Best Dishes Eater Editors Ate This Week, August 2021



The amount of excellent food available in New York City is staggering – even during a pandemic – but mediocre meals somehow continue to find their way into our lives. With the Eater editors who sometimes dine several times a day, we meet many remarkable dishes, and we don’t want to keep any secrets. Check back every week to check out the best things we ate this week, so you can too.

August 9

Laab neua khom to Mao Mao

One of the best Thai chefs in town, Arada Moonroj de Lamoon, along with owner Jugkrwut Borin, opened a restaurant just as revolutionary as Ugly Baby was when it started out. Mao Mao, located on the Bed-Stuy side of Broadway in Brooklyn and now over a year old, is a deep hole in the ground with DJ dance music, Thai merchandise and posters on every surface, a wall projected with Asian sci-fi cinema without soundtrack, and a level of light that would be suitable for a cave bat. Ignore these slight distractions and enjoy an amazing array of dishes, including this beef laab flavored with grilled rice powder, purple onion, lime juice and cow’s bile, and spicy as hell. . No better drink to wash it off than a selection from Mao Mao’s beer list. 1000 Broadway, at Willoughby Avenue, Bedford-Stuyvesant – Robert Sietsema, Senior Reviewer

Tacos, burritos and fries at Taqueria Diana.
Luke Fortney / Eater

Great Rajas Fries at Taqueria Diana

West Coast expats flock to Taqueria Diana for its tasty burritos, filled with rice, beans, cheese and cream in the style of San Francisco’s Mission District. The burritos are not to be missed, but if circumstances permit, divide a plate of the restaurant’s “super fries”, a cousin of Southern California’s carne asada fries. Similar to poutine from Quebec or disco fries from neighboring New Jersey, Mexican chefs in San Diego popularized their own dish of fries loaded in the 1990s by topping fried potatoes with salsa, cream, cheese, and generally steak. Versions of the dish have made their way to New York City over the years, but Taqueria Diana serves some of the best this Southern California has yet to have. The fries manage to retain their crispy exterior, even absorbing the juice of carne asada, al pastor or, in our case, poblano peppers with cheese. 367 Metropolitan Avenue, between Havemayer and North Fourth streets, Williamsburg – Luke Fortney, reporter

French Fries at Bar Boulud

Here’s an encouraging sign for New York’s hotel scene: As Lincoln Center continues to rebound with outdoor entertainment, patrons are literally spilling out to nearby restaurants that depend on the performing arts for their survival. Rosa Mexicano, Cafe Fiorello, and The Smith all displayed some serious outdoor crowds on a recent Friday, although a companion and I managed to snag one last table at Bar Boulud. It was not a particularly remarkable meal. We sampled some reasonably forgettable hummus and baba ganoush ($ 20), as well as a $ 27 overworked gourmet burger (angus beef, sundried tomatoes, raclette, pork belly) that seemed to blend in with generic blandness. But luckily for us this burger came with a bunch of fries. It was the type of bistro fries I had done without for much of their pandemic: thin, golden, slightly crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. I spent about 30 minutes soaking them in mayonnaise and Tabasco while I sipped a Nolet gin martini. Fries and a strong drink are indeed an almost perfect way to spend a summer evening. 1900 Broadway, near Lincoln Plaza, Upper West Side – Ryan Sutton, chief critic

adobada tostada

Adobada tostada in Serrano Salsa.
Bao Ong / Eater

Adobada tostada in Serrano Salsa

It took me a few weeks since I moved to my new neighborhood, but I finally found that place where New Yorkers keep speed dial for take out or that reliable place you always pass on the metro path. Serrano Salsa ticked all the boxes: the neon-lit storefront offers affordable, quick, delicious, and hangover-friendly dishes. I stumbled across this Mexican restaurant in the early evening, hungry – not after a night of overdoing it, mind you – and my eyes quickly fell on the adobada tostada ($ 4.25). The generous fried tortilla was bursting with juicy, smoky chunks of al pastor, mashed refried beans, cream, several different salsas, and a handful of herbs. It was filling for a snack and an order of two could easily make a decent dinner. I had my take out order, but I was too hungry and ended up chopping the entire order on a nearby park bench. It was my kind of welcome moment in the neighborhood. 4979 Broadway, between West 211th and 212th Street, Inwood – Bao Ong, editor-in-chief

August 2nd

A bowl of noodle soup with shrimp, pork and fish balls, with broth and chili oil in separate bowls, on top.

