LA hound here who literally just flew in this morning for work for the next 2.5 - 3 weeks. I'm scrambling, since this was so last notice (hence the lack of due diligence research that I would normally do), but am looking to experience the best NYC has to offer over the next few weeks.
I'm thinking of everything from Per Se to street carts, from Pizza in Brooklyn to Szechuan in Flushing. We are willing to travel to any borough for a great meal, and I am also willing to do great lunches, too -- I should have the flexibility to pull that off.
I'm up for anything, though Thai/Japanese/Chinese are cuisines I would move down the list due to the preponderance of amazing joints in Los Angeles. That's not intended as a slight on NYC at all ... and please feel free to recommend places you think excel in those areas.
Cost is not too much of a concern, though palate fatique is ... and also the ability to get reservations at so many places on such short notice. I would probably do a couple of nicer/finer type places for dinner and then the next few nights look for some more rustic/ethnic/local cuisine.
One thing to note is that we are very comfortable getting around the city, as we both lived here for a couple years right out of college, though God bless us we didn't have a clue what we were missing out on foodwise here ... sigh ... c'est la vie.
Here's what we (my wife and I) are avidly looking for, and what we're fine with missing this trip:
1) I have a Sweet Tooth. Well, more like an entire mouth of them. I love layered pastries, cakes, cupcakes, candies, ice creams, gelatos, etc etc etc. If it in any way is fit for being called "dessert", I want it! I only had a quick time to scan some threads but it looks like some recs were the following:
Batch, Chickalicious, Dessert Truck, Magnolia, Mitzy’s Macarons, Tafu, Milk at Momofuku ... what else am I missing? Are any of these worth skipping, or musts? Please feel free to chime in with any and all thoughts.
2) I love Italian, and no place in the US does Italian like NYC, or so I've heard. I was able to swing a late res at Babbo sunday night, but what are some other places to try? Again, a quick scan brought me the following:
Lupa, Scarpetta, Otto, Del Posto, Convivo ... what else? Thoughts on these?
3) Ethnic! The one thing LA does best is a variety of ethnic foods, and I am betting NYC has some great places as well. I'm thinking Morroccan, Lebanese, Jamaican (or any Carribean, for that matter) Israeli, Greek (gotta be in Astoria, right?), Indian (not great Indian in LA, either Northern or Southern) ... what's the best in NYC? What do you guys have that I can't have better anywhere else unless I actually go to said culture/country? Again, we're willing to hit any borough.
4) Street Food, yay! Where are the best carts (feel like I saw there's a great halal cart somewhere around the 50s and 6th ave)? Any other places like such? I'm thinking here, unless it's MINDBLOWING that I'd prefer to keep in Manhattan, but if it's good it's good, right?
5) Pizza? Yes please! NYC is home to some AMAZING pizza, so where must I go? I'm thinking of trying Di Fara tonight (if I can make it in time), but I am sure there are other great places, both in Manhattan and in Brooklyn, to hit too.
6) Lunch options near/in Hell's Kitchen; I'll be working around 46th and 10th, so places in the general vicinity that are note-worthy (I'm thinking 5 Napkins Burgers) are certainly appreciated.
Oh, and in general I will say that, being from the South, I am willing to pass entirely on BBQ and Creole/Cajun/Southern.
Sigh ... there are so many places to consider that it IS a bit overwhelming. Spotted Pig, Blue Hill, Degustation, Shopsin's, EMP, Daniel, Per Se, Le Bernardin, La Grenouille, Gramercy Tavern, Momofuku, wd-50, Gotham B&G, Jean Georges, etc etc etc ... and that doesn't even get into considering burgers, steaks, etc.