Ryan Sutton takes down Stephen Starr's Buddakan and Morimoto in a double review, dishing out zero stars for Buddakan, and one star for Morimoto. Robert Sietsema is off the reviewing beat this week, but here's where other critics dined around town:
Pete Wells falls in love with the honey butter chips at East Village Korean innovator Oiji: "They come to the table straight from the fryer, translucently thin and shimmering all over with honey and brown sugar melted into butter. Cayenne keeps the syrup from overstaying its welcome. They are crisper and more lovable than wet potato chips have any right to be." Two stars.
Steve Cuozzo takes one for the team and works his way through some of Times Square's worst restaurants including Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Buca di Beppo, and Dave & Buster's. Here's Cuozzo on that last restaurant: "If North Korean designers tried their hands at a Western-style sports bar, this might be the result... [and] nothing I've encountered in 16 years of covering restaurants (included with chicken) compared to 'crunchy apple slaw' — a mélange of substances I could not identify except for the overpowering stench of day-old vinegar."
Gael Greene digs the dishes at Malaysian street food spot Chomp Chomp: "Our mouths radiate the pungent shrimp paste of the fried chicken wings and Chinese celery that arrives first, dappled with crispy garlic." But, she's less than thrilled with the reservations and service, both of which seem overwhelmed.
The Elsewhere: Tables for Two recommends ordering the unfamiliar dishes at The Black Ant. And a bonus tip about that Mexican restaurant: "If it sounds familiar—like beet salad or miso black cod—you can probably skip it." Christina Izzo visits the new Alta Linea outdoor bar at the High Line Hotel by the L'Apicio. Izzo writes: "[T]here are few locales as downright lovely—and suited to alfresco boozing—as the High Line Hotel." Zachary Feldman files an early write up of the cooking at new hit pizzeria Bruno. The critic explains: "A word on the kitchen's daily changing, off-menu 'secret' pizza: Inquire and take a chance."
The Blogs: Paul Schultz (like Gael Greene) stops by Chomp Chomp this week and finds a few misses, but mostly hits including the chili chicken wings. Longing for raw fish over rice, Immaculate Infatuation keeps returning to the tiny East Village Soba-ya, which it rates a 7.8. Meanwhile, Joe DiStefano is spending the rest of his summer eating ceviche at La Cevicheria in the Rockaways. And The Food Doc writes that The main courses at Brit chef Jason Atherton's restaurant The Clocktower are "exercises in luxurious excess, and Mr. Atherton did not disappoint."