Buddhas Flying Below Radar
Well I wish more could have been done to rescue the sacred statues of Afghanistan back in February when the Talaban were (was?) bent on destroying them. One of them, I believe, is/was the largest Buddha statue in the world. I guess we could have known what was coming next...Anyway, I know of an Afghan restaurant in the Baruch College area called Bamiyan (I think that's the name of the largest Buddha or the region it is in). It is on 26th Street and Third Avenue. They serve those unbelievable home-made noodles with yoghurt and herbs (sour sauce, tender pasta, a lot of garlic, but still a little bland...unbeatable textures however). Also something called an Herb Salad is huge, has a really good, though not completely home-made dressing (which totally works however!), and tons of watercress. Some of the seats are booths where you sit on the floor. The owner seems quite well educated and almost bohemian. Haven't been there since January. It was actually in Zagat 2000, but not 2001. Can a restaurant choose not to be in Zagat?
Yes, a restaurant can opt out of Zagat, but it may need to be sneaky. A place I know in the West Village got itself dropped; when Zagat's people phoned to update their information, the owner told them that the restaurant had closed and that there was now a shoe store on the site. Apparently no one from Zagat went down to check it out, because when the 2001 edition came out, this place (which had gotten respectable ratings in previous editions) was no longer listed.