UFC’s lightly fried, thoroughly crispy, delicately sauced Korean-style fried chicken has been both praised and profiled by the New York Times and New York Magazine. Fresh cuts of meat fry in oil free of trans fat and cholesterol, pulling out the fat in the skin and leaving each piece without the build-up of grease that makes American fried chicken so difficult to properly throw. The resulting crunchy exterior gets doused in a coat of one of four sauces, including traditional Korean soy garlic or tangy American barbecue mustard.
Fat Buddha lures revelers in with regular drink specials and anchors them in place by filling their stomachs with dishes from a mouthwatering, Asian-inspired menu. Amid an intimate bar setting, friends gather around tables to savor a sampling of small plates, including bacon-wrapped shrimp with sweet and sour sauce ($8), flank-steak skewers ($8), and bulgogi korean barbecue with gochujang sauce ($12). Large dishes of pan-seared duck ($12) delight dinner-minded epicureans, and an entrée of black cod with a sweet miso glaze ($12) swirls taste buds in a sharkless sea of flavor. Side dishes, such as pork and shrimp shumai dumplings ($6), spicy kimchi ($3), and chili-pepper fries ($4) join forces to create meals with variety, much like eating directly from a piñata.
Purple Ginger infuses a menu of classic Thai dishes with a smattering of pan-Asian offerings. Appetizers including crispy coconut shrimp and lamb satay with sweet chili sauce preface steadfast entrees of pad thai, pad see ew, and black pepper squid. Japanese fried ramen brims with peppers and mushrooms, and Indian and Malaysian curries boast piquant spices. Sandy wood paneling flanks minimalist dark wood tables, and vintage-style light fixtures illuminate large photos of New York City. In the dining room, tropical fish paddle through the clear waters of a tank. Toward the back of the eatery, bartenders mix classic and specialty cocktails and pour from a large selection of sake.
Noodle Bar is where it all began for David Chang, a chef so influential he made the 2010 Time 100 list. Chang’s signature Momofuku ramen is a silky stew that combines pork belly, pork shoulder, and poached egg. The menu changes daily, so check online to keep up with new offerings.
Momofuku Ssäm Bar's Korean-American menu reads like a love letter to pork. The meat not only shows up in the form of pork buns and country hams, but also lends flavor to the eatery's fried duck dumplings and other duck lunches, which together earned the restaurant "Best Lunch" honors from New York Magazine in 2012.