EV Bites is a monthly(ish) feature, showcasing 5 places in or around East Village you should know about. I will occasionally extend the border to Nolita and LES, and maybe even mention a name more than once. The East Village neighborhood, in case you’ve been living under a rock, or Staten Island is an incubator for top industry talent, and a goldmine of world cuisine.
Silky Kitchen – I cant keep up with all the new Chinese in the area. The depth and the range of the different kinds of cuisines and types of establishments is overwhelming. Silky is another Hunanese noodle quicky. The dry noodle plates pack plenty of flavor, with the noodles being a tad too silky and soft for my taste, but still good. The dish to get so far is the beef and Daikan dumplings. Very close to dumpling Perfection.
Tatsu Ramen (top)- Its Ramen season here. But when is it Ramen season in LA exactly? Tatsu is an LA based Tonkotsu Ramen shop that operates like some shops in Tokyo. Walk in, order your food and drinks (even if it means free water) from the iPad on the wall, slide your card, and bring the printed receipt to the host who will sit you. On your table you are presented with all sorts of condiments including fresh garlic for your annual fresh garlic press. My “Bold Ramen” wasnt quite bold but above average, not too rich porkiness. The pork belly was sliced thin which I prefer, and the egg was a soft boiled whole which I also like. Another great fast casual option on 1st
Vish – I mentioned Vish in a recent Hummus feature. But after a few more visits its becoming more and more evident that this may be the best Hummus in the city. Its not a question of whether they make Hummus daily but how many times each day. The result is silky smooth, as creamy as it gets without being watery, with fantastic flavor to boot.
Martina – The super competitive environment in East Village sometimes produces mysterious results. Places open with “success” written all over them, sometimes unexpectedly close or change. Martina abandoned the Roman fast casual concept, and as of last week its a full service restaurant, inching a bit closer to big sister Marta. While the concept is different, the value is pretty much the same. The pizzas are more expensive, but two inch larger, the beans and the rest of the hits are still on the menu, and there are some new additions.
Hi-Collar – There are a few guarantees in the East Village. Veselka and Cafe Mogador will be packed for Brunch. You will find black Squirrels in Tompkins Park. And Hi-Collar will have a line outside mid afternoon. Its a Japanese coffeehouse by day, sake bar by night, owned by a guy (Bon Yagi) that owns quite a few establishments in “Little Japan” (East 9th, 10th). Come for the Omurice (fluffy omelette over rice), stay for the Mentai Pasta – like the Japanese Cacio e pepe