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Unusual cuisine in Midtown?

I am staying in Midtown for 4 nights and looking for some unusual cuisines to try. I am planning to go to Cafe Mingala one night, as I LOVE Burmese food. Do you have any suggestions for other places ... Asian cuisine preferred, but really I am game for anything. Thanks in advance!

Cafe Mingala
1393 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10021

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    1. re: gutsofsteel

      No, but I am more interested in places closer to where I am staying.

      1. re: abloomcinti

        Ma Peche is great.

        Ma Peche
        15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

        1. re: Riverman500

          Agree with Riverman500 about Ma Peche; it's one of my favorite restaurants.

          Ma Peche
          15 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019

    2. It's hard to know what qualifies as unusual, but Ilili, a wonderful Lebanese place on Fifth Ave and 27th St, might qualify. I ate there for the first time last week and loved it!

      236 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10001

      1. Hagi, on 152 West 49th Street. It's a Japanese sake bar and appetizer place. No sushi, but delicious pork belly yakitori and sauteed garlic sprouts.

        1. Szechuan Gourmet - Sichuan, try the tongue & tripe, the rabbit, conch, frogs, sea cucumber, duck tongues...
          Madangsui - Korean BBQ, oyster scallion pancakes, I think they have a 2 person minimum for BBQ though
          Yakitori Totto - get there early to try skewers of chicken liver, chicken gizzard, chicken heart, chicken knee, chicken neck, chicken tail, chicken oyster ("rare part of chicken thigh")
          Toloache - huitlacoche or grasshopper tacos, any one?
          Pam's Real Thai
          Tulcingo de Valle
          Chez Napoleon (old school French restaurant) - kidney, calf's brains, rabbit, quail, frogs legs, sweetbreads

          For non-Western European/American

          Foreign Street Grub

          totally obscure, odd, and intriguing menu items

          See also http://midtownlunch.com/lunch-by-food... for lots of reviews of places in Midtown.

          695 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

          Yakitori Totto
          251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

          251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

          35 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001

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

          Chez Napoleon
          365 W 50th St, New York, NY 10019

          19 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

          144 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011

            1. Agree with many of these great suggestions, especially Toloache and Totto but if you don't mind travelling a little, and fancy trying Tibetan, I'm a fan of Tsampa on East 9th Street

              212 E 9th St, New York, NY 10003

              1. Hangawi, in little korea, is a vegetarian korean that is beautiful, quiet and has great food and service

                1. Bali Nusa Indah on 9th Ave between 45th and 46th is a great little Indonesian joint. Not many of those in Manhattan. Really fantastic otak-otak (BBQ fishcake in pandan leaves), Sop Buntut Blora (oxtail soup, hearty, delicious) and Kari Ayam (curry chicken). Their beef rendang, cooked in a medley of fragrant spices, is tremendous. And their mee (noodle) and nasi (rice) dishes are relatively authentic.


                  Bali Nusa Indah
                  651 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                  1. Gazala's Place (Druze) and Taam Tov (Bukharan) strike me as cuisines you don't find on every street corner. I'd probably stick to Taam Tov for lunch, however.

                    I think Sake Bar Hagi, mentioned above, is another good choice. There are a few Ethiopian places in Hell Kitchen, which may or may not be that unique, depending on where you're coming from.

                    I enjoy Pio Pio on 10th for Peruvian. You might (or might not) be surprised how Asian-influenced authentic Peruvian food can be.

                    Pio Pio
                    210 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016

                    380 Columbus Ave, New York, NY 10024

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Mr Porkchop

                      you know, i've been a long time supporter of Hagi, but the last few times i've been i found the food to be a turnoff. i'm still glad to go for a couple of boxes of sake and some bacon wrapped enoki, but i'll limit my dishes to just a select few. their noodle dishes, in particular, have me nauseous at the thought.

                      1. re: coasts

                        Gotta agree. Most Japanese don't go to Hagi to seek good food. They go to get good value on drinks. The food at Hagi is very unspectacular, sometimes bad. You can find similar grub at other izakayas in midtown, and better grub at places like Donburi-ya, Riki, Hatsuhana, Katsuhama, Udon West, Onya, and then go up another level of quality if you go to the Totto places, Sakagura, Tori Shin, Momokawa, just to name a few.

                        211 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017

                        17 E 48th St, New York, NY 10017

                        137 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

                        Udon West
                        150 E 46th St, New York, NY 10017

                        157 E 28th St, New York, NY 10016

                        143 E 47th St, New York, NY 10017

                    2. I agree with the previous posts about Ilili and Hagi. I've been to both. Hagi is hands down my favorite in that area for underground Japanese. You have to go early though (5-6pm), otherwise you'll have to wait at least 30 minutes to get in. Lots of Asian people go there, not as many tourists because it's hard to find (down a flight of stairs, very unassuming). Ilili definitely if you wanna try Lebanese. A Lebanese friend took me here and their food is delish.

                      236 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10001

                      1. Agree with many of the excellent suggestions for ethnic cuisine (midtown west is the perfect spot to start), including Gazala Place, Toloache, Kyotofu, Tehuitzingo, and others.
                        If you need any more options...
                        Yakitoro Totto was mentioned; there is also Totto Ramen on 52nd which is a hole in the wall but has lines down the block for ramen.
                        Azuri Cafe for Middle Eastern/Israeli
                        Ethiopian: Queen of Sheba
                        South African Xai Xai

                        I would lean toward those already suggested or Azuri out of the options, but if you are interested in a particular cuisine, wanted to throw the others out there.
                        There is also a new place that just opened called Ember Room that has some well known names behind it; it is at 45th and 9th. Pure Thai Shophouse is also relatively new but has gotten good feedback.

                        695 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                        705 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                        251 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10019

                        Gazala Place
                        709 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                        Azuri Cafe
                        465 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

                        Queen of Sheba
                        650 10th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                        Xai Xai
                        365 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019

                        Totto Ramen
                        366 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

                        Pure Thai Cookhouse
                        766 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019

                        Ember Room
                        647 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036

                        1. Try Chom Chom for interesting Korean food on 56th between 5th & 6th.

                          Chom Chom
                          40 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019