Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ramen Setagaya

Ramen Setagaya [141 First Avenue (bet. St. Mark's Pl. and 9th St.); 34-A St. Mark's Place (bet. 2nd and 3rd Aves.); 90 University Place (bet. 11th and 12th Sts.); Menu (actual menu more extensive)]

A Japanese import, this burgeoning ramen empire is for pork lovers only; vegetarians need not apply. The specialty here is the Shio Ramen. The salt-based broth is really something else and (as far as I know) it is unique among the many ramen joints popping up all over downtown. Coupled with slices of fatty pork, a soft-cooked egg, and of course, a healthy portion of chewy ramen noodles, it provides a richness of flavor not easily equaled. I highly recommend that you give it a try. I don't think it's for everyone, but if you consider yourself a noodle connoisseur, you must at least be aware of what's out there. If you're extra hungry, start with the gyoza.

The University Place location is the biggest of the three, and with multiple locations, you'll never be waiting around for two hours at Setagaya like you might at Ippudo on almost any night of the week.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lam Zhou

Lam Zhou [144 East Broadway (bet. Pike and Rutgers Sts.), Menu]

Also known as Lan Zhou, but always known for great noodles, this is not a place that you go for the ambiance. You do, however, go here for excellent and authentic Chinese noodles and dumplings at very low Chinatown prices (dinner will cost you less than $10 for sure). Oh, and most importantly, you go to watch your noodles get made in front of you!

The experience of watching hand-pulled noodles get made is something like this, but louder and more like magic. A ball of dough becomes the noodles in your soup in a matter of moments and Lam Zhou is worth the trek for that reason alone. I recommend the Beef Soup Noodle for the tender chunks of beef and the best broth. Other options like the pork or duck can have meat that's too bony and bothersome to eat. In addition to noodle soup, the dumplings are a must. They are thin-skinned, filled with pork and chives, and taste very similar to many of the dumplings I had in Beijing. Overall, Lam Zhou is a great Chinatown experience and a good place to kick off a night out on the Lower East Side.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Matilda [647 E. 11th St. (bet. Aves. B and C), Menu]

Mexican + Italian = Matilda. It's a combination that I can truly say I've never seen before and at Matilda it's pulled off wonderfully. In my visit, my friends and I stuck to the simple small plates and I must say that I'm excited to go back and try some more. For starters, we had the guacamole and the bruschetta. The guac had both a twist and a kick to it that was different from the traditional Mexican flavors. Better yet, in addition to the standard tortilla chips, it came with warm, freshly baked focaccia bread for dipping. This was an inspired idea. Meanwhile, the bruschetta also managed to straddle the line between the cuisines (jalapeno olive oil is a pretty clever ingredient) and I would definitely order it again.

For our main course, my friends and I split the tacos so that we could all have one each of the three on offer (you can only order them in sets of three). Each order came with even more guac and was delicious, but if I were alone and had to choose one, I would take the Alla Fiorentina, which features rare filet mignon and does the best job of incorporating both sides of the Mexican and Italian cooking styles. In terms of decor, Matilda is sleek and well-designed, but not intimidating. When you sit down for dinner there, see if you can find the drink menu...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

La Carbonara

La Carbonara [202 W. 14th St. (bet. 7th and 8th Aves.), Menu]

After opening earlier this Spring, La Carbonara has quickly become an Eat Richly favorite. Part of it is because it's about 100 yards from my apartment, but most of it is because it serves very good Italian food at very reasonable prices. Whether eating in the restaurant or ordering take out, the food is fresh and the service is prompt and friendly. It's amazing to me that there aren't more restaurants like this. Why are there so many places charging $17 for a bowl of pasta?

