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Fun restaurants in the East Village/Lower East Side

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Does anyone have any suggestions for fun restaurants in the Lower East Side/East Village. I was looking for something Chinese or Vietnamese perhaps. Fun but not pretentious. It's a company dinner, but not too expensive.

Thanks

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  1. tons of them how many people?? on 1st and 1st are a few chez es saada, prune, elephant walk, boca chica. just for starters.

    1. The best Chinese restaurant I know close to the East Village is Congee Village on Allen just south of Delancey St. It has over-the-top tropical jungle decor that might or might not be to your liking, but it is not overly pretentious, is popular with groups of people dining together (more Chinese people than non-Chinese), and has terrific food. The only problem I have with the restaurant is that the staff tend to tolerate smoking unless you insist on having whoever is smoking put the cigarette out (then they do so). Also, the staff do not tend to speak a lot of English, so don't ask too many questions; just get whatever seems like it might be interesting.