Filling in for Ligaya Mishan, Jeff Gordinier pays several visits to the quiet Japanese restaurant Soy on the Lower East Side. "Plenty of New York restaurants aim to manufacture a sense of homeyness, but Soy feels like an actual offshoot of someone's apartment." Etsuko Kizawa, the chef and owner turns out simple, often veggie-focused fare at a very relaxed pace.
She's not trying to stage some sriracha-versus-Sichuan-peppercorns death match. Her beef curry delivers simple solace, especially on a cold day...Soy's signature dish, spiritually speaking, must be its "tofu steak"...It doesn't make a lot of noise, but that's O.K. New York has plenty of noise already.
Ligaya Mishan will return to her usual beat on January 21.