In terms of specifics, all of the pastas are under $10 and I have sampled a wide variety. My top three are the Rigatoni (with eggplants), the Tagliatelle (with shrimp), and the Spaghetti (with meatballs). I recommend sticking to pasta for takeout/delivery, but if you eat in the restaurant, the Short Rib is an excellent choice as well. In addition, the wine list is full of affordable bottles ($20-$30) and the atmosphere is lovely for any occasion. All in all, I highly recommend La Carbonara for lunch or dinner...and I'll have to try their brunch!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pinche Taqueria

Pinche Taqueria [227 Mott St. (bet. Spring and Prince Sts.); 333 Lafayette St. (at Bleecker St.), Menu]

You want some high quality tacos with high quality ingredients? You've come to the right place. The owner says that they are the "only authentic tacos in New York." I say that I don't care. They taste great and they're relatively cheap. The only problem really is that they're fairly small. But that can always be solved by just ordering more of them!

I usually find that three tacos is enough to shut me up though and I like to diversify my portfolio by going with one each of Al Pastor, Pescado, and a rotation of Carne Asada, Carnitas, and Camaron. The Al Pastor and the Pescado are the standouts that I would recommend the most, which is why I always order them. I also like that all the tacos come with a little bit of guacamole already on them (unlike at some places...Chipotle, I'm looking at you).

Both Pinche locations are small and offer the same menu. Much like Daruma next door (to the Mott Street location), Pinche is a great place for a quick and easy lunch or dinner.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Daruma [227 Mott St. (bet. Spring and Prince Sts.), Menu]

I don't know about you all, but I am ALWAYS on the lookout for good places where I can get fast, cheap and easy solo meals. I'm talking about places where you can spend around $10 and be in and out in under 30 minutes (or faster if you do takeout). Daruma is now one of those places for me.

Situated directly next door to another spot that fits the same bill (Pinche Taqueria), Daruma is a tiny Japanese restaurant that specializes in yakitori, known to the layman as "meat on a stick." Sure they offer sushi and other small plates, but that's not the main draw. Each yakitori skewer costs a very reasonable $2 and they have 16 different options across the spectrum of meat, fish, and vegetables, so there is something for everyone. The menu even offers photos of each one so you know exactly what you're getting into before you order it.

The two times that I have eaten there, five skewers have been enough to leave me sated, although if you're particularly hungry, you might want to try six or get an appetizer. My fave five selection is: Yotsumi Chicken Tender, Gyu Tender Beef, Bacon with Scallop, Shu Mai, Grilled Salmon. Each skewer is packed with strong flavors, nothing subtle, but they taste great and are quite addictive. Go alone or in a small group, so you can sample a few more options, and you'll definitely leave satisfied.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Num Pang

Num Pang [21 E. 12th St. (bet. 5th Ave. and University Pl.), Menu]

Vietnam and the bahn mi better watch out because Cambodia is fighting back with Num Pang. The sandwiches may be smaller (and more expensive) than the bahn mi that I am used to, but they pack some serious flavor into that package. My choice for the evening was the Pulled Duroc Pork and I'm still trying to figure out why I didn't order a second one as soon as I finished the first. I can't wait to try the catfish (also on my list for next time is the corn). The ingredients are good (every sandwich comes with your choice of filling along with cucumber, pickled carrots, cilantro, and chili mayo), but what really makes the sandwich is the bread. Baked by Parisi Bakery, these six-inch rolls are heated and cooked to the perfect consistency: hard enough to provide resistance, but soft enough to bite right through. The combination of flavors in each bite is completely addictive.

As far as the facilities go, this is largely a takeout (and soon to be delivery) joint. You order downstairs and there are a few seats upstairs, but if you're with more than one or two people, you should definitely take it to Washington Square Park, Union Square, or your apartment...if it lasts that long.

Update (4/22/09):

I tried the catfish and it was just as delicious as the pork, if not more so. It featured a significant piece of fish, along with the same great bread and regular toppings that make Num Pang's sandwiches such a smashing success. I also had an ear of corn. It was well-grilled (good consistency, not too dried out) and well-flavored with the chili mayo and chili powder, but I wouldn't consider it an essential accompaniment to the sandwich. It is, however, a very good complementary dish.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

About Eat Richly

As a lifelong New Yorker, world traveler, and someone whose day almost invariably revolves around food, I am a go-to resource for my friends about where to eat in New York City. So I figured instead of spending so much time responding to phone calls, text messages, and e-mails, I could just send everyone to EatRichly.com instead. That was in November 2005.

