Good In The Hood: King Noodle

king-noodleKing Noodle

1045 Flushing Ave., Bushwick
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(718) 456-6543

The Scene: So you’re cruising down the industrial/residential area of Flushing Ave. near the Morgan L stop and all of a sudden you notice a huge purple awning with a giant squid drawn on it. Upon further inspection, you notice the interior painted with psychedelic colors, augmented by lighting that shifts constantly in a crazy loop of ever-changing colors. While you probably know better than to bring your boss who loves pantsuits to a place like this, King Noodle is one of Bushwick’s grooviest eating experiences. Serving up “casual Asian food,” the menu’s filled with new takes on various dishes you’d find on Korean, Chinese and Japanese menus. Each dish is unique, offering up new spins on menu items you’ve definitely had before. While this all may seem like a stoner’s attempt to experiment with munchie concoctions for Bushwick hipsters, the chef actually worked at some pretty great places like Roberta’s, Do or Dine and The Pines, applying this pedigree to deliver an amazing food set in a unique context.

Who It’s For: If you love Mission Chinese but don’t like the crowds, King Noodle is a nice local substitute. With a full bar, a few beer options, sake (both hot and cold options) and some fun Tiki-themed drink specials, they have everyone but the wine snob covered (who probably shouldn’t be here anyway). The dishes blend ingredients seamlessly in a sweet-but-spicy way. The snack bar-style chairs and laid back service gives King Noodle a neighborhood feel that’ll hopefully keep the Manhattanites away.

How To Do It: If you like to go out and eat delicious food after some quality time with your Volcano vaporizer, I can’t think of a better place to do it (though you don’t need any mind altering help to enjoy the meal). After you decide on your drinks, you definitely want to get some snacks, before choosing a noodle dish. The small dishes are well portioned to split and they all come in under $10, so there’s no reason to miss out on whatever sounds interesting. If you’re really missing your college dorm days you can go right for the Kimchee Carbonara with Doritos or the Pork Fried Spam. If you who want to live to see 40 there are some healthier noodle dishes and a handful of vegetarian options. Still, the dishes that really shine are the Glazed Ribs and the Wavy Noodles with Pork & Shrimp.

Local Secret: Keeping with their snack food theme, you can score a pitcher of beer as well as The Scorpion (a bowl of spicy alcoholic goodness) which can be split a to help keep the drinks bill under control. King Noodle stays open till midnight during the week and 2 AM on the weekends, which means after a night of freaked out psych-rock or dance you can keep the party going with a late-night meal .

@JesseCannon

Good In The Hood: Bia

bia-5Good in the Hood: In this feature we take a further look at the restaurants around the neighborhood.

Bia
67 South 6th Street
New York, NY 11211
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718.388.0908

The Scene: Feels like a Vietnamese countryside shack, only transported to industrial Williamsburg. Bia gives off a fun feeling that would never scream fancy date, but is the perfect place to meet good friends, have a great time and eat well for a low price. The food comes from the family recipes of those responsible for the Village’s Duke’s Bar. These recipes amount to a bunch of some small plates and a few entrees that are filling for a low price. The soundtrack is heavy on Steely Dan and Robert Palmer instead of the Brooklyn bands who imitate them, but I’m sure this works for anyone who has heard that Disclosure record twelve-too-many-times around town.

Who It’s For: If you like to walk over the bridge and need a place to meet for a good drink and a snack, Bia is just blocks from the foot of the bridge. With the majority of the menu being under $10 and a few dishes for $2 and $3, allowing you to meet up for a drink and a meal with both broke friends and that ever-present friend who “just isn’t that hungry (Remember: now is not the time for an intervention, this is a fun spot),” even when you are ready for dinner. Conveniently, the pho and other bowls come in large and small sizes. They have sake, wine, tons of microbrew beer, and cocktails. Most dishes are for carnivores,  but many dishes can be ordered vegetarian. This makes it an ideal place to meet up with a diverse set of friends with finicky needs and disparate spending habits.

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Good In The Hood: La Superior

La Superior

La Superior (c/o NY Mag)

Good in the Hood: In this feature we take a further look at the restaurants around the neighborhood. 

La Superior

295 Berry St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
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718.388.5988

The Scene: If you’re a decade-plus New Yorker who’s always traveling to California, it can be torturous to eat even the best tacos New York has to offer. Nothing can compare to the flavor and character of a fresh Cali taco, just as the West Coast still can’t figure out how to make pizza. For me the moment my feelings changed for the better about New York tacos, was the first time I ate at La Superior. There are other great Mexican tacos to be had in North Brooklyn at Wythe Diner, Vamos Al Tequila, Carino, Mesa Coyoacan, and Bushwick’s Tortilleria Mexicana Los-Hermanos. But for the price, style and quality it’s hard to top this small, hole-in-the-wall spot.

Who It’s For: If you’re looking for an affordable sit-down Mexican meal as opposed to grabbing something quick at a taco truck or the nearby Woods or Union Pool, La Superior is the spot. While the prices are cheap, the menu can venture into foodie territory if you want to pay a little more for an entree and have something unique. This is one of those few places where your friends of different income levels can all be happy. Warning: if you think Taco Bell or Chipotle is good Mexican food or get your panties in a knot when you’re jammed into a tiny restaurant, with limited space between neighboring tables, you will not enjoy this amazing spot.

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Good In the Hood: Samurai Mama

Samuraimama

Good in the Hood: In this feature we take a further look at the restaurants around the neighborhood. 

Samurai Mama

205 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
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718.599.6161

The Scene: Once you get inside  Samurai Mama, you realize you’re in a much more raw and rustic experience than your usual polished, clinical, neon, bright Japanese restaurant. A sister establishment to both Bozu and Bushwick’s Momo Sushi Shack — Samurai Mama is best known for some of the best udon, kitsune and appetizers around town. A hidden gem that doesn’t get the praise of every food blog that sets the tastes for this town, yet is always consistently good and one of the rare places where you can always experiment and know you will get a high quality dish that satisfies.

Who It’s For: If you prefer cream cheese, mayo and 4 types of fish wrapped around a $20 sushi roll or can’t understand why ramen is $13 when it was $.99 in your dorm room, this place is not for you. You go here to appreciate a simple dish that has really good ingredients, not flair and fireworks. The noodles are hand-crafted and paired with some of the most flavorful broths you will have. All of these appetizers and sushi dishes are simple in order to not distract from the flavor. No gimmicks or crazy colored flakes anywhere — just simple, good Japanese food.

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