I have a friend coming in from LA in a couple of weeks, and I suspect he will want to go to a sort of trendy (but not terrible) restaurant and then, most likely, to a club. I admit that I have been pretty curious about Buddakan after the largely favorable NYT review and have been looking for an excuse to go. This type of place (and the Meatpacking in general) isn't really my scene anymore, but I expect that it would bring with it some of the usual annoyances. All that said, has anyone tried the food and enjoyed it? Do the sceney aspects detract dramatically from that experience?
I have only had drinks at the bar where there is a horrible set-up with people on top of one another, so unless you can grab a communal table in the bar area to sit (and people are still on top of you)I wouldn't reccommend going for just a drink.
But two people on separate occassions who have eaten here have told me the food was spectacular compared to the other asian-fusion cuisine in the city.
Oh and it must not be "that hip" b/c when I went there were a lot of tourists and children bringing their out of town parents here for dinner.
I enjoyed Buddakan when I went. We had a large group and were able to order a lot which was nice and the decor definently did not detract from the food. I thought the short ribs and the edamane dumplings were fantastic as well.
I was there Friday and really enjoyed it. Both the tea smoked chicken and the chocolate semifreddo with earl grey cream were delicious. But, I'm still dreaming about the General Tso's dumplings. UNBELIEVEABLY good.
Yes, Haleyjen and Roze are right. The food, for such an over-the-top place, is suprisingly good. I was with a large group at the main table downstairs and both the food and service were excellent.
The decor is like sitting in the middle of a film set. Which one? How 'bout a cross between the Last Samurai and one of the Asian scenes from Kill Bill. (The night I was there, Uma walked through, and the sound of jaws hitting table-tops was quite something!)
I've been to Buddakahn and (same company) Morimoto and loved both - they are both great scenes and great food.
At Buddakahn I highly recommend the following:
calamari pillow salad
tuna tartar spring rolls
Shrimp and Lobster Chow Fun
crab fried rice