Tejal Rao at Pok Pok Ny; Robert Sietsema on Eldridge Street
Robert Sietsema Peanut Sauce Noodles at Yi Zhang Fishball, Inc
Tejal Rao fights the crowds and manages to snatch a seat at Pok Pok Ny: "Ricker gives traditional dishes attention and respect but doesn't fetishize them or price them unreasonably. That's why there are crowds. Go! You're likely to enjoy most every dish, unless you bring along a killjoy who insists on measuring food's authenticity by his own pseudoscientific criterion."
Robert Sietsema decides to review an entire street this week. He files a piece on Eldridge Street for this week's the Voice: "Recently, three wildly inexpensive restaurants have opened up, each with its own unique attributes."
Pete Wells gives one star to Hakksan: "There behind the screen was a squadron of woks blasted by flames that looked hot enough to refine steel. Each one was being tended by a white-jacketed cook, and each cook had the focus of a cobra. If you were in a cooking competition and this gang was the other team, you'd take one look and think, 'It's over.'"
Another review for Hakkasan. From Steve Cuzzo of the New York Post: "But most tabs make you gag even when dishes are tolerable, a benchmark intermittently achieved. You don't have to share the dumb view that Chinese food "should" be cheap to recoil from the $24 fee for a phalanx of duck and mango slices marching through icky-sweet "lemon" sauce."
The Daily News gets back to restaurant reviews. Their inaugural review is of Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya: "When the kitchen scores, the results can be spectacular. The oxtail and bone marrow fried rice, a smooth fusion of western and Japanese influences, delivers a perfect balance of fat and flavor."
Jay Cheshes goes for Yunnan restaurants Lotus Blue and Yunnan Kitchen: "Both serve food so distinctive--fruity, floral, occasionally spicy--that the uninitiated might not identify it as Chinese at all. With essentially no competition (that Brooklyn joint serves only noodle soups), you might have to take it on faith that this is what real Yunnan food tastes like."
127 Columbia St., New York, NY