Robert Sietsema at Banana Leaf
This week in the Voice, Robert Sietsema samples screwpine at Banana Leaf, Sunset Park's new Malaysian outpost. Slurp the super-sour asam laksa for a true sense of the archipelago's aromas.
Going bananas for Malay plates
Eric Asimov savors Sushi Yasuda. His verdict: Even with the departure of famed chef Naomidi Yasuda, the restaurant merits the three stars originally awarded by the Times in 2000: "Here, the creative liberties taken with sushi are a world away. Avocado is an unknown. The chefs do not play around with seasoning, adding jalapeño here and mayonnaise there. Monstrous portions of fish do not overlap the rice like flopping fillets. The classic proportions endure.The restaurant takes pains to advise against overly liberal dousings of soy, wasabi or pickled ginger."
Ryan Sutton finds that he was the only person wearing a tie at Roberta's. He also finds that it's among the city's best pizzerias: "Inside, a wood-burning oven keeps the room hot as hell. Waitresses wear plaid, bartenders sport tattoos and bearded men too young to be balding don wool caps for no good reason. One wall is covered in Mexican Christmas lights. The floor is concrete. Inhale: Roberta's smells of oak embers, always; of toasted garlic, sometimes; of pricey perfume, never."
Adam Platt contributes to Cevichegate, also commenting on La Mar Cebicheria Peruana's raw offerings, which have generally received mixed reviews: "They're pleasingly messy arrangements doused with the chef's spicy lime-based leche de tigre sauce, and the best of them (the fluke-rich Limeño; the shrimp-and-salmon Popular, tossed with crispy calamari) have a complex, compulsively delicious quality, like a cool, curiously healthful stew."
Tables for Two breaks bread at Buvette, finding that the West Village establishment works well for any daily meal: "After a while, you get used to the diminutive proportions and start to look forward to having just a bite or two of everything -- such as the exemplary 'viandes,' which might include creamy rabbit potpie; coq au vin, deeply infused with wine, soft and tender; and perhaps the smallest cassoulet in the world."