The wife and I had a simple dinner and a movie out tonight - as we needed a break from a hectic couple of weeks of work but didn't want to go crazy as we are going to Ireland for a week on Monday (more on that in a minute).
Kelley and Ping's new place on 3rd Ave and 25th street opened up last weekend and seems to be running pretty smoothly already. The corner that it sits on, is considerably better now than what was there. The building it sits on was rather worn down and dilapidated. The eyelet window facing the actual NW corner of 25th and Lex still has a crack or two in it...but won't be surprised to see all of that cleaned up soon enough.
The outside of the building has been completely renovated with wooden slats that almost make me think of corduroy but with uneven angles to their linear nature. The interior has more wood (nothing like padua or redwood or teak but rather "cheaper" looking wood) that doesn't try too hard, and for the neighborhood...shouldn't have to. It also has simple but handsome windows that will be able to be opened once spring gets here (boy is that a long way off). The bar area is small - about the size of Sushi Samba's on Park Ave. South and the "reception area" which blocks off the kitchen is about as large as the bar and was filled with K&P Staff who graciously welcomed us (and even flattered us - how often does that happen).
We sat down to a 1/5 filled restaurant and after hearing the special cocktail of the day ordered one immediately. The waitress told us it was a pomegranate raspberry margarita. Yum. We'll have two. Well, I suppose I should have known, they were actually Cosmopolitans. That's okay. They were still good. By the time we got them, the place was nearly packed. By the time we left...it was.
We weren't too adventurous and ordered what we've ordered from the SoHo restaurant:
Edamame (these were quite large, just warm enough, right amount of salt)
Spring Rolls - good, but why do they always look like they were pre-frozen. I'm sure they were, but do they always (anywhere you go) have to look like they were probably once frozen? I don't know how to fix that but...regardless, they were good. The orange dipping sauce was standard/good.
Scallion Pancakes - good, perhaps better than most. I actually really liked these. The soy based sauce tasted "plum-ier" than just soy sauce. Really good.
Bul Go Gui - as good as it ever was. The kimchee was nice and spicy. The beef was a little dry but I'd prefer that than the alternative - greasy. And that is how I will end the review...my biggest positive comment is that the food tasted "clean". Not greasy at all. No extras that didn't need to be there. This type of food can easily go the other way...and you don't get that here. I also felt nourished but not stuffed. Just the right amount of food. Just right for sitting in a movie theater...
.which I will simply say was entertaining. It was not as good as my current bar-setters: Lost in Translation and Endless Sunshine... but very good nonetheless. Some pretty weak editing moments...especially in the first and second scenes (look at Schwartzman's beard length) and Jude Law's shirt before he has the breakdown in the bathroom already has wet spots from splashing water). Watchable...and at some points very clever. Made me think a little about things...but just a little.
Lastly...Ireland. I will be going there this Monday and would love to know of any places you might suggest we eat in the following areas:
Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you and sorry for my Amanda Hesser-style review (more about the scene than the food). What can I say, I'm one of the few on here that like her style.
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