I don’t know anyone who reads the New York Times. Heck, I don’t know anyone who reads newspapers. Half of my friends don’t even read. I just asked my kids if they even heard of the New York Times… No!! Ok, they are 2 and 3 but still, you get the point. With that said when a restaurant is mentioned in the NYT positively and gets at least one star, look out. To some this is a bigger deal than a Michelin Star. You may even argue that the verdict doesn’t matter as Guy Fieri found out. Attention is attention
On Saturday I took my wife and 4 friends to Lakruwana, a Sri Lankan spot in Staten Island that I’ve written about before here. As soon as we entered the restaurant I suspected something was wrong. Still waiting for water and menus, or a human 20 minutes in, that feeling slightly intensified. Before you knew it, a ‘Godfather’ like line of locals and hipsters out the door trying to get the owner’s attention which we so desperately needed as well. The place was packed. but then it hit me. I’m there for the exact same reason as everyone else. I also read the NYT article a few days earlier about Lakruwana and felt the same urge to cancel my plans (Briskettown in Williamdburg) and go there.
Eventually things settled down, the hipsters left, and we got our food, albeit all the dishes at the same time which is always fun (since there was no room at least one dish had to be held by someone). The food for the most part was very good. Quite an excellent Mulligatawny soup to start things off. Good Lamprais, Hoppers, Kottu Roti (first for me) but what stole the show on this particular night was the Deviled Chicken which I couldnt get enough of.
After the meal the owner confirmed to me that they were simply not prepared or didnt know how to prepare for this. Still, Lakruwana, with its museum like settings and terrific cheap food is quite possibly the best reason for hipsters to take the ferry over. Except perhaps right after a NYT mention, or during a festival in Bushwick