Just went to Vox, the new Latino-Fusion place on 8th Ave between 18 and 19th Streets, and had a marvelous meal. Had excellent oysters to start, then macadamic-crusted mahi mahi with carmelized pineapple and some dark sauce with succulent, crunchy rings of octopus. Bread was excellent, lighting perfect, and the main courses were very reasonable -- from around $13 or $14 to about $18 or so. The mandarin orange sorbet was also excellent, really excellent. My friend loved his coriander-crusted tuna, which I should have paid more attention to except that I was so taken with my delicious, colorful dish than I saw nothing else.
It sounds as if they may have a new chef. I went there alot when they opened last year due to their proximity to the Joyce Theater, and unfortunately it went steadily downhill from "reasonable and good" to "terrible food and service" as time went on. I never planned to return after my last visit when I ordered a dish just so I could have the delicious sounding side dish of asian rice noodles described on the menu, and instead had a pile of Italian pasta served, with the excuse that it was the "chef's interpretation of asian rice noodles", that "after all this wasn't an asian restaurant so I shouldn't expect the rice noodles that were listed on the menu". Plus, they left my dinner companion sitting outside for 1/2 hour, after they assured me that they would seat her with me as soon as she arrived, that I was welcome to wait for her at our table. The only reason I discovered her was because I was going outside to call her to find out why she was so late. Hmmm, so maybe I may not try it again....Any other new reports on Vox or on other good restaurants near the Joyce Theater (19th St. and 8th Avenue)
re: Claire Li
I've always liked Spice which has inexpensive Thai food in a nice setting. I know nothing about Thai food so I can't vouch for authenticity, but everything is always fresh tasting and delicious.
Le Gamin (on 9th, I think) is great for lingering over a crepe -- either for dinner or dessert.
Have only had (excellent) appetizers at the bar, but am looking forward to having dinner at Cuba Libre one of these days.