Went to a week old restaurant on ludlow street last night - Kuma Inn. Run by chef/owner King Phojanakong, a very friendly and excited man who grew up in nyc but is of filipino and thai parentage - hence the cuisine.
It's a small plate kind of place with warm bamboo sculptural lighting, only about ten tables and really nice combinations of food. As you enter - you see the cooking happening right behind the counter...very small plates that cost about 7-10$ each but if you're hungry - you might need a lot of them. All paired with many sake choices and a few beers. We had a bay shrimp omelette, excellent, sweet, tangy...salmon, tuna, scallops that all come marinated in either asian fruits, chayote, ginger or mirin and sake, london broil in tasty little slices, delicate vege spring rolls, long beans etc but all treated with some filipino/thai twist in a way that makes them distinguishable from the glut of asian plates offered everywhere now. It was delicious, friendly - could get a little pricey in order to have enough food and they need to have better music playing but a lovely dining experience all the same.
113 ludlow street (212.353.8866) on the second floor.