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Manhattan & NJ (Bergen County) Restaurant Reviews

Ian Hunter's Guide to Manhattan and Bergen County, NJ's Best Restaurants, Bars, and Gourmet Markets

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Danji: Korean. 346 W 52nd @ 8th-9th Av; 25/19/$49; 586-2880;  Midtown Korean tapas; Great service;  Try the spicy pork belly sliders; Braised short ribs; Yellowtail sashimi; Place is extremely popular;  Spicy Korean wings; Tofu is excellent for vegetarians; Kimchi pork dumplings; Just a very innovative place that stands out and is worth a try. 


Bann: Korean.350 W 50th @ 8-9th; 23/21/$48; 582-4446; Upscale version of Korean; Cook it yourself Bar-b-q; Also have prepared dishes; Trendy bar as well; Beautiful inside; Service is solid; Smokeless table-tops; Undiscovered. Certainly a higher end version of the old favorites, the cheaper versions of which are found in Korea town (32nd). Sibling of Woo Lae Oak;  Great date spot.  Great formula.   

Madangsui: Korean. 35 W 35th @ 6th Ave; 23/15/$38; 564-9333; Known for having some of the best, flavorful BBQ in town; Wonderful Kalbi for sure; Seafood pancake appetizer is amazing; Great for a larger group; Wonderful soups and dumplings; The BBQ is $26 or so and you get a ton of food. Best to come here with a larger group.  Also features sushi and various rolls.  Large a la carte menu.  

Shilla: Korean. 37 West 32nd @ 5th-6th Av; 21/19/$44; 967-1880; Upscale Korean BBQ house; Japanese entrees as well; Large selection of seafood or meats to grill; Plenty of a la carte- prepared items as well; One of the best of its genre in the area. Can be hit or miss if crowded; Always fun to cook it yourself or they will cook it for you.
Kang Suh: Korean. 1250 Broadway @ 32nd; 21/12/$35; 564-6845; Do it yourself BBQ; Open 24/7; Also offers standard Korean fare like great Kimche and even sushi; Fried Beef dumplings; 2-levels, upstairs is better. Huge menu of soups; sauces and meats; Overall the menu is massive and a perfect spot for someone not so sure about Korean. Weak on décor and service.
O Mai: Vietnamese. 158 9th Av @ 19-20th; 23/16/$35; 633-0550; Upscale for Vietnamese; Soft lighting; Good for dates; Neighborhood friendly spot; Fairly tight quarters with food that makes it worth it. As with most of its genre, the Pho is to way to go; Sizable menu with rice, and a variety of beef dishes; Grilled calamari appetizer;
Do Hwa: Korean. 55 Carmine @ Bedford-7th Av; 21/19/$38; 414-1224; Amazing BBQ meats; Grill it yourself; Younger, pre-club crowd; Unique cocktails. As authentic as Korean BBQ gets- without the madness of Korea town; Modern décor. Kimchi considered outstanding. More of a pleasant ambience than many of its competitors.
VietCafe: Vietnamese. 345 Greenwich @ Harrison-Jay; 22/17/$33; 431-5888; Amazing for lunch featuring unbelievable sandwiches; Trendy looking spot for dinner; Modern preparations of Viet classics; Almost a brasserie feel. Open kitchen. Clearly – you come here for the Pho soups more than anything. Decent bar scene;  Have great Chili based dishes as well; Strong option.
Nha Trang: Vietnamese. 87 Baxter @ Bayard-Canal; 22/7/$17; 233-5948; Mountains of food; Crowded; Dirt cheap. BBQ beef entrees; Pho Noodle soups- multiple to choose from; Huge menu to select from; Truly authentic & packed with locals. Beware – it is a hole in the wall and not a great place for a sit-down dinner. More for lunch. Never for a date unless you are 17 and poor.
Indochine: Vietnamese. 430 Lafayette @ Astor-4th St; 20/19/$49; 505-5111; French-influenced dishes; Super sexy staff serve up high-end Vietnamese classics with a French spin; Large, upscale menu; Unique food. People watching- fun scene. Across from the ever-popular Joe’s Pub so the crowd is trendy and usually noisy. Mixed service but overall reliable. Been around forever.
Pho Grand: Vietnamese. 277C Grand @ Eldridge; 20/12/$25; 965-5366; Extremely authentic restaurant with large menu featuring soup, pork, and prawn dishes; Exotic spices and combinations; Dirt cheap for lunch or dinner. Go Pho it! Same owners as Pho 21.
Hangawi: Korean. 12 E 32nd @ 5th-Mad; 24/24/$46; 213-0077; Vegetarian Food; Relaxing; Serene; Tranquil; Check shoes at the door. Only pure vegetarian place I have on this site; Just a very relaxing experience featuring great service; Try the dumplings to start and the Mongolian hot pot is excellent. There is a 6 course tasting menu for $40.