Feast your eyes and occasional need to eat upon an ample amount of cozy sophistication with today's side deal: for $10, you get $25 worth of global comfort food at El Ay Si in Long Island City. The warm atmosphere draws upon the surrounding neighborhood for its inspiration and energy, which in turn feeds the servers who are largely from the neighborhood, successfully completing the circle of life. The restaurant is open for dinner (Tues.–Thurs. and Sun. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday brunch (11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.).
The dinner menu features a number of savory starters ($6–$9), like jalapeno sweet corn fritter, and salads ($9–$11) like the filetto salad (grilled filet mignon with romaine, arugula, tomatoes, and a shallot vinaigrette). Main dishes achieve a perfect balance between down home and uptown. Classy dry-rubbed rib eye ($23) finds a welcome home beside the classic chicken-fried chicken with green beans, mashed potatoes, and white gravy ($13). Pair your meal with a tasty side like mac 'n' cheese ($8) or a glass of wine. Pop by for weekend brunch and have a breakfasty omelette with chorizo, caramelized onions, and manchego ($10) or the invigorating red eye sandwich (peanut butter, banana, and bacon between pieces of French toast), among others.
- Deftly blending sophistication with a lack of pretense, the kitchen serves a roster of down-home comfort staples with an upscale flourish, ranging from the ubiquitous (mac and cheese with applewood-smoked bacon) to the unique (shepherd’s pie with wild boar sausage braised in red wine). The service is open and warm, with engaging banter eroding the boundaries between diners and staff. – Jesse Hirsch, Edible Queens
- My favorite starter were [sic] the black-eyed pea cakes with chipotle mayo. They looked like crab cakes but tasted like a mix between hummus and refried beans. I liked them a lot, especially because they had some spice. Their already sharp flavor intensified further when I dipped them into chipotle mayo. – The Foodista
- This place was absolutely fantastic. Burgers were great, mac and cheese was amazing, disco tater tots were better than you could imagine, and the chocolate bourbon pecan pie was a thing of beauty. To top it all off, the wait staff was friendly and totally pro, and when I’m a billionaire, that chef will have a wing in my mansion. – Tina & Andrew, Time Out New York
- the place is small and quaint, with a creative energy buzzing through the place. they care about what they do and how you feel. the food feels like it's been made with love. – dmoney30, Cityseach
El Ay Si
Fetching artwork pairs with gritty brick walls and decorative graffiti in El Ay Si’s interior, where diners study an eclectic menu of Southwestern comfort cuisine. Fusing traditional recipes with international ingredients, they craft pulled-pork tacos al pastor with grilled pineapple, as well as slow-cooked pressed pork belly with caramelized apples. Brews such as Saranac India Pale Ale or the Mexican Modelo Especial pilsner complement hearty dishes as diners submerge spoons into chocolate-bourbon pecan pie or cherry crumble crowned with vanilla ice cream.
47-38 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City, New York 11101Get Directions