Cambodian noodle soup in New York Bo Ky.
Robert Sietsema / Eater

Cambodian noodle soup in New York Bo Ky

For decades, Bo Ky, at the corner of Mulberry and Bayard, has been the flagship of Teochew restaurants in the city’s Chinatowns – cuisine created by Chinese immigrants from Chaosan, many of whom have spent generations in Southeast Asia, and have their own versions of dishes from the subcontinent. In this much more recent offshoot of Bo Ky that focuses primarily on noodles and is located in an area known for its Vietnamese restaurants, a spectacular soup called simply Cambodian Noodles ($ 10) is on offer. The rich broth is served on the side, the egg noodles are stringy and chewy, and a wonderful collection of meats and seafood is included: sliced ​​pork, ground pork, large deveined shrimp, and unbalanced, delicately flavored fishballs made. House. Don’t forget to pour in the chili oil. For those who haven’t had a taste of Cambodian cuisine – which is all too rare in New York – this is a great introduction. 94 Baxter Street, between Canal and Bayard streets, Chinatown – Robert Sietsema, senior reviewer

A blurred photograph of a lonely soup dumpling sitting in a bamboo steamboat at night

A lonely pork soup dumpling at Wei’s.
Luke Fortney / Eater

Pork soup dumplings at Wei’s

“This photo was much better at 2 am Friday,” I thought at 9 am this morning. Late-night meals – like the flash photography it inspires – have made a triumphant comeback in recent weeks, and one of the best bets for a good after-hours meal is Wei’s. This fast-paced Chinese restaurant stays open until 2 a.m. most nights and borrows some energy from Williamsburg’s Black Flamingo Cocktail Bar, located just across the street. Order a plate of pea shoots for the table and a basket of the restaurant’s succulent pork soup dumplings for yourself ($ 9). They come at six for an order and are a nourishing way to end or punctuate an evening. 145 Borinquen Place, near South First Street, Williamsburg – Luke Fortney, reporter

Three pieces of red-orange fried chicken placed in a black plastic take-out container with red sauce at the bottom of the container

Pecking House Chili Fried Chicken.
Erika Adams / Eater

Pecking House Chili Fried Chicken Meal

I don’t even remember how many months I had to wait for this chicken dinner ($ 35), but when someone showed up at my door last Friday with a transport of fried chicken and a Tsingtao lager wrapped in an ice pack doesn’t matter anymore. The chicken is as good as promised – the crisp, crispy crust, covered with Tianjin peppers and Sichuan pepper, kept my lips buzzing for an hour – but the three sides included were the sleeper kick of this meal for me. The sliced ​​cucumbers in a creamy and refreshing sauce were a perfect pairing with the chicken, and I inhaled the smoky and flavorful salad of thick and chewy butter beans mixed with cilantro and sesame seeds. I could turn around and get back on the waiting list for the second round, but, for those who don’t want to wait for delivery: Pecking House just spear alfresco dining on weekends in his Queens restaurant. 18523 Union Turnpike, between 185th and 186th St, Fresh Meadows – Erika Adams, journalist

Korean pancake with seafood

Seafood and green onion pancake at the Monkey Noodle Bar.
Bao Ong / Eater

Seafood and Scallion Pancake at Monkey Noodle Bar

There is always this person in a Thai restaurant who has to order a pad Thai. When it comes to Korean restaurants, I’m that friend who always orders haemul pajeon, even though I do so with a pang in my heart. It sounds like the most basic order, but at the Monkey Noodle Bar the Seafood and Scallion Pancake ($ 19.99) was the best take on this crowd favorite I have ever tasted in recent memory. . Many versions are dense with too much dough and others are too fatty. The tasty crispy pancake at this new Flushing restaurant is perfect: it’s slightly thicker than a restaurant pancake and the seafood / starch ratio is perfect. A waiter will cut the pancake into triangles next to the table and almost every bite includes plump shrimp or octopus with this desirable QQ texture. As my friend and I fought for the final piece, we learned the lesson: when a classic is good, there’s no shame in ordering it every time. 41-27 162nd Street, between Station Road and Sanford Avenue, Flushing – Bao Ong, editor-in-chief



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