The chefs at Makiman Sushi believe in keeping their gills and their grills separate, serving both raw-fish fusion sushi and Korean stone-pot bi bim bop. Like the Warren G. Harding White House during Prohibition, the eatery is BYOB and patrons pour their favorite beverages while delving into orders of tuna nachos, a dish of fried wontons topped with raw tuna and a spicy sauce. Guests can kick back at a table or perch at a recently remodeled sushi bar to admire the sushi chefs' handiwork.
Making international cuisine accessible to everyone requires a willingness to adapt recipes without sacrificing distinctive flavors. Kori Tribeca aims to transplant the foods of Seoul to Manhattan, and the New York Times praised its success in creating a menu that is "up-to-date and appealing to Americans but tied to Korean traditions."
Not only do iconic ingredients such as kimchi and Korean-style short ribs populate the menu but the pages also feature authentic cooking techniques. Bibimbap—a mixture of rice, sautéed vegetables, and proteins including pork belly, grilled eel, or organic tofu—arrives at tables in a sizzling stone bowl that continues to cook the dish tableside while diners enjoy the sounds and aromas.
The dining room takes a similar approach, melding small yet prominent aspects of Korean culture into a thoroughly modern setting. A handful of Korean musical instruments and three panels of Eastern Asian artwork adorn the walls. These accents add a distinctive character to the room's otherwise sleek combination of white brick work and black high-backed booth seating.
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.
KuKu Canteen's cooks understand that their fresh Asian fare influenced by Japanese and Korean cooking may appear adventurous to some. That's why the friendly counter staff makes sure to guide their guests toward the right dish through regular, gluten-free, or vegetarian menus available to accommodate special dietary needs.
Regardless of which menu you're referencing, you can expect to find vegetables brought in fresh daily and a number of sauces, dressings, and marinades prepared in-house. Though it's hard to go wrong with any of KuKu Canteen's dishes, the cooks recommend starting out with steamed pork or shrimp dumplings and following those up with their wildly popular kimchi fried rice.