Bali Nusa or Tabata Hell's Kitchen
OK, I have heard lousy things about Bali Nusa, but all those posts are very old and apparently they got a new Chef about a year ago. If it were even half as good as the stuff in Amsterdam it woud be my first choice since it has been over a decade since I have had good Indonesian food. However, I have also been reading about Tabata. I don't really care if it is authentic Ramen if it is at least good. I understand from reading the reviews that the chef is Burmese. If so, great (although I tend to avoid soups with coconut broth).
If there is one dish at either of these places that is gonzo, I would be interested in hearing about it. We're going to see Lulu at BB King's and do not really want to eat there. However we want to remain in the vicinity of 8th and 42nd (say 5-10 blocks in any direction). If anyone has a better idea that is not very expensive, I would also be interested. As you can tell, we're into Asian/Indonesian type fare (but not chinese or Indian as it is generally too salty and not good before you go out "drinking").
Tabata is one of my regular ramen places. It is also well regarded among my Japanese friends too. Although my most favorite ramen at Tabata is hiyashi tan tan (cold tan tan men), it's served only in summer. I also like their pork nira niku itame (stir fried chives with pork), which sous chef Tom makes better than the main chef does. LOL.
We actually went on Saturday and this place certainly fills the bill for reasonably priced and GOOD in this area (which is mostly geared toward overpriced middle of the road crap like Dallas BBQ).
I had the sesame pork soup (Tan Ten Men) and my constant dining companion got a pork soup (the one with "two peppers" which I am pretty sure was the Kyushuu Ramen)
I overheard someone saying "I like spicy, but the 'super spicy' is like Lava." Since I will be seeing another show at BB King's in March we will probably end up going back. (And now I know for sure I do not want to eat the overpiced sysco food there).
Not sure if the "Lava" would be too much for us or not because we like spicy too.