Ato in Soho

Ato is a restaurant that’s very easy to miss, even if you’re looking for it. It looks like an abandoned retail space from the outside with no obvious signage around. Once you do a double take and notice the menu taped out front, you might be inclined to enter, although you’ll still wonder if this place is fully open. Something about it feels like it hasn’t completely repurposed its original retail space as a restaurant, even though there is an omakase counter and proper tables set up in there. But sure enough, Ato is very much fully operating, despite looking like a work in progress.Read More

The Bombay Bread Bar in Soho

The restaurant industry is tough. Even if you’re a famous, respected chef like Floyd Cardoz pushing the envelope on Indian food at a restaurant like Paowalla in Soho, it’s still not enough to make it. And it’s an even tougher sell when your concept is fancy Indian. Indian food hasn’t entered the mainstream dining consciousness in New York City like it has in London or elsewhere, so I’d imagine people would need to embrace regular naan bread first before going more upscale.Read More

Cafe Altro Paradiso Re-Review: Lunch

chicken milanese sandwich at cafe altro paradiso

When I first reviewed Cafe Altro Paradiso, I couldn’t help but compare it to Estela, its older, more accomplished sister restaurant, and in doing so, I set myself up for disappointment. The food at Estela was quirky and delicious, whereas Cafe Altro Paradiso’s by comparison seemed a little too conventional. It’s been awhile now since I’ve been to either restaurant, so when I recently had lunch at Cafe Altro Paradiso, I felt like I could eat with more of an open mind, as faded memories of past meals exerted less of an influence.Read More

Sola Pasta Bar in Soho

sola pasta bar in soho

Do you remember eating from the pasta bar in the dorm cafeteria during your college years? Remember how you’d scoop out either plain spaghetti or penne noodles and then choose between a tomato or an alfredo sauce? So that’s what the pasta dishes at Sola Pasta Bar in Soho remind me of, which is pretty disappointing considering that a former Michelin-star chef from Italy is behind the operations.Read More

Hoppers in Soho, London

vintage tamil posters setting the mood at hoppers

“Let’s go to that Sri Lankan restaurant!” is probably a phrase you will never hear in New York. First of all, I’m not even sure if Sri Lankan restaurants exist in Manhattan. And even if they did, would they get the same level of attention or press that a vegan or pizza restaurant would? London, however, is more accepting of different cuisines than we are, which explains the success and popularity of Hoppers, a Sri Lankan restaurant in Soho. Read More