new york city

Legend

Legend is my new go-to Sichuan fix in New York City. It deserves this fair warning: the dishes are very spicy. For people like me, that is a plus. The appetizers here are on the smaller side, but their prices are competitively suited for the size. On the other hand, the entrees come in rather large portions. Therefore, for a table of two, an appetizer and entrée with rice OR two entrees should do the trick, give or take an appetizer or two. The flavors here are pretty authentic and provide no mercy with the amount of peppers and cilantro in the dishes. Strangely, some of the dishes mix in cheaper...

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Empire Cake Bakery

I happened to be passing by when I saw an amazing layered cake in its window. This fabulous, rotating cake was decorated with many iconic symbols and artworks for Pride Day 2014: As someone whose favorite dessert is an exotic fruit, my perfect level of sweetness is relatively low to medium. The snowball offered at Empire Cake Bakery had a very nice texture without being overly sweet. The cake filling and marshmallow complemented each other well. Perhaps head here for a wedding cake, though I’m not too sure. There seemed to be a lot of promotion for catered cakes in-store. Planning...

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Otafuku

My favorite hole-in-the-wall takoyaki joint has moved its location to a slightly bigger store that fits more than three customers inside! Its menu expanded as well to include nutella and banana taiyaki. Takoyai is a ball-shaped Japanese snack usually made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special pan. Otafuku fills them with a generous piece of octopus (tako), ginger, and onion. The restaurant decorates the order of six balls with a dark takoyaki sauce and pink bonito (dried squid) flakes, which is used in many Japanese soup broths. Get the set with the octopus balls and Taiyaki is a Japanese...

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Xi’an Famous Foods (Bayard St)

For all who are not aware, Xi'an Famous Foods - dubbed hipster Chinese food by New York magazine - is a chain restaurant opened by Chinese American Jason Wang and his father. Some of the chain's most notable dishes include cold skin noodles, freshly hand-ripped noodles, savory Chinese street cart style burgers, and lamb head salad. The restaurants are located in various locations in Queens and Manhattan. The Bayard Street location in Chinatown is a decent location with about 35 stools on long tables and wall counters. Since I had first discovered one of this chain's original locations in Flushing...

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Fresca La Crepe

Fresca La Crepe is owned and run by an insightful and friendly chef Patricia Chu. It is one of the most intimate and friendly places in New York City to grab a French crepe. The menu is generally small but appropriate for the hole-in-the-wall restaurant. Choose from the small and satisfying selection of savory and sweet crepes as well as an accompaniment of an exceptional cold/hot drink. This crepe joint is conveniently located near the 61st/Woodside 7 train station.

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Greenwich Grill

This Tokyo-Italian fusion is satisfying. Greenwich Grill has made two lasting impressions on me already in terms of service and raw fish. I am comforted in knowing that walking into this restaurant, the lunch menu can satiate my needs for proper nutrition, no matter what I order, with a good amount of vegetables (what I truly appreciate), starch, carbohydrates, and protein. This also reveals an attempt to balance flavors well. The restaurant, table, seating, and food design carries well the Japanese's attention to detail when food is involved. Some of the waitresses are Japanese, as the art on the walls...

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Juliana’s Pizza

Follow Patsy & Carol Grimaldi from Grimaldi's (previously considered the second best or best pizza in NYC), who sold the branding, to the restaurant in the old location. The new branding went to the restaurant next door which is grander. However, the old location is where the new joint, Juliani's, lives and remains to be the pizza people remember. This does not happen a lot, but the new brand owner's lawyer forgot to add in a no competition clause. This is your brick oven fancy pizza place, where you must buy by the pie. There is limited seating, but smaller lines, with everyone going next...

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Mermaid Oyster Bar

Immediately walking into the Mermaid Oyster Bar, I was distracted by the lively bar, and dimly lit setting with high chairs and booths (my favorite type of furniture). The busboys made up for the busy, though accommodating waitresses. This restaurant is a good dinner place. Though I couldn't bring myself to order any of the seafood plates (small or big) because while I was not necessarily craving lobster rolls or crudo, the items did not seem to be interesting enough to justify their prices either. The crackers provided as a starter came with chilled butter and tasted nice topped with its poppy...

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Felidia NYC

Felidia is one of many restaurants that are not clearly branded to be owned by Lidia Bastianich, but yes, it is her Manhattan East Side flagship. The restaurant overall is classy and utilizes computerized reservations (meaning you should make one!). The menu constantly changes with different specials. Unless you're ready to dish out some cash for the prix fixe meal (the chef is impressive enough to make it worth your while), I recommend the pastas (I love all types of noodles). There is a gluten-free option. Remember to reserve a table. Felidia NYC: 243 East 58th Street, New York, NY 10022 +...

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Sake Bar Hagi

Recently, my twin wanted to come here with a bunch of people, and I was supposed to publish this so she can order without me. However, I ended up going with her, so that was easy. This post is going to be reflective of that particular night, since the menu has so many items. Simply put, Sake Bar Hagi is a great location in the Theater District for typical sake bar appetizers and booze. Get a cheap snack here or go all out with the variety of raw and cooked seafood. Note that the entrance is somewhat hidden because this place is in the basement. This is what we ordered (and watch out for cool...

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