The cooks at Masala Wok specialize in flavorful, aromatic Hakka-style cuisine, blending together Indian and Chinese culinary techniques. Pan-fried dry chili chicken, Singapore-style hoisin shrimp, and golden-fried cauliflower dumplings are a few popular menu items. Patrons can order carryout or stay to eat in the casual restaurant.
The epicurean experts at The New Jade Palace twirl noodles, pyramid rice, and simmer seafood to construct a menu replete with traditional Asian favorites. Spoons dip into roast-pork wonton soup ($2 for a small, $3.50 for a large) to warm up for the tang of thai red snapper ($16) that, like the charge of an incompetent pet groomer, bathes in sweet chili sauce. Noodles knot around each other to hold beef or shrimp hostage ($5 for a small, $9 for a large), and the crispy skin of peking duck ($30) crackles inside a wrapping of scallion pancakes. The sushi bar encourages patrons to savor combinations of spicy maki ($14) or dive chopsticks-first into 12-piece tricolor sushi plates of tuna, salmon, and yellowtail ($20). Vegetarian taste buds linger on eggplant lathered in garlic sauce ($8) long enough to be accused of loitering.
Green Leaf's cuisine craftsmen chop, slice, and stir-fry traditional Chinese and Thai dishes. Diners whet their palates with a pair of crunchy egg rolls before selecting dishes from Green Leaf's menu of 21 chef's specialty entrees to fill out their meal. Morsels of crispy chicken breast march lockstep across a plate of General Tso's chicken, coated in shining hot-sauce armor ($12.95). Sizzling shredded beef nestles next to hot pepper in a warm bed of spinach ($13.95), and Twinkie and Pinkie, a combo of shrimp and scallops ($15.95), fight villainous hunger like a seafood substitute for Batman and Robin. Green Leaf's prompt and friendly staff will also accommodate vegetarian requests.
Lucky Cheng's — whose décor was immortalized in lush photos printed in NY Magazine — has billed itself as "the Drag Queen Capital of the Universe" since its inception 20 years ago, when it was still located in the East Village. Today, it sits amid the bustle of Times Square, but many aspects of the business still remain: lively drag cabaret, menus of pan-Asian fare, cocktails made with house-infused vodkas, and an ever-growing list of outrageous celebrity antics to make even the most seasoned tabloid reader blush. Under the soft, pink glow of delicate paper lanterns, Ashley Olsen allegedly threw a tantrum. On a break from filming The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey were rumored to carouse on Martin Scorsese's dime at a late-night bash. Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton were spotted here shooting scenes for an upcoming flick, and Ethan Hawke allegedly escaped here to nurse post-breakup wounds. And, enveloped in an all-red cabaret room, Britney Spears is said to have stormed the stage and plucked off the clothes of patrons competing in a boxers-or-briefs contest. Lucky Cheng's has also appeared on iconic small-screen shows, making cameos on favorites such as 30 Rock and Sex in the City.
But for all its association with Hollywood stars and Page Six-level shenanigans, Lucky Cheng's boasts plenty of drama of its own. The establishment's famed drag performers adorned in jewels, shimmering embroidery, and sharply contoured cheekbones bring their most incandescent selves to the stage every night, as diners enjoy pre-fixe meals and sometimes even join in on the act.
The chefs at Asian Bowl create a wide selection of Asian fusion dishes, ranging from Hong Kong-style sweet and sour chicken to lo mein and gluten-free beef with broccoli. Vegetarian versions of almost every dish finally share the complex flavors of mongolian beef and pineapple chicken with diners used to just greens and carrots shaped like steak.