A much needed update to the “Bread and Butter” of this blog. Seven year old Hell’s Kitchen Survival Guide still outperforming all other posts year after year. The Z-List and the Turks & Caicos page complete the top three. There are many sources for Hell’s Kitchen out there today but I truly believe this is still the most comprehensive and up to date of the bunch. Most HK guides written by people who dont spend much time there and/or dont really understand the area well. But enough about me…
Whats new in 2020? Mexican, Thai, Ramen, Korean continue to dominate, so naturally three additions fall into that group. I’m seeing more and more Chinese/NOLA style boils popping on 9th, and a slow moving shift from East Village (either opening more locations or moving). Its good news for HK but a little sad because it means owners relying a bit more on tourists. Still, that didnt save some of the places that closed lately like Gloria (I tell ya that location is cursed).
Dropped from the list:
Otto’s Tacos – Still like the shrimp tacos, but getting a little inconsistent.
Mentoku Ramen – Just prefer EAK and the old-guards
Benares – Closed
Gloria – Closed
Merilu Pizza – Closed
Added to the list:
E.A.K. Ramen Hell’s Kitchen – My Ramen of choice these days. First successful infiltration of IEKEI (pronounced EAK) style Ramen in NYC, albeit on tourist heavy restaurant row (46th) for some reason.
UOGASHI – This is it! The Holy Grail in this Sushi deprived Kitchen. An East Village import. The space housed a different sushi place which explains why it took me 6 months to realize and try it.
Le Sia – Its one of those rare situations where I add a place to the guide before my first visit. I’m well too familiar with Le Sia in East Village and what these guys are capable of. Its a very fresh opening. Expect fiery Chinese style crawfish/crab boils, BBQ skewers, and the type of authenticity the neighborhood isnt used to.
Tulcingo Del Valle – Shame on me for waiting this long to add this one. I just never took it very seriously I suppose. A 20 year old Pueblan feels like the last of the neighborhood bodegas. No shortcuts, fresh or bust approach is the secret.
Alan’s Kitchen Mexican Cuisine – This one is a tentative addition as its new and I’ve only been once, but the Carnitas here so far are Mission-esque (Mission District is a Mexican paradise of sorts in SF). The tacos are so good I hear Los Tacos nearby are changing their name to #2
Yay for Restaurant Row which I have mixed feelings about overall though I “mostly like” it. You share the best local info, I swear. This HK local thanks you.