Manhattan – Greenwich Village
504 La Guardia Pl between Bleecker and Houston Sts
As a favor to the owner, hotshot designer Karim Rashid (who helped create the look and feel of Nooch and Morimoto in Philadelphia) fashioned this small tapas lounge like a mod version of a Japanese pub--the fuchsia-colored banquettes and bamboo wallpaper certainly stand out--though he probably didn't know how loud the funk would be played. The menu reads as though chef Chris Lim, formerly the sous chef at Town, took an eating tour down Bleecker Street's eclectic restaurant row. You can sample spicy jerk chicken; bland, chewy crab spring rolls; poppy-seed gnocchi (which tasted like soft, salty baby food); succulent maple-sweet bacon-wrapped scallops; or a wonderful apple strudel topped with shards of aged Gouda. But beware: Servers recommend three plates per person and the prices add up. So, stylish as this eatery may be, when signing the check it's impossible not to think of better, cheaper restaurants nearby.
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