It should surprise no one to learn that New York Wing Factory is one of the best places to go for crunchy and moist wings in a variety of flavors. Double-deep-fried to seal in the flavor and cut down on the grease, the specialty chicken comes in such sauces as hot-and-spicy, hickory barbecue, soy and garlic, and buffalo. And of course, the restaurant's lineup of 24 beers on tap suits the deliciously messy headliners perfectly. But if you walked away from New York Wing Factory thinking beer and wings was all they offered, you'd walk away satisfied but woefully under-informed. Wings are only the beginning of the dinner menu, which also boasts a New York cheese steak on rosemary ciabatta, a slab of Cajun salmon in orange-ginger reduction, a tangy chicken Cubano sandwich, and, in all likelihood, a number of sticky fingerprints. And as far as libations go, a connoisseur would do themselves a disservice to overlook the extensive whiskey menu.
Shanghai Mong's eclectic menu of flavorful soups, texture-rich pho, and shareable starter plates entices appetites with broad-spectrum cooking styles served up 24 hours a day. Like a hot air-balloon expedition during the rainy season, the bill of fare takes diners on a whirlwind tour of Asia, with detours by colorful Vietnamese and Korean noodle dishes before dropping by China's fried rice and tenderloin chop steak in spicy szechuan sauce. Plates entice the eye with vibrantly colored spices coating the crispy duck, glazed with a sweet soy-plum sauce, and Mara beef with fresh green beans and bright jalapeños. As diners clack onyx-hued chopsticks or clink glasses of authentic Chinese liquor, deep red accents cocoon guests in a soothing ambience, as flickering chandeliers cast a low, golden light on the feastings and set a stage for finger-puppet operas.
In the backyard of a friend's bar in 2008, AsiaDog cofounders Mel and Steve started testing the culinary limits of the hot dog. They wanted to give the street-food staple a twist that could not be found inside any pushcart. That twist came in the form of ingredients that were a mainstay of their mixed Asian backgrounds. The spicy zing of kimchi. The crisp crunch of daikon. The delicate saltiness of seaweed flakes.
These experiments ultimately gave rise to AsiaDog, a casual eatery that infuses hot dogs and sandwiches with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese flavors. Using beef, organic beef, chicken, or veggie hot dogs as the foundation, the staff piles on toppings such as Chinese-style barbecue pork belly, crushed potato chips, and Japanese curry. They also encase corn dogs in panko breading or kimchi pancake batter, making each hot dog extra comfortable before it’s eaten.
The New York Times once praised chef Jung Sik Yim's rare "talent for forming entirely new patterns" with his cooking. A glance at the chef's New Korean menu confirms his creativity; witness such entrees as crispy pork belly in a spicy mussel broth, short rib in cucumber salsa, and Korean seaweed rice with quinoa. The chef prepares dishes like an artist prepares a masterpiece, arranging bright colors to form something beautiful that, like the Mona Lisa, would be ruined if you covered it in salt and ketchup. The food isn't the only appealing sight at Jungsik; the restaurant also hosts a gallery that displays artwork representative of modern Korean culture and customs.
At the center of the platters of miso-soaked steak, intricately marbled Kobe-style short ribs, garlic shrimp, and fresh veggies that crowd any given table at Gyu-Kaku sits a yakiniku grill, ready to bring all these flavors to life. At more than 700 locations worldwide, parties choose from a cornucopia of ingredients, tell their servers how they'd like them marinated—in sauces ranging from the strictly traditional to basil pesto—then begin searing their feast over the smokeless gas grill. New York magazine admired how "dominoes of harami skirt steak, marinated in sweet dark miso, turn caramelized and succulent on the hot grill." If protein overload looms, there are stone bowls of bibimbap and ramen to add balance. Patrons can wash down their meals with super-premium daiginjo sakes, sweet Japanese plum wines, and Asahi Super Dry beer, known to enhance its imbibers' deadpan witticisms.
Kang Suh specializes in authentic Korean cuisine, and takes care to create a welcoming atmosphere surrounding every aspect of the dining experience inside. The main dining room is brightly lit and simply decorated, with firm red chairs, a charcoal gray color scheme and square dividers similar to the natural wall panels found in Korean Hanok architecture. Food is served up in a traditional Korean style, presented in clean white bowls to emphasize the colorful ingredients. Hot items, like cha dol bae gi, a thin, non-marinated beef brisket, are cooked in front of you on a circular Korean barbecue, but with over six pages of dishes to choose from, diners could spend many meals at Kang Suh without every trying the same thing twice. Order up an array of kimchi, seafood pancakes, noodle soups and more, all of which can be shared amongst family and friends in the traditional Korean style.