Category Archives: Food

New NYC Restaurants for Me – Friends’ Recommendations

Something about meeting new people is really great… what is it?  Everyone has their own favorite places to go to, and know their own hole-in-a-wall restaurants that they will introduce you to!  haha.  Unless of course you have found someone who has been everywhere you have been to (Kevin), but that is incredibly rare.

In the past year of making new friends and experiencing NYC I’ve found a ton of different restaurants that I probably wouldn’t have found without their suggestions.  I’ve compiled a short list of some of my favorites–some are pretty well known and some a bit off the grid.

Kenka (25 St. Marks Pl, btwn 3rd Ave & Astor Pl)
I love this restaurant because of how legit it feels inside.  Of all the restaurants in NYC this one probably reminds me of Japan the most.  If you are the novice eater who thinks Japanese food is sushi which should come with Chinese food, this isn’t the place for you! HAH!  The eggplant dish, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, and katsu are all really good.  Not sure about the rest, but it’s sure to taste authentic!

Turkish Kitchen (383 3rd Ave, btwn 27th and 28th)
Surprisingly, it is incredibly close to my apartment and very consistent if you like Turkish food.  It doesn’t come up to par with the Turkish food in Berlin or Istanbul, but for US standards I think its one of the best I’ve had here.  I always get the Adana Kebab at Turkish restaurants and it is basically a never-fail.  Instead of the pita I ask for rice!

16 Handles (153 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003, btwn 9th and 10th)
This is a big NYU favorite that I never got around to trying until this year.  If you are looking for a froyo that resembles ice cream instead of that tart newish product, this is your place.  My friends seem to like the Red Velvet, but I still stick to my plain tart yogurt.  It’s called 16 handles because there are literally 16 handles to dispense yogurt of different flavors.   It seems that the froyo phase is a cross between finding a good local restaurant and finding a good coffee shop–you don’t want to go far because there are so many of them, but you’d go far enough to get your favorite.  I wouldn’t trek to 16 Handles when Red Mango is a shorter distance the other way though.

Sushi Yasuda (204 East 43rd Street, btwn 2nd and 3rd Ave)
I finally managed to go and pry myself away from Yama on 17th and Irving.  They use the same quality rice that you’ll find at Masa, Morimoto, and Nobu.  The fish is great, but I didn’t try enough to be able to tell you about the different offerings.

Doughnut Plant (379 Grand Street, New York, NY, end of Norfolk St)
I was eager to try this place after seeing advertisements for it in Japan, but it was a big disappointment.  I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are facinated by funny looking donuts with original names, but lacking original flavor.  I’d rather have my glazed Krispy Kreme.  (and I’m glad we got those in Japan instead of trying Doughnut Plant).  It’s also a pain to get to if you are without a car and are lazy like me!  Hey-why trek to get something not so great?

Dos Toros (137 4th Ave, between 13th and 14th)
Another NYU favorite because of its Union Square location, Dos Toros is one of the best burritos I’ve had.  As my brother says, real Mexican food is supposed to just be simple–not the Rosa Mexicano types.  Okay, fine, maybe the burritos at Dos Toros aren’t necessarily real (because I’m not exactly an expert on burritos), but they are delicious with the right amount of each fresh ingredient and perfectly cooked chicken.  I wouldn’t recommend the pork because it was a bit salty.

These are the ones I’ve actually gone to multiple times and enjoyed, but there’s another list for the restaurants my family tried this year that I may put up!

Lincoln @ Lincoln Center = bad

I actually ate at Lincoln a few weeks ago and was completely dissatisfied.  Friends, beware of an expensive meal with little substance.  The service was fine, but the food was a severe disappointment.  Not very tasty, not unique at all, not special, nothing!

It’s hard to get me to go either way of recommending or hating a restaurant…but this definitely gets the AVOID AVOID AVOID from me!

If you are looking for a pre-Lincoln Center festivities dinner I’d still head over to P.J. Clarks, Rosa Mexicano, Bar Boulud, or A Voce.  Oh and don’t forget those two months in advance places like Jeans Georges or Per Se–but I wouldn’t waste your opera night on these time-suckers..oh wait, I wouldn’t waste your DINNER night on the opera! lol.