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Unpretentious Ethnic

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We will be staying in SOHO at the Blue Moon for a few nights; and we are intererested in unpretentious ethnic dining in addition to our splurges at some more publicized places. Spanish and Asian cuisine recommendations would be ouir preference. We can certainly travel beyond walking distance.

Thanks.

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Blue Moon Mexican Cafe
1444 1st Ave, New York, NY 10021

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  1. Noodle Bar @ 25 Carmine St. They have another place on the LES too.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Motosport

      My 2 cents--with all the good Asian food in NY I wouldn't give Noodle Bar a second thought. I tried it twice...OK in a pinch but otherwise watered down pan-Asian.

      Anyway, in Manhattan it's so easy to get anywhere that walking distance shouldn't be a determinant, so I'd suggest you just check various threads depending on the kind of food you're interested in. For Asian: better than going to any Grand Sichuan, you should head to 39th Street to either Szechuan Gourmet or Lan Sheng. Not that Grand SIchuan isn't good, but these are both better. I wouldn't bother with Thai or Viet in Manhattan, but I'm a fan of Kampuchea for gussied up Cambodian food (not "authentic" but very good). If you're into ramen you should give Ippudo a shot. I'd also recommend Ariyoshi on E. 53rd for a very authentic, unpretentious Japanese izakaya. Nyonya is very good for Malaysian-Chinese. For a while the Chinatown branch seemed to have taken a quality back seat to the Brooklyn branch, but recently I think the equation has flipped.

      For Indian, the thali at Saravanaas is the best South Indian veg. food I've had in the U.S.

      For Spanish: If you don't mind cramped small places, I'd recommend Las Ramblas in the Village for great tapas.

      http://petercherches.blogspot.com

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      Ariyoshi
      226 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022

      Szechuan Gourmet
      21 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

      Las Ramblas
      170 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

      Ippudo
      65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

      Lan Sheng
      60 W 39th St, New York, NY 10018

      1. re: Peter Cherches

        I like Nyonya too. But just remember to bring cash with you... I don't think they take credit cards!

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        Nyonya
        199 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

    2. There's a very good branch of Grand Sichuan International about a 15 - 20 minute walk away. Great food and ambiance well above your average Chinese restaurant. I wrote a couple of posts about it last year.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5843...

      Grand Sichuan
      15 7th Ave S, New York, NY 10014

      1. Some options to look into are Kuma Inn, which you can find many threads on on this board, as well as two places that I have enjoyed that fly somewhat below the radar: Mercat, a tapas spot, and Suenos, with Mexican (Mexico City-style)

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        Kuma Inn
        113 Ludlow St, New York, NY 10002

        Mercat
        45 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012

        Suenos
        311 West 17th Street, New York, NY 10011

        2 Replies
        1. re: orthorunner

          while i also enjoy Mercat, it may be too pretentious for the OP. i would recommend Sevilla or El Faro, or even La Nacional instead.

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          Mercat
          45 Bond Street, New York, NY 10012

          La Nacional
          239 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

          Sevilla
          62 Charles St, New York, NY 10014

          El Faro
          823 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10014

          1. re: coasts

            Sevilla has been awful every time I've gone in the past 10-20 years (it used to be excellent, a long time ago). I haven't been to El Faro in the longest time, but it was still pretty good after Sevilla had already gone sour. La Nacional is hit or miss, but the funky old atmosphere is great. I don't know any really reliable non-tapas Castillian in Manhattan.

            http://petercherches.blogspot.com

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            La Nacional
            239 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011

            Sevilla
            62 Charles St, New York, NY 10014

            El Faro
            823 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10014