If you’re looking for a traditional bowl of pho or fried spring rolls at Van Da, a new Vietnamese restaurant in the East Village, then you’ve come to the wrong place. Van Da doesn’t like to state the obvious, it prefers to showcase the overlooked, and when it does take on a staple, it’s with a modern spin.
It finally feels like fall, which means pho season is underway. And now there are even more options in New York to give in to your Vietnamese noodle soup cravings. Lately the trend in pho seems to be fancier bowls with higher quality ingredients and cleaner flavors than what you would find at a more traditional place, a function of the second generation updating the recipes of their relatives for the modern palate.Read More
“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” is probably what Cassia, the gorgeous and buzzy restaurant in Santa Monica, would say to its haters. When you look this good in an elegant industrial loft setting, turning out glamorous and exotic Southeast Asian creations, people will try to find fault with you. “It’s so expensive” or “it’s interesting but not as good as the authentic stuff” will be some commonly heard feedback. But pay them no mind.Read More
My last review of Bunker was in its old space in Ridgewood, Queens. I complained a lot about the out-of-the-way location and the lack of AC, so when I heard that they had moved to a bigger space in Bushwick, I figured that things had probably improved dramatically and that I should pay them another visit.Read More
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