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Reviews for Pizza Moto, Nishi, Llama Inn, and More

Ryan Sutton gives two stars to the Sasso chicken and weirdness at Le Turtle and Robert Sietsema awards three stars to Via Brasil. Here's a roundup of the rest of this week's big reviews:

[Momofuku Nishi]
[Momofuku Nishi]
Gabriele Stabile

As mentioned yesterday, Pete Wells is a fan of a lot of the pies at Pizza Moto @ John Grace Bakery, dubbing them "among the top tier of New York brick-oven pizzas." And while there's more joy in the pizzas, the Times critic does still enjoy some of the appetizers: "A similar frilly noodle, hand-pulled and boiled, was involved in the guinzaglio, one of the most fascinating and delicious appetizers I ate at Pizza Moto. It managed to taste Chinese and Italian at the same time." One star.

Christina Izzo thinks Nishi is a wonderful addition to the Momofuku roster. Here's Izzo on one of her favorites: "Consider the kitchen’s updates to Rome’s elemