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San Diego hound looking for Midtown recommendations

San Diego hound spending two nites in Midtown on business and would truly appreciate recommendations for something unique, interesting, ethnic, etc. that's the moderate price range. No real limitations or preference other than it be good and moderate priced (we're a small company). Thanks!

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  1. Where in Midtown? Cross streets?

    When are you coming?

    Dining solo or with someone else or a group?

    What's your budget, per person, before tax, tip, wine or drinks? "Moderate" means many things to different people.

    What cuisines are difficult to find at home? Anything you are particularly interested in?

    4 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      Thanks, Kathryn! Staying at 53rd and Lex but willing to travel all around Midtown, perhaps further for a good spot. Dining with two colleagues. Would like to keep entree costs to ~$25. I hope that's moderate in Manhattan. Lived there 20 years ago and have only been back a few times.

      1. re: steveprez

        Are you willing to wait for a table or would you want to make reservations?

          1. re: steveprez

            I'm not sure how strong San Diego is in various Asian cuisines, but since you're OK with waiting for a table, you might want to look into Danji, Ippudo, Totto Ramen (2 locations), or Pure Thai. I also agree with the recommendation of Szechuan Gourmet, but only with the caveat that you will probably need to be with people who like spicy food in order to enjoy it the most. Avoid the Americanized-Chinese dishes and get only the authentic ones. My favorites there:

            1. Szechuan Pork Dumpling* with roasted chili soy
            2. Dan Dan Noodles * with chili minced pork
            16. Ox Tongue & Tripe** with roasted chili-peanut vinaigrette
            19. Sliced Pork Belly* with chilli-garlic soy
            28. Spicy Cucumber Salad*
            82. Crispy Lamb Filets * with chili cumin
            118. Chef's Ma Paul Tofu *** with chili minced pork
            122. Camphor Tea Smoked Duck (Half)

    2. without knowing too much, i'd say Breslin. it's a great place to dine alone, if that's a concern, and they don't take reservations. the menu is certainly interesting and I'm guessing there's not a lot like it in San Diego.

      1. Sheraton? We were just there. Have you found the 54 (?) Gourmet Deli next door? Great breakfasts for $3.99!

        We had dinner at Bottega del Vino, 7 E 59th. Wow! It
        deserves praise. I opted for sea bass with olives, capers and it was a beautiful piece of fish cooked precisely $40. Dh had veal in four mushrooms sauce and said it was best veal he's ever had. Our waiter was great, knowing just when to appear , never hovering. He recommended a great Italian dry white wine for $110. I highly recommend!

        1. Based on your location in the 50's - Ma Peche for dinner and Betony if you can spare a weekday lunch.

          If you're willing to travel a little south: Szechuan Gourmet (for better Chinese/Sichuan cuisine than you could find in SD), The NoMad (open almost all day), The Breslin.

          3 Replies
          1. re: zeeEats

            Entrees at Ma Peche run about $16-32 so it might feel too expensive for them.

            Entrees at the NoMad would also probably be a bit on the high side for them.

            1. re: kathryn

              Ah, good point Kathryn.

              Koreatown (32nd Street) may not be a terrible option, especially for late night dining. Sure it may not be as good as Ktown in LA, but SD really lacks good Korean food as well... I'd recommend Pocha 32, Mad for Chicken, and Arirang.

              1. re: kathryn

                the bar menu at ma peche is very reasonable

            2. Al Bustan for Middle Eastern is close by
              If you want to walk a bit down Lex to 40th and like Asian try:
              Mapo Tofu and Hunan Manor across the street.
              Oysters at the Grand Central Oyster bar are amazing. Sit at the actual oyster bar and order oysters and chowder as an appetizer. The rest of their menu is not memorable so go somewhere else for your main entrée.