Friday, January 30, 2015

Cocoron

37 Kenmare St, NY, NY 10012

Rating: 1 - Wonderful
Visit #: 16
In brief: What can we say about this Nolita based soba joint except that we love it here. 01-30 Cocoron
We had downtown meetings and arrived to Cocoron just after noon, which is apparently the right time because not 10 minutes later the place was already packed. By the time we left an hour later, all the bar seats had been taken too.

Kokum

106 Lexington Ave, NY, NY 10016

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 2
In brief: The first time we ordered from Kokum it took them over an hour to get to our office. I was experiencing such an extreme moment of food rage that I couldn't process how actually quite good the lunch was. Yesterday I said let's order early so when it takes over an hour, I won't be so annoyed. And perfect! 01-29 Kokum
Kokum's fried chicken, as recommended by Serious Eats, is very good. And we loved the cauliflower both times we've had it. I really like this place, Kokum. We're waiting for the weather to turn a little more pleasant because M. is dying to eat there for some of the dosas listed on the menu.

funfetti cookies

Rating: B - Above Average
Visit #: 1
In brief: I should have put less sugar so they wouldn't turn out so sweet, but otherwise the funfetti style cookies are a nice afternoon treat. The accidental extra salt probably helped offset the sweetness.
01-28 cookie

Hanjan

36 W 26th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 2
In brief: M. craves noodle soups of all sorts these days, must be the wintery snowy days. 01-29 Hanjan
The first time we went to newly opened Hanjan, it was pretty packed and we were turned away for lack of reservations. The second time we just squeezed into the one available table. This time it was the afternoon of the pending snow storm that turned bust. The city was already quieting down though. M. ordered herself a hot bowl of chicken duk mandu guk and I had an equally hot, and tasty, bimbimbap.

Monday, January 26, 2015

tbsp at Spoon

17 W. 20th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: A - Excellent
Visit #: 2
Whoever makes the cakes at tbsp & spoon should be highly commended for his/her command of light fluffiness combined with a texture and taste that is worth ooohing over. Last week we tried, and loved, the olive oil cake. This time they had a coffee cake instead. We tried that, and loved it as well.
01-23 coffeecake

Aleo

7 W. 20th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 6 - Regretfully Yours
Visit #: 1
In brief: We're not snobby eaters here at Lunch Studio, and we are definitely not too picky to try something new, no matter the setting. But sometimes there are duds. And Aleo was a bit of a dude. 01-23 Aleo
The atmosphere at Aleo is empty and a little shabby, but that's ok, we don't need fancy tablecloths and shiny silverware. The lunch specials seemed inoffensive, and at $13 for a sandwich and salad or fries, we didn't have the highest expectations. But then the salad came, and the sandwiches next. Both looked so much like the kind of generic European restaurant fare that you might find next to a train station that we had that moment of doubt. A moment of doubt proved correct in the bland sandwiches and nothing special salad. Oh well. Can't win 'em all.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Le Pain Quotidien

931 Broadway, NY, NY 10010

Rating: F - Fail
Visit #: 6
Not for the first time, a cookie judged by its slightly burnt, deeply browned appearance completely lets us down. In fact this cookie so gravely failed us that we couldn't even have more than a bite or two. It's hard to describe what precisely offends, but there was no flavor to the cookie, it was like eating a well textured piece of baked sugar and flour. Bleh. 01-22 chocolate chip cookie

Lenny's

16 W. 23rd St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 2 - Super Happy
Visit #: 9
In brief: The Italian at Lenny's makes us so happy, so very happy. It's the shredded lettuce. 01-22 Lenny's

Hill Country

30 W. 26th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: A - Excellent
Visit #: 5
In brief: Even though you have to go through the hostess, into the dining hall and back around out to the cashier and even though the chocolate cookie looked too doughy, it was totally and absolutely worth it. This cookie is all sorts of stellar awesomeness. Worth whatever you have to do to get one. 01-22 chocolate chip cookie

Bombay Sandwich Co.

48 W. 27th St, NY, NY 10001

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 5
In brief: As always, great. 01-22 Bombay Sandwich Co
What can we say. The vegetarian lentil bowl at Bombay Sandwich Co. is good, nay, great, even for a meat-loving carnivore such as myself.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ootoya, with Oka

8 W. 18th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 11
In brief: M. ventured out into korokke (croquettes) land today at Ootoya01-16 Ootoya
More usually korokkes found in Japanese restaurants here are of the cream version but M. noticed a potato version at Ootoya last week and could not resist. Aside from the addition of cheese, she reports that it was ok and probably she would order it again one day.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

tbsp at Spoon

17 W. 20th St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: A - Excellent
Visit #: 2
We've been slacking off on posting afternoon desserts but this olive oil cake from tbsp is really good and we have to share. Olive oil cakes can lean towards too much olive oil but this one is just enough. The cake itself is moist, delicate and yummy. We shared this piece but it's not impossible to have one all to yourself and still feel good about it.
01-15 lemon olive oil cake

Les Halles, with Maggie and Chris

15 John St, NY, NY 10038

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 2
In brief: Anthony Bourdain's classic French bistro, Les Halles, is authentic down to the slightly aloof waiter. 01-15 Les Halle
We went downtown to Les Halles for a birthday lunch with Maggie and (except for M.), we all ordered steaks. Because what else are you going to eat a classic French bistro in celebration of another year of friendship except steak frites. Maggie ordered the one with blue cheese, Chris the peppercorn sauce and I went straight up steak and mustard. We all polished off every last bite.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Barn Joo

893 Broadway, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 3 - Feeling Good
Visit #: 3
In brief: Barn Joo moves up in our happiness scale because today we finally figured out that the hot stone bi bim bap is the dish to order. 01-12 BarnJoo
It's a nice lunch size portion stuffed with lots of bulgogi, a sunny side up egg and tons of veggies. There was a satisfying crunch today to the rice and I like the little ban chan of kimchi and minature salted anchovies. Paired with a yuzu lemonade that we shared, I have a feeling we'll be going back to Barn Joo for this dish again.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Via Emilia

47 E. 21st St, NY, NY 10010

Rating: 4 - Just Fine
Visit #: 5
In brief: In which I try something new at Via Emilia01-08 ViaEmilia
Of all the myriad Italian pasta restaurants in the neighborhood, I often end up at Via Emilia for a hot plate of bolognese ragu which is why I failed to notice the $13.50 lunch special which consists of this plate that you see and four different little tastes. It's a little like a Japanese bento lunch box without the box part. If you like a little variety in your lunching palette, do try. $13.50 is such a reasonable amount for a change of pace.