Shalom Japan: “inauthentic Jewish and Japanese food” comes to Williamsburg

Shalom Japan (c/o Eater)

Shalom Japan (c/o Eater)

From Eater:

Shalom Japan is the new Williamsburg restaurant from chefs Aaron Israel (Torrisi, Mile End) and Sawako Okochi (Annisa, The Good Fork). As the name implies, the menu has strong Japanese and Jewish influences, although it looks like Israel and Okochi are not going for novelty food here. [Read more…]

Open in Williamsburg: The Grand Bar and Grill


Here’s what the owners have to say about this new bar and gastropub that opened recently on Grand:

Eric Austin and Jason Kleinmann are two guys that know what they like. In 2007, after their favorite punk rock bars had closed they decided to open their own: the Second Chance Saloon. Now, after finding frustration with the lack of decent fare on their side of Williamsburg, they’ve opened The Grand Bar and Grill. It’s a maturing of Eric and Jason’s DIY punk sensibilities, with a classic American look and feel located at 647 Grand Street between Manhattan Avenue and Leonard Street in East Williamsburg. [Read more…]

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
view map

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.

[Read more…]

Good In the Hood: Samurai Mama


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
view map

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.

[Read more…]

The Best Places To Eat In Bushwick

Dear Bushwick

Dear Bushwick

From Dear Bushwick to Falansai, there have been lots of restaurant openings in Bushwick recently, proving that there’s more to the neighborhood’s culinary world than Roberta’s. (Which, incidentally, we still love.)

Here’s our rundown of the best places to eat in Bushwick.

Alameda – New Restaurant Now Open


We couldn’t be happier to see Alameda open since the Greenpoint Ave. stop definitely needs more food options.

from eater:

Evan and Oliver Haslegrave, the brothers behind the Home design company, are opening a new bar and restaurant in Greenpoint called Alameda. Brooklyn Star veterans Nick Padilla and Waine Longwell are also partners in this project. Nick will be the chef and Waine will be in charge of the bar. Alameda will inhabit the corner space that formerly housed The Greenpoint Coffee Shop and The Garden Spot Cafe.

Padilla describes this as “an American Bistro.” The chef tells Eater: “The idea is to provide a set list of raw bar itmes, salads and sandwiches and supplement it with chalkboard specials that are seasonal and frequently changing.” The restaurant will serve Blue Bottle Coffee, and the team hopes to offer dollar oysters during happy hour. Expect a full list of beer, wine, and cocktails.

The Haslegrave brothers designed Paulie Gee’s, The Manhattan Inn, Donna, Goat Town, and Torst, but this is their first time building and running a place of their own.

More information about Alameda and a full menu can be found in our listings.

Best Slice, Best Breakfast, Best Burgers…. Williamsburg Gets Lots Of Love in New York Mag’s Best Of 2013 List

BrisketTown - Voted Best Breakfast by NY Mag

We feel spoiled. One quibble though… we don’t really consider an $115 tasting menu bar food. Still, we’re glad to see North Brooklyn get some love.

Best Miso Ramen:
Ramen Yebisu
126 N. 6th St., nr. Berry St., Williamsburg; no phone
Akira Hiratsuka ages his fresh Sapporo-style noodles for 48 hours to develop their slightly tangy flavor. He complements them with an elegant broth based on charred pork and lobster stock, sweet miso, toasted sesame, and an avalanche of chopped green onions ($12).

Best Patty Melt:
Parish Hall
109A N. 3rd St., nr. Berry St., Williamsburg; 718-782-2602
Pat LaFrieda has nothing on this magnificent burger blend: It’s lamb bacon mingled with beef, and it’s rich and drippy and delicious in ways we’ve yet to fully comprehend. The decision to serve it with grilled onion and good Welsh-style farmstead cheese on butter-griddled planks of rye from the neighborhood Polish bakery is a stroke of genius that could spark a patty-melt craze ($15 with salad or fries).

Best Grass-Fed Burger:
80 Wythe Ave., at N. 11th St., Williamsburg; 718-460-8004
Unlike many lean, gristly grass-fed burgers, this one is leavened with lots of juicy fat and topped, for good measure, with an optional wad of melty Gruyère for $16 including fries.

Best Double Cheeseburger:
Blue Collar
160 Havemeyer St., nr. S. 2nd St., Williamsburg; 347-725-3837
One theory behind the success of the double is that two thin patties are better than one: the top effectively basting the bottom with its meaty drippings, thereby creating an ideal ratio of juicy beef to squishy bun ($6.25).

Best Bar Food
90 Wythe Ave., nr. N. 11th St., Williamsburg; 718-388-2969
Depending on what’s on hand in his kitchen that day, the bar menu at Fredrik Berselius’s ascetic, Scandinavian-themed Williamsburg restaurant might include platters of plum-soft beef cheeks, fresh oysters “foraged” from the coves of Long Island, and fanciful Scandinavian-style hot dogs wrapped in tacolike rotis with relish and frizzled onions. If you have just one dish, however, make it the classic “potatis” potato dumplings ($6), which Berselius and his chefs stuff with a savory mash of cabbage and pork and serve, the way they do in the farm kitchens of Sweden, with smoky spoonfuls of farmer’s cheese and a sweet touch of lingonberry.

[Read more…]

Snack Dragon Taco Shack: Now Open In Williamsburg

Some of the best Mexican food in the city can already be found in Williamsburg and Greenpoint at restaurants like Mesa Coyoacan, Calexico, and La Superior. Now we can add Snack Dragon to the list:

Popular East Village late night taco joint Snack Dragon has crossed the river to Williamsburg. Located just a stone’s throw from Pies ‘n’ Thighs and Dram, the colorful snack shack is now doing business in a hole-in-the-wall formerly occupied by a barber shop. It’s also across the street from a massive condo that’s currently under construction, and something tells us business will be brisk once that monstrosity is complete.

The menu is the same as the Manhattan locations, with tacos running $4-$5. And unlike the precious La Superior around the corner, these tacos are big suckers; last night we tried the Grilled Sole taco, which came with two ample Blue Corn Tortillas, topped with Chipotle coleslaw, black beans, jack cheese, radishes, a “zig-zag” of sour cream, cilantro, lime, and their “secret homemade salsa.” The fish was succulent and not overcooked, and one taco seems sufficient in size to preempt any impending hangovers.

Also recommended: The Nacharitos; open-faced crispy yellow corn tostadas topped with black beans, cheese, homemade salsa, sour cream, cilantro, and lime. You can get it vegetarian $4, with any meat for $6, or with steak for $7. Check out our crappy cell phone photo of the complete menu below! At the moment, the Dragon is breathing fire from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on all other nights. Cash only, delivery eventually.

Snack Dragon Taco Shack is located at South 4th Street, between Bedford & Driggs.