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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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THAI / KOREAN / VIETNAMESE / PAN ASIAN
 
........  Best:  Pimaan (Emerson); Simply Vietnamese (Tenafly)
 
BLOOMFIELD
 
Brookside Thai: Thai; Bloomfield; 380 Broad St @ Pitt; 22/19/$27; 973-566-0057; What a long, mouthwatering menu; BYO; All of your favorite Thai selections; Try the Pad Thai and Panang Curry; Delightful spices; Very large portions. $6.95 lunch specials M-F; Dirt cheap even for dinner as most entrees are under $10.  I’d get 3 main courses for 2 and split them like a buffet! 
 
Pandan Asian CuisineFilipino / Asian Fusion; Bloomfield; 406 Broad St @ Baldwin; 24/17/$30; 973-748-9997; Focus on Filipino cuisine; Huge portions in an intimate, cozy setting; Try the various Dumplings; Soups are a meal in themselves; Pork and Chicken dishes stand. Leftovers for sure. BYO; Delicious Thai selections as well. And, the prices are oh so right. Go crazy and share 3 dishes if you are two people to fully explore the menu. Very inexpensive meal for dinner.  
 
Spice Thai Cuisine: Thai; Bloomfield; 26 Belleville Ave; 24/21/$27; Absolutely authentic cooking; BYO; Can get crowded; Excellent service; Incredibly good reviews on Yelp;  People love the authentic flavors and the spicy offerings; Closed Monday; Soft Shell Crab; Yellow Chicken Curry; Pad See Eiw; Thai Basil Duck; The menu has nearly 100 choices on it and the service is top notch. Try this restaurant!
 
EMERSON
  

Pimaan Thai RestaurantThai; Emerson; 79 Kinderkamack Rd; 24/17/$35; 201-967-0440;  Consistent quality and service; Noodles and curries stand out; Excellent lunch specials; Soft Shell crab available; BYO; Will accommodate any plate; Pleasant experience though more of a spot for locals. Serviceable restaurant with well presented dishes.  Shrimp Pad Thai is tops;  201 Mag Best Thai winner 3x. Best Thai restaurant in Bergen county easily. Only issue is speed food comes out when busy.  

 
ENGLEWOOD
 

Chat KaewThai; Englewood; 4 E Palisade Av @ Van Brunt; 20/14/$32; 201-894-0343; Large menu and overall great Thai cuisine; Has tasty versions of all the usual curries and Pad Thai; Also, a great selection of juices; Roasted Duck curry is amazing. BYO.  Issue here is the cramp feel and mixed bag quality. Bottom line is it’s a nice neighborhood spot. Wouldn’t drive 10 miles to try it. Cheap lunch specials.

 

FORT LEE

 

Dong Bang GrillKorean; Fort Lee; 1616 Palisade Av; 23/18/$42; 201-242-4485; Excellent steaks and other Galbi (Korean BBQ); Sushi as well; Amazing short ribs; Miso soup is tasty; Two level location with a large menu of individual items besides BBQ; Great service & it rivals NYC’s Korean town. You will always find locals & Asians there – a great sign. Nicer interior than most. 201 Mag Best Korean. Has bar.  

 

Gam Mee OkKorean; Fort Lee; 485 Main St; 22/15/$29; 201-242-1333; Noted for outstanding Kimchi; Large Galbi menu of BBQ meats; Considered to have the best Ox Tail soup in the state (Sul Long Tang); Beef short ribs and soups are super tasty. Service friend and environment welcoming. Open 24/7; Beer & wine served; Nice setting for the genre. Korean comfort food.

 

HACKENSACK
 
Bangkok GardenThai; Hackensack; 261 Main St; 23/15/$28; 201-487-2620; Nothing fancy but the food is what you come here for; Endlessly long menu of everything Thai- from the curries to the Pad Thai and variations thereof; Top notch soups; Food for sharing. Specialize in seafood entrees; Now a full bar; Did I mention menu is miles long?  Charming service for genre. Food is a step above for Thai.  

 

HOBOKEN
 
Sri ThaiThai; Hoboken; 234 Bloomfield St @ 2nd-3rd St; 22/12/$23; 201-798-4822; Small place, with almost no décor; However, one of the better Thai joints around with a huge menu begging you to try multiple selections, for a tour of Thai cuisine; Perfect for lunch or a quick bite out. BYO. Friendly decent service. Might be better for lunch – certainly not a great date spot.  Kaw Pad with Crab; Pad Thai;  Yum.
 
LODI

  

Penang: Thai/ Malysian; Lodi; 334 N Main St @ Saddle River; 22/19/$27; 973-779-1128;  Endless 100+ item menu – all reasonably priced; I suggest ordering a few items and enjoy buffet style; Despite being a chain- very reliable fare and something for everyone; “Safe” place to try Thai for the inexperienced. While not a memorable place, great for a weekday dinner or weekend lunch. They do a great job with their model; Full bar; Happy hour 4-7pm M-F.

