Ramen is all the rage in NYC that one tends to ignore the other great noodles that’s Japanese cuisine proffers. A good bowl of udon can be just as satisfying and is so much harder to find.
There’s a new Japanese Brasserie in town that is definitely worth a visit. ROKI Le Izakaya is Chef Koji Hagihara’s new venture, branching out from over 8 years of experience of being at Hataka Tonton (one of NYC’s Japanese sweet spots).
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to this establishment for a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own
Must try: Salt and Pepper Squid, Mee Goreng
Food: ☆☆☆ ¾
Must try: Grilled Maitake Mushrooms, Raw Shaved Fluke, Guacamole with Grapefruit Salsa
ABC Cocina is Jean-Georges Vongerichten and executive chef Dan Kluger’s endeavor at inventive, Latin inspired, tapas style fare.
Housed within the stunning ABC Carpet & Home Store, this hot spot is fashioned in abcmkt’s eclectic style – an aesthetic I love (of course everything is available for purchase on the shop floor).
The menu consists of seven sections with choices that range from a “Raw Bar” to “Light and Bright” to “Wood Burning Grill” and more.
The cuisine is based on flavors from Latin America and Spain and is for most part executed rather well. Dishes that blew me away were the “Raw Shaved Fluke with Green Chili Dressing” and the “Grilled Maitake Mushrooms”. Other such as the “Fish Taco” felt lacking in clean flavors and brightness as is was unnecessarily doused with some kind of creamy heavy Russian type dressing. The “Short Rib Tacos” though are a clear winner!
Service was very pleasant but uneven. We were kept waiting for fairly long spells between certain dishes.
I didn’t fall in love with ABC Cocina the way that I did with ABC Kitchen….but the small plate fare piqued my interest enough to make warrant several revisits.
Here is some of what we ate:
Guacamole with Grapefruit Salsa
Raw Shaved Fluke
Shrimp with Sizzling Garlic and Chili Oil
Short Rib Taco
Grilled Maitake Mushrooms
Salted Caramel ‘Impossible’ Flan
Soft And Crunchy Almond Cake
Food: ☆☆☆☆ ½
Service: ☆☆☆☆ ½
Ambiance: ☆☆☆ ½
Must try: Butternut Squash Ravioli, Fresh Tagliatelle, Gotham Chocolate Cake, Strawberry Parfait with Black Sesame Cake.
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