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Reviews for Llama Inn, Vandal, Le Garage, and More

Here's a roundup of this week's big reviews:

Nick Solares

At Llama Inn, Pete Wells didn't receive some of the dishes he ordered, but the critic has wonderful things to say about the restaurant in the shadow of the BQE: "Ripe persimmon flesh and strips of raw sea bream under frizzled yuzu threads sit in an instant marinade. The liquid is pale orange, tart, a little fruity, spicy at the edges and generally delicious. You pick up a spoon reflexively to slurp the sauce, even if you don’t know this is the way Peruvians eat tiradito." Wells adds: "What’s been happening inside the Llama Inn since it opened in November is not just different but very welcome." Two stars.

Llama Inn Photo: Llama Inn official

[Llama Inn] Photo via Facebook

Gael Greene likes a lot of the dishes at Tao Group's Vandal, but it's not quite her scene. Here's Greene on whether or not she'll return: "I might not. Partly, it’s a response to the long detour for me and ears ringing from the noise. The street food concept might have been invented to lure me. I’ve flown across oceans and defied stern warnings from travel guides in search of great street food. Of course, it’s early and not everything I’ve tasted is worth revisiting."

With the poké trend taking over Manhattan, Ligaya Mishan visits four restaurants that are serving the Hawaiian favorite. Of the poké served at Sons of Thunder in Murray Hill she writes: "The fish is beautifully fresh and well cut, in hunks large enough to give a sense of plushness on the tongue."

— The Post's Steve Cuozzo likes a lot of what he tries at Jue Lan Club: "Best of all is crispy rock shrimp tempura that, for once, is truly crispy. In a lifetime of wrangling this bar favorite, I’ve never had it so good — perfectly battered shrimp that actually tasted like shrimp, beneath spicy lime mayo." In his review, Cuozzo refers to Jue Lan Club as the "Chinese place for people who don't like Chinese food."

Zachary Feldman is a big fan of mother-daughter project Le Garage, where the Voice critic finds one of his favorite bites of the year. He writes: "Soup offerings change frequently, but I hope you'll get the chance to sample a recent bowl that blended celery root with coconut milk, deepening the vegetable's nutty flavor and smoothing out its texture. The comfortable warmth of the soup seems to echo the staff's hospitality, which leans more Seine than East River, a sincerity that recalls France's best family-owned bistros." Feldman adds: "Like all of Catherine's cooking, it radiates finesse while eschewing fussiness."

[Le Garage}

[Le Garage, courtesy of the restaurant]

The Blogs: Restaurant Girl stops by the new food hall at Macy's, Joe DiStefano heads to Taiwanese Gourmet in Elmhurt, Goodies First visits Pokéworks for an early taste, The Infatuation gives an 8.2 rating to Timna in the East Village, and the Pink Pig has a great experience at Chevalier.

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