 

MAYWOOD
 

Pho Thai-Lao Kitchen: Thai/ Lao; Maywood; 219 Maywood Av; 23/15/$35; Unusual combo of Thai and Lao cuisine; Exciting dishes not normally found in the area;  Setting is nothing special – super casual; Must try the spare ribs; Pad See Ew – get it spicy; Any of the house soups; Red or Green curry;  Food comes out as spicy as you like: you ask for 1-5, 5 being super spicy; Closed Monday; BYO; Noodle soups similar to Viet cuisine; 

 

Nori: Asian; Montclair; 561 Bloomfield Av; 23/19/$37; 973-655-8805; Won Best Susih in Essex County; Super fresh sushi and rolls; Very substantial menu; Creative menu options; Sushi Pizza; Sashimi Tartar; Soft Shell Crab;  You can order a sushi boat for 2 or 3 people; BYO; Special rolls have funny names (like Donkey Kong roll, if that matters). Small, casual place.   

 
PALISADES PARK
 
So Moon Nan Jip: Korean; Palisades Park; 238 Broad St; 24/13/$33; 201-944-3998; First of all- enter by the entrance with the Korean lettering (hard to find); Seafood Pancake is notoriously good; Kalbi – Korean BBQ is outstanding and so flavorful; Need two orders for them to let you cook it ($20 a pop); Service is fast and excellent; The place is very popular and authentic; New York Koreans flock here even. Sushi on menu. Excellent Kimchi. Serve beer and wine only.
 
RAMSEY
 

Gao Thai Kitchen: Thai; Ramsey; 63 W Main St; 24/19/$36; 201-962-2691; Open daily; BYO; Terrific, lengthy menu; Elegant setting – tranquil; Expertly prepared Thai cuisine; Try the jumbo lump crab fried rice, Shrimp Pad Thai or Duck rad prig – ½ a boneless crispy duck; Yellow curry seafood also great; So much to choose from.  Great lunch specials.

 
RIDGEWOOD
  
Mekong Grill: Vietnamese; Ridgewood; 24 Chestnus St; 22/16/$28; 201-445-0011; Authentic southern Vietnamese that will win you over; Delicious Pho soups and other noodle soups – over a dozen to choose from;  Endless appetizers and larger entrée choices; Comfortable, contemporary space; Lunch and dinner served but closed Mondays. Family run. BYO; 201 Mag Top 3 Viet. Sticky Rice entrée.
 
Ridge ThaiThai; Ridgewood; 50 Chestnut St @ Franklin; 22/17/$32; 201-493-9929; Delicately made traditional Thai dishes; Stylish, relaxing décor; Excellent menu with a large assortment of curries, duck, chicken and noodle dishes; BYO; Won 2009 Best of Bergen award for Thai food. The usual huge menu for a Thai restaurant. Small place – 10 or so tables so come early. Great lunch specials.  Thai curries amazing.
 
ROCHELLE PARK
  

DD Thai Cuisine: Thai; Rochelle Park; 184 W Passaic St; 23/14/$31; 201-880-8227; Try the Drunken Noodles with chicken or shrimp or the Duck Tamarind at the authentic BYO Thai find in Rochelle Park; Various fried rice dishes or sides are incredible; SO inexpensive; Whole Red Snapper, various curries, Pad Thai.  Downside is décor which is basic and not very memorable.

 
TENAFLY
 
Simply Vietnamese: Vietnamese; Tenafly; 1 Highwood Ave; 24/14/$32; 201-568-7770; Master chef Khanh “KT” Tran of Mo Pho fame has done it again with this Tenafly masterpiece; Creative, unique and most important delicious takes on Vietnamese dishes; The Pho soup, Curry Coconut shrimp, Chicken dumplings, Chili Garlic Shrimp, and Vietnamese spring rolls stand out; Just a delightful change of pace; The portions of the Pho soups are huge; Authentic as it comes. 
 
UNION CITY
 

Five Star ThaiThai; Union City; 324 29th St @ Palisade; 24/16/$32; 201-583-1800; Authentic, wildly flavorful dishes; Try the Thai dumplings, Spicy Shrimp Soup & Drunken Noodles; Pineapple fried rice; BYO; Large portions; Tons of options on the menu; Specials galore; Worth a try for sure. Off the charts ratings for the genre. Closed Tuesdays.   

 

WEEHAWKEN
 
Hi-So ThaiThai; Weehawken; 1903 Willow Av @ 19th St; 22/15/$27; 201-902-0991; Very popular local Thai restaurant with large menu and fairly priced cuisine; Pad Thai and the various noodle dishes stand out; Right near the Lincoln Tunnel and it is BYO. Nothing overly unique about the place except for its consistency.  Reliable Thai fair to be had before a night out in Hoboken. Cash only. Open daily 11:30am – 10pm.