Some site re-designs, a logo, and nearly 200 restaurants later, I think that things have worked out pretty well.

If you like what you see, please support the site by purchasing some Eat Richly merchandise! You can find t-shirts, hats, mugs and more at the Eat Richly Shop.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions about the site (or you want to have to meal with me), please contact me.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Zerza [304 E. 6th St (bet. 1st and 2nd Aves.) 212-529-8250]
Lovely service and great food make this East Village Moroccan restaurant a great place to try something different. The atmosphere, which includes music and sometimes belly dancing, lends an air of authenticity to the proceedings. As for the food, there are a couple of good appetizers to try. Depending on your tastes, I would recommend the extremely sweet Saganaki (fried Feta cheese with pure honey) or the Marinated Tomato Salad with Feta Cheese. For my main course, I was desperate for some cous cous, so I ordered the lamb variety. It was excellent. The lamb was succulent and the blend of toppings on the cous cous was wonderful enough to make sure that I cleaned my plate. The tagine was good as well. Try a red Algerian wine, which is sweet and a fine complement to the food. If you feel like relaxing, top things off with a hookah.

Za Za

Za Za [1207 First Ave. (bet. 65th and 66th Sts.) 212-772-9997]
This sister restaurant to Mediterraneo serves up food just as good, but it is almost never crowded and it delivers! Za Za is especially good in the summer when the back garden is open and they offer an incredible $10 lunch special.


Yuka [1557 Second Ave. (bet. 80th and 81st Sts.) 212-772-9675]
An all-you-can-eat paradise and long-time favorite among me and my friends. For just $18.00, you can stuff yourself with tuna, salmon, and other favorites until you have gills. Unlike most places with this same deal, the fish is pretty high quality. For those without such a large appetite, most other food is fairly inexpensive as well. And portions tend to be huge.

The Yale Club

The Yale Club [50 Vanderbilt Ave. (at 44th St.) 212-716-2100]
See how the other half lives at this fine dining experience. Choose from one of three dining rooms: the Tap Room, the Grill Room, or the Roof Dining Room. The Roof Dining Room is the fanciest, but I usually take my meals in the Tap Room. The two best options here are both lunches: Sushi Tuesdays (an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet) and Seafood Fridays (an all-you-can-eat shrimp, oyster, and crab claw extravaganza). I also recommend Pasta Pasta on Thursday. Note: Meals taste better when you are wearing a suit.

Won Jo

Won Jo [23 W. 32nd St. (bet. 5th Ave. and Broadway) 212-695-5815]
An excellent Korean BBQ restaurant. They have all the standards and they taste very good. Also a nice atmosphere and the grill is powered by real coals that they bring to your table. Prices are standard.


'wichcraft [49 E. 19th St. (bet. Broadway and Park Ave. S.) 212-780-0577]
For those New Yorkers from New Haven who miss Gourmet Heaven. 'wichcraft allows to create your own sandwich from an array of delicious ingredients. But it comes at a price, an expensive one. The sandwiches are good enough, however, to merit a visit anyway.

Turquoise Seafood

Turquoise Seafood [240 E. 81st St. (bet. 2nd and 3rd Aves.) 212-988-8222]
Owned and run by a friendly Israeli man, this seafood restaurant offers fresh fish from around the Mediterranean. The setting is beautifully designed and there is excellent food to go along with it. Good appetizers include the Homemade Tzaziki, the Grilled Vegetables, and I would think the Zucchini Medallions as well. As for main courses, you must have fish, either whole, or prepared in one of a variety of ways. The Chilean Sea Bass, the Red St. Peter's (Tilapia), and the Salmon Fillet en Papillote (cooked in parchment paper) were all especially good. Then, if you're not too full, top your meal off with an exquisite molten chocolate cake.