Category Archives: Lower East Side/Chinatown

Kin Gin

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

This joint, while definitely not a traditional Izakaya in appearance, still serves up some outstanding food and cocktails. Their martini is pretty much absolute perfection.

Our favorite items were the crispy pigs ears and the clams.

But really everything was awesome. The egg trio was pricey at $185.

Very nice tartare made with bluefin tuna.

The miso butterscotch Brussels were extremely unique!

The pork jowl could have used a bit more texture on the outside, but otherwise super tender and very flavorful.

And more unique goodies for dessert: soy sauce tiramisu and basil shiso sorbet.

This place is definitely a keeper.

KIN GIN
107 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002

Yokox

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

This joint serves up a 15-course omakase for just $89! It’s really close by, so we had to give it a try.

My favorite items were the crab handroll, the stripekack, and the scallop with uni.

Great spot! No liquor license yet, and they don’t let you BYOB, but they said the license is in the works and they should have beer and wine soon.

I can’t wait to go back to try it again. The chef said the fish can change on a daily basis, and he likes to use a lot of unique and different fish than you normally see.

YOKOX
41 Avenue B
New York, NY

The Commodore II

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

A second location of the popular Williamsburg bar “The Commodore” just opened in the lower east side at Avenue C and Houston Street. My wife and I have been eagerly awaiting the open since we saw renovations going on there last year. The interior is really cool, almost like you’re aboard a yacht. They even have life fish in a tank along the right side wall, with circular portals for viewing.

We started with two frozen drinks and both were great. The winner between the Orange Julio and the frozen mojito was the mojito, however. They also serve $4 cans of Schaefer, which is a steal. During happy hour, you can get a beer and a shot for $7, which is a price that’s on par with the cheapest dives in town.

Speaking of happy hour, they offer their burger with fries for $14 (normally just the burger costs $14, but at happy hour the fries come with). The burger is a nice crumbly patty that’s well seasoned and dressed with all the fixings.

We also tried their fried chicken, which, despite saying three thighs on the menu, actually came with four. Also great biscuits, two hot sauces and a sweet honey butter. At $22 this is a great deal, especially considering how crispy outside and juicy inside the chicken was. Delicious.

We also tried their fried green tomato sandwich with slaw. I enjoyed this, and the baguette was a really nice surprice here on this sandwich. I expected it to be too hard and rough, but it was warm, soft and really nicely butter-toasted.

Definitely can’t wait to go back and try their fish items, grilled cheese and nachos.

THE COMMODORE II
14 Avenue C
New York, NY 10009

King’s Co. Imperial

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

My photos of this meal aren’t that great, because I forgot my light. My video is fine, however, because the built in video light for the phone is nice. Flash photos, not so much.

This place has a retro vibe, with a Polynesian, pu-pu platter and tiki drinks old school feel to it. The cocktails were great.

We started with crispy fried mushrooms, pork ribs and shrimp toast. All of these were good. I think the mushrooms were my favorite of the entire meal, actually.

Next up, short rib beef chow fun, dry fried string beans, and crispy Szechuan calamari. Of these, the string beans were best, with the calamari close behind. They just needed to be a bit more crispy.

There’s a lot that looked nice enough to try here, so we will most likely be back.

KINGS CO. IMPERIAL
168 1/2 Delancey St.
New York, NY 10002

Ye’s Apothecary

Ye’s Apothecary is a cool downstairs spot in the Lower East Side that serves great cocktails and some tasty Szechuan food. The Szechuan old fashioned was a great way to start the meal. It IS spicy, so beware.

Our favorite dish was “husband and wife,” which was a chilled appetizer of beef tripe and tendon in a spicy chili oil.

The egg noodles with char siu pork was also a nice dish, but I wouldn’t get it on a second trip.

The crispy squid was excellent. Slightly salty, but I didn’t mind.

With everything being so spicy, the chairman’s pork belly was a great way to sneak in a bite of sweet every so often. Only downside here was the thick rubbery external skin that sometimes still seemed to have the texture of stubble/hair on it. Otherwise really tasty and tender.

