Robert Sietsema at Coluck; Lauren Shockey at Sao Mai and Xe May Sandwich Shop
Robert Sietsema wanders around the Chinatown Arcade and samples some Chinese-fusion café fare at Coluck: "Well, they'll feed you cheaply and copiously with foods that seem like a merging of neighborhood Chinese and the cooking of a culinarily challenged English mom who, strapped for time, pulls a box of prefab something or other out of the pantry."
Lauren Shockey tries out two Vietnamese joints in the East Village and finds "the apotheosis of culinary trendiness" -- banh mi tacos.
Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite hit up Jack's Wife Freda and find the food "homey, delicious, and wonderfully satisfying."
Pete Wells tries some modern Korean cuisine at Jungsik: "New Yorkers who crave Korean cuisine for its militant strafings of chile paste and raw garlic may find that Jungsik takes some getting used to. Its goal is refinement, for better and, at times, for worse."