Ikinari Steak in East Village

getting our steaks made to order at ikinari

Have you ever been to a Fry’s Electronics store? Back when I was in high school, Fry’s was a place for geeks to stock up on computer parts. The typical customer was probably a single dude who liked to play Counterstrike in his spare time and did not have a girlfriend and probably did not care about that. To me, Ikinari Steak in the East Village is like the Fry’s of steakhouses. You’re essentially surrounded by a lot of single dudes who are happily eating their reasonably priced thick-cut steaks while standing (there are no seats at Ikinari, although they recently added a few booths). Some of them might get aggressive and even order two steaks each, like the two men next to us who essentially had a Louis CK-style dinner bang bang and ate four steaks total and did not give a crap about anyone witnessing the gluttony.Read More

Secchu Yokota Tempura Omakase

secchu yokota in east village

We live in a day and age where a restaurant’s fate is seemingly determined by its ability to garner press. Those who are lucky enough to be picked up in the New York Times or to be constantly featured in food bloggers’ Instagram feeds can add on a few years, whereas those who are ignored will soon die from irrelevance. Which is why it’s unusual to find Secchu Yokota, a Japanese tempura restaurant in the East Village that operates under the radar in soft-open mode and has never officially advertised its opening, thriving.Read More

Dim Sum at Tim Ho Wan NY

tim ho wan…without the crazy lines

Tim Ho Wan is a wildly popular dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong due to its reputation as the cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world. My friend Terrence described the food there as “first world flavors at third world prices,” which is pretty accurate. So naturally there was a lot of fanfare surrounding Tim Ho Wan’s first US opening in NYC last December. There were stories of epic waits just to get on the waitlist for a seating that would happen hours later. Adam Platt on Grubstreet said that a three hour wait was worth it.Read More

Little Tong Noodle Shop – Yunnan by the Way of East Village

little pot mixian bowl with a side of tea eggs

The Chinese food scene in NYC continues to evolve beyond Sichuan and Cantonese. Now we can add to the mix Yunnan, a region in Southwest China known for its spice and produce. Little Tong Noodle Shop, a new restaurant in the East Village run by Chef Simone Tong, an alum of wd-50, highlights the flavors of this region, showcasing specifically mixian, a savory rice noodle dish.Read More

Hanoi House in East Village

what’s on the menu at hanoi house?

The trend of new wave Vietnamese food continues with the opening of Hanoi House, a Vietnamese restaurant in the East Village run by two alums of the Stephen Starr restaurant empire (Buddakan and Upland) and chef John Nguyen. As you might expect, a meal at Hanoi House will be a slightly more elevated experience compared to one at the more traditional Vietnamese places. It certainly has a stylish “Indochine” look and feel about it, in which old school dark wood and palm fronds coexist with whitewash brick and other modern design elements. The space is already generating buzz and tables were hard to come by late on a Wednesday night. Luckily there were some seats at the bar, although even those went quickly.Read More