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Another Request for Opinions - Spice Market, Perilla or Morimoto

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I know Chowhound is littered with these types of requests, but my wife and i are traveling to NYC from Chicago for a long weekend and after a lot of research (which sometimes can fill your head with too many options) we have settled on Allen and Delancey, Babbo and one "open" night.

While we enjoy all types of food across all prices/settings, i want to go to a place that has a fun, lively environment and food that won't leave me hungry and/or upset i just dropped a couple hundred bucks.

I have narrowed it down to Spice Market (fun space, food looks good), Morimoto (again, space, interesting menu, i know it's trendy/played out but my biggest fear is ambivalent service, leaving hungry) and Perilla, which seems much more neighborhood-y and laid back. All opinions welcome. Thanks.

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  1. I wouldn't recommend Spice Market if you're worried about value, because despite the fun decor and vibe, the food is rather ordinary for the prices. Perilla is very good as a quintessential West Village neighborhood New American joint, and the prices aren't too bad. Haven't been to Morimoto but I've heard mixed things.

    1. If it weren't mediocre and overpriced, Spice Market would be a good idea because it is a completely different type of food from A & D and Babbo. If you want pan-Asian but with better food and lower prices, go to Chow Bar. It has a lively atmosphere and fun decor, too.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rrems

        For me, I'd do dinner at Perilla (intimate West Village location) with drinks afterward at Morimoto (theatrical scene restaurant in the Meatpacking District). During the walk between the two, check out the streetscape of the Chelsea Market. Very fun.

        Spice market is attractive, busy and buzzing. But, it has slapdash service and just ok food. More dramatic than delicious.

        1. re: cortez

          Spice Mkt - really dont like this place, the place itself is fine, but the food is terrible

          Perilla - i like this place, very different vibe as you have observed, but i thought the food was surprisingly good when i ate there...i love the west village, so im sort of biased...eat there and grab drinks at turks and frogs

          Morimoto - i think morimoto is very dependent on what dishes you order although i do like the place, some of their dishes like the spicy king crab app, rock shrimp tempura, some of the carpaccios, tuna pizza and few others i like quite a bit, but id stick to alot of the apps and avoid the main dishes which ive thought are very underwhelming with the exception of the steak also sushi is pretty mediocre

      2. I wouldn't recommend Spice Market for value either. I was not really impressed with my meal at Morimoto I did the tasting menu and felt a lot of the dishes were off, strange combinations of thing that didn't work. They have great bathrooms though. I have done all three tastings at Nobu and loved each one. Perilla is just as you said intimate, neighborhoody, great food.

        1. if you want a cool big space with above-par asian fusion, i think i'd do buddakan over spice market. morimoto i havent been to, but think i would do megu instead if you want japanese combined with space.

          i was just at perilla last week, and it was a great meal. delicious food, good vibe without being pretentious at all. however, this might not be quite different enough from A&D - inventive, nouveau american twists. that being said, to combine the two, while perilla is certainly nouveau american i'd say, the asian influences on a number of things is more than a little visible.

          i agree - pick somewhere splashy and silly to go for drinks later, but maybe be careful not to waste a meal on it.