Filed under: Drink, Eat | Tags: Asian, brisket, Eastern Alley, fried chicken, fusion, LES, oxtail, pea shoots, sake, Sean Scotese, steamed buns
Eastern Alley is the new Pan-Asian restaurant helmed by Bao emperor Michael Huynh’s former right-hand man Sean Scotese in the old Thailand Cafe space on Clinton St., right next to Clinton St. Baking Co. When I called to reserve a table for Saturday night and the guy who answered said, “Yes, we allow BYOB,” I was sold. It’s just until they get their liquor license in a couple weeks, so get there soon. East Village Wine & Liquor on Stanton/Clinton is just around the corner and had a bunch of chilled sakes ready for immediate consumption. (We picked up the Gekkeikan Black and Gold for $18.99 and it paired wonderfully with the Asian flavors.)
I wasn’t sure what to expect when we went in for dinner because Pan-Asian fusion can mean just about anything these days, and I hadn’t yet seen a menu. What I found at Eastern Alley were traditionally Asian ingredients and flavors cooked with a more Western hand: the soy-braised oxtails with yucca cake was an unusual combination where the sweetness of the yucca really balanced out the saltiness of the meat; the pork loin and pea shoots in the sweet sesame mustard sauce (the Japanese kind that is only slightly sweet and slightly mustardy with whole sesame seeds) were very nice and light (recommended for dieters) though the adobo potatoes that came with seemed a little disjointed in terms of flavor and heft; the extra crispy fried chicken thighs with curried green lentils were flippin’ amazing – think boneless Southern fried chicken with Indian spices and bacon thrown in; the ginger beef brisket with taro and miso (shown below) must have been awesome too because there was absolutely nothing left on that plate, not so much as a single drop of sauce.
You can order a side of jasmine rice, rice cakes, or steamed buns to share for $2.50 to sop up whatever meats and juices are left on your plate, or to make little sandwiches. Totally worth it. We got the steamed buns, but I’m very intrigued by the idea of eating my meat with rice cakes… I wonder if they’re Korean style?
The dessert menu will be served starting tomorrow. I’m excited (I want to try the Salted Ice Cream and Black Pepper Marshmallows). Apps are $6-$9, mains run $14-$18 or so, and desserts are $5 – pics of the full menu below!
Next time, I’ll be ordering some apps (scallion pancakes and wings ) and the half duck or stir-fried lamb noodles (you can’t see the prices on these, but I think they were the most expensive dishes at $18-$20 or so).
You might want to request a table away from the door. It can get pretty drafty. Bring your own booze to stay warm.
Go: Eastern Alley, 6 Clinton St. at Houston, Manhattan, NY 10002. (212) 228-8249. Call ahead to check if they’re still BYOB before running to the wine shop.
2 Comments so far
Leave a comment