Hey all, I'm a southern California native who has spent the last six years or so eating quite well across Los Angeles. Come August, I'll be moving to your majestic city and I'll admit I'm quite intimidated by the NYC food scene. Where do I start?
I'll be living up by Columbia (grad school out there) but am willing to travel anywhere if the food's good enough. I'm used to hour long drives across LA, so I'm hoping long subway commutes won't intimidate me too much.
First, is there an NYC equivalent of Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants? I understand a guide that expansive has many flaws, but as a newcomer I think it'd help me wrap my hands around the city's food scene a bit!
On to more specific questions. Where should I go for Mexican? Cosme looks like a really good place to start. But what are some of the cheaper go-to spots? East Harlem looks moderately accessible to me and seems to have good Mexican. Particular suggestions?
As for Thai, it seems like I should be trekking out to Queens for the most part? Is the Som Tum Der decent? I actually went to the one in Bangkok and liked it a good deal so I imagine I'll go there frequently.
I'm admittedly pretty ignorant when it comes to most middle eastern cuisines, other than maybe Lebanese. What should I be looking for in NYC aside from the halal stand or whatever that hoopla is about!
Finally, what should I be dining in NYC? In LA, I find myself eating lots of Mexican, Thai, Japanese, and Korean because these food scenes are so developed. What are the equivalent NYC cuisines?
Many, many thanks! I look forward to becoming a regular poster on this board.