze roll. It can give Tomoe Sushi in the West Village where Madonna apparently frequents a run for its money. I need a moment…can’t believe I’m disagreeing with my idol and role model.
2. Joe's Shanghai (Pell and Bowery in Chinatown): You must order the xiao lung bao (or "soup dumplings" as white people call it) with scallion pancakes and drunken chicken (steamed chicken soaked in rice wine). Then when you're done with lunch, walk down on Bowery street and get the little egg cakes from the street vendor for dessert (they're like waffle batter in the shape of miniature eggs.)
3. Craftbar (Broadway between 19th and 20th): This is the less pricey stepchild of Craft but just as heavenly (not that I’ve ever been to Craft but I’m certain of its heavenliness.) We commenced our dinner with a Pecorino cheese fondue with honey and hazelnuts for appetizer, then the scallop with onions for entrée, and the brown sugar cake with cinnamon ice cream for dessert. The portions are a bit on the paltry side, but then again, we’re not in Chinatown anymore, Toto.
4. Momofuku Noodle Bar (First Ave and 10th): At $14 a bowl, it is a bit pricey for ramen but the perfect combination of Berkshire pork and savory noodle and broth can almost pass for authentic ramen in Tokyo (which is unlike any ramen you’ll ever taste at only $4 a bowl.) You should also get a side of steamed buns with shitake and the spicy crawfish (which I was too cheap to order but was salivating and green with food envy when my finger-licking neighbor was wolfing them down. Bastards...)
5. La Palapa (St. Marks and First Ave in East Village): I'm not a fan of Mexican food at all, but this place is excellent. Every entree we had was yummy tasty, and margaritas come in a myriad of fruit flavors which is very easy to get drunk on. For dessert, their sweet corn ice cream parfait with macadamia nuts is to die for.
Ok I’m tired and really hungry from reminiscing about all that food so I will wipe the drool off my mouth and continue with my list soon.