The mushroom salad was a bit misleading, as it was a hot dish. Tasty though.

YE’S APOTHECARY
119 Orchard St.
New York, NY 10002

Clubhouse Sandos & Suds

This new sandwich joint and bar slings some great sandwiches. We ordered for delivery, but it was good enough to mention as a restaurant review here.

We tried a spicy mortadella, a Korean rib sandwich, a meatloaf banh mi, and a chicken Caesar salad sandwich. They have funky names and I forget which ‘wich is which.

The bread is great here, and if I had to choose favorites, I’d go with the banh mi and the mortadella.

CLUBHOUSE SANDOS & SUDS
22 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002

Holy Cow

Holy Cow has been on my radar to try for a while. Last night, I finally made it in there to try both a burger and a chopped cheese.

Both were mediocre, but the burger was slightly better due to the crisp on the patty, and the overall flavors/special sauce. The buns were strangely dense and hard. The seasoned fries were great though.

Probably won’t be back, but definitely glad I finally tried it.

HOLY COW
34 Canal St
New York, NY 10002

Hakka Cuisine

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

My wife and I just walked by this place a few weeks ago and we were wondering if it was any good. Then, a few days ago, some friends of ours organized a lunch here. We were psyched to go.

This place is really known for their “blossom chicken,” which is basically a chicken that has had all the meat removed, chopped up, and mixed with shrimp paste to form a sort of chicken-shrimp sausage. Then it’s stuffed back into the skin and cooked until that skin gets golden crisp. It’s amazing!

We also had a really tender, delicious and savory braised pork belly dish. Make sure you order some rice to soak up those amazing juices.

The stuffed tofu (stuffed with pork sausage, I think) was good, but it was my least favorite of the main dishes. It just didn’t have the powerful punch of flavor like the others.

This stir fried white fish or bait fish dish was really tasty. I think this would benefit from a pop of spice, but the ginger in it was really refreshing.

If you’re looking for a big shared appetizer, get the sliced conch on ice. It’s heavy on the wasabi, but if you’re like me, that’s a good thing!

Last, we had some pea shoots with fried baby shrimp on the side. This was more soupy than I expected, as opposed to stir fried. It was still delicious though.

I will definitely be back here to try more dishes. Our waiter showed us a few more items that they consider specialties as he was bringing them to other tables (egg custard with clams, and lobster fried rice).

HAKKA CUISINE
11 Division St.
New York, NY 10002

Cellar 36

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

Cellar 36 is a small wine and tapas bar located in Chinatown owned and operated by the same folks behind The Ten Bells, which I love. Like Ten Bells, Cellar 36 offers a great happy hour deal that includes $20 carafes and $1 oysters. We went for it.

I definitely recommend this spot, and I’ll definitely be back!

Cellar 36
36 Market St
New York, NY 10002

Kalye

Check out my Ride & Review first HERE:

Kalye is a relatively new-ish (open since November 2022) Filipino food joint on the Lower East Side. My buddy Ivan (@eyebahnrides) wanted to check it out, so we made a video out of the occasion. We swapped bikes and each did a review of the other persons bike, then we finished up at Kalye.

We started with the lumpia and a little dish of macaroni salad. Both were great. They air fry here, so the lumpia weren’t greasy or oily. Great crisp, and this went perfectly with our first round of beer (San Miguel).

Next, we moved on to the sisig and lechon. Both of these pork dishes were incredible.

The lechon had such a great crisp on the skin, and the belly was rendered out and cooked perfectly. Both dishes were paired with a wonderful garlic rice, and we put down our second round of beer; Red Horse.

Last, dessert. Halo halo. Absolutely delicious ube soft serve ice cream atop chipped ice, coconut, sweet mung bean and grass jelly.

This place was excellent. The plan is to go back with our wives for a double date.

KALYE
251 Broome St
New York, NY 10002