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Category: Asian

Joya

Thai in Park Slope.

What We Had

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My DH had the Pad See Yue – chicken and vegetables with noodles in a black bean sauce – nice flavor.

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I had the Gai Kraprow – chicken and veg in spicy basil sauce – a little sweeter than I generally like, but tasty.

Decor

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We ate in the back garden, but inside had an open kitchen concept with dark woods, lots of white tables and interesting lights.

Really great branding and modern, clean decor.

Service

Adequate.

Overall Impressions

Great value and a cute little place, but beware: cash only.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for pretty good food in a cute atmosphere.

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Qi

Pretty upscale Thai near Union Square.

What We I Had

I stopped in to treat myself during a long day of holiday shopping and ordered off the lunch menu.
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I had the Spicy Thai Basil with chicken and steamed chicken & shrimp dumplings.

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Not bad at all. Nice chunks of identifiable shrimp in the dumplings and nice spice to the main dish. Lunch was light enough I didn’t feel too heavy, and had enough vegetables that it didn’t feel overly unhealthy.

I also had a glass of good pinot grigio.

Decor

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Pretty with lots of abacus (abacui? Abacusses?) and sleek furnishings.

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Service

Nice and unobtrusive.

Overall Impressions

Not bad. This looks to be a good date night place and it was certainly a nice lunch break from fighting holiday crowds.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for solid food in a relaxing atmosphere.

Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop

Noodles & rice bowls from acclaimed Ramen guru, Ivan Ramen. This is his first shop stateside.

What We Had

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Classic Shoyu Ramen
soy sauce, chicken + dashi double soup, pork chashu, rye noodle

Classic Shio Ramen
sea salt, chicken + dashi double soup, pork chashu, rye noodle

Yuzu Lemonade

Both ramen varieties looked the same and we had no idea which was which. Both tasted similar.

The noodles were nice and chewy; the broth was well flavored (though not as deeply flavored as our favorite joints – think a touch more delicate than Momofuku).

Not a bunch going on here, toppings-wise. A few pieces of chicken and pork and some strangely tasteless scallions. We both added egg, which was fine.

Overall meal impression was meh. Not bad, but we’ve had so much better.

Decor

Slurp Shop is located in the Gotham West Market – a large food courty type affair with 8 upscale food and grocery vendors, including The Brooklyn Kitchen. It’s an interesting place – very open concept.

Service

Counter service.

Overall Impressions

We won’t be making the long trek Gotham West Market is in Hell’s Kitchen on 11th in the mid-40s — far from our usual haunts special for ramen again. This was good, but not as good as our three favorites; and no where near as convenient to get to.

Rating

3 out of 5 for tasty but not overwhelming noodles in a space with a cool concept, but inconvenient location.

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Hanoi Kitchen

Vietnamese/Thai in Park Slope with a large pho menu.

What We Had

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I had the Pho Sate – Rice noodles, special beef sate soup, rare steak, brisket, tomato, cucumber & peanut – Spicy and delicious. Good flavor on the broth and the meat was good too.

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My DH had the Pho Thai Rice – Rice noodles beef soup with rare steak – His was more delicately flavored than the heat hammer mine carried, and it was good. The beef broth base did more shining in his dish.

Decor

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Cute Thai decor with dark woods, natural elements and exposed brick.

Service

Decent.

Overall Impressions

A cute little spot for some pho. The menu also has a wide selection of other dishes, but we hasn’t had good pho in quite a long time and missed it.

Rating

4 out of 5 for good flavorful broth, nice decor and a widely varied menu.

Yuji Ramen Test Kitchen – Whole Foods

Inside Whole Foods Bowery

What We Had

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I had the bacon & egg mazeman (no broth) ramen with smoky bacon, poached egg & kale. This dish was fantastic. Chewy thick noodles, high quality bacon, crispy kale and silky egg. Crazy good.

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My DH had the daily Shoyu ramen with pork confit – also fabulous. Rich and luxurious beef broth with nice pork and chewy thin noodles.

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Both came with with pickled market vegetables and barley tea.

Decor

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Nice counter but you’re still inside Whole Foods.

Service

Order at the counter service from friendly staff.

Overall Impressions

A great find. I had eaten a few bites of Yuji Ramen at Smorgasburg, and it was delicious. It’s nice to know this little popup is delicious as well. I can’t wait until the permanent shop opens. In the meantime, Yuji does Omikase tasting nights for a reasonable price. More information can be had if you sign up for the email list.

Rating

4 to 4.5 out of 5, but only because its in a grocery store food court. The food was really stellar.

Rice Thai

Thai in Prospect Park.

What We Had

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I had the Dry Tom Yum – As advertised, it was just like the soup but dry – chock full of seafood (shrimp, squid, mussels, fish) and topped with fried basil. Taste bomb. Sticky rice was good, but not as good as Pok Pok. Light on veg, but tasty.

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My DH had the Pad see Ew with chicken – DH complained that it didn’t have much taste, but that dish is never a flavor wallop without vinegar sauce.

Decor

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Really pretty wood panels on the walls, nice decor all around.

Vaguely French instrumental music, with crooner contemporary songs and classics.

Service

Fine. Being the old people hour diners we are, we had the place to ourselves for most of the meal.

Overall Impressions

Not a bad little place. Not the ‘be all end all’, but lots of things on the menu I’m dying to try.

Rating

3.75 out of 5 for a varied menu and solid dishes in a pleasant atmosphere.

Mission Chinese

Much lauded by chefs American Chinese restaurant in the LES.

What We Had

Thrice Cooked Bacon – This dish was bizarre. We’re not sure what to make of it – mouths felt buzzy from spice, like pop rocks. Crazy salty.

Our palates were bewildered. Strangest dish either of us had ever had, and that’s saying something.

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Ma Po Tofu – The tofu was silky and luxurious. Weird layer after layer thing going on with the Sichuan peppercorns and pork nibblins.

Leaves mouth watering ridiculously. Odd – not sure if we liked it – bite in, don’t like – too peppery. And then you eat more… Kind of like a drug. Feel like if we eat enough, might trip out.

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Chili Pickled Long Beans – Crazy salty, loads of taste.

Sweet corn tea

Brooklyn lager

Decor

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Racuous party atmosphere in the tiny dining room. Good music and lots of reds with as much seating as is humanly possible in the small space.

Service

Strangely good, and very friendly. You get the feeling they’re used to bewildered first-timers. Our server said we did end up jumping in with both feet and to maybe try 1 dish with the Sichuan peppercorns and 1 without next time for some respite from the buzz.

Overall Impressions

Crazy busy – 45 minute wait for people lined up outside 10 minutes before dinner service opening on a cold rainy night. We came back a few minutes early for our table, and people were being turned away – at 6:45, the wait was already 3 hours, and the list wasn’t opening back up until 9.

But, these guys are well organized and seem to know how to handle the craziness.

Rating

I can’t honestly rate this place. We are completely unsure if we loved it, hated it, or if we’ll be back on the regular like addicts. I can tell you that in the week+ since our visit, neither of us has stopped thinking about that MaPo Tofu.

I will throw out words of caution about the odd quality of the spice and the daunting amount of salt in each dish.

Rai Rai Ken

Lauded as one of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s favorite ramen spots in NYC. Located in the village.

What We Had

2 special Ramens – 1 with lobster & 1 with ground pork (mabo)

Both had big, bold flavors and perfectly al dente noodles

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The lobster had a nice lobster, shrimp & pork based broth topped with poached egg, shrimp, cilantro & scallion – deeply shellfishy broth, luxurious egg, welcome shrimp.

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The mabo had a soy sauce based broth topped with ground pork, tofu, chili & scallion – nutty, rich, happy-making pork bits … It’s all there.

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Gyoza – light, with veg, nice taste.

Decor

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Vibrant & busy with bustling servers a a flurry of activity from the open kitchen.

Lots of bright red balanced by mixed wood tones.

Service

No-nonsense.

Overall Impressions

Cash only.

It’s a more than suitable substitute if Ippudo is booked, but just a tic under our favorite. On the other hand, much less expensive and very, very tasty.

Rating

5 out of 5 for damn tasty noodles for a great price.

*We have visited a few times after that first time, even with company, and the taste held up.

Cho Dang Gol Korean Restaurant

Busy Korean BBQ spot off of 34th.

What We Had

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Galbi – Marinated short rib Korean-style BBQ. Show stopping. Korean BBQ is pretty much always good, but this was better than that. Instead of being almost too sweet like at most places, the sweet was balanced and tempered here.

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Stone Bowl Bibimbap with Pork. This dish was fantastic. Crispy rice, really flavorful ingredients, and a great balance.

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CDG Dumplings – Hand made meat & tofu dumplings, steamed. Good flavor large dumplings.

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Great little sides – some sort of cooked zucchini, Kimchee, a Kimchee-like non-vinegary squid & cucumber something, some sort of greens, little dried shrimp, tempura mushrooms, and some sort of pancake.

Decor

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Korean flavored, but lots of neutrals and woods.

Service

Not terrible for a really busy day.

Overall Impressions

A great find. The day we visited was crazy busy, with a large majority of the patrons being Asian. We took that as a good sign, and we weren’t wrong.

This place has lots of menus in different textures and materials. For the uninitiated, the takeout menu features a QR code that can be scanned with a smart phone to view a visual version of the dishes.

Rating

4 out of 5 for a fabulous meal that was fun to eat.

Pok Pok

Authentic Thai from a round eye chef in Willisburg.

What We Had

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Da Chom’s Laap Meuang – deceptively spicy and yet comforting ground pork dish.

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Muu Kham Waan – our favorite and crazy flavorful sliced pork with greens on ice for a wrapper.

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Papaya Pok Pok – I loved – great representation of the dish; my DH not so much. I was addicted.

Sticky Rice – awesome in any context, but amazing here.

Drinking vinegar – must have more; where has this been all my life?

Thai tea with lime – also great

Some sort of hot bourbon thing that was the best type of restorative.

Decor

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Tiny dining room with minimal wood paneled decor

Service

Standard

Overall Impressions

Spicy meal but very very good.

Rating

4 out of 5 for great authentic dishes with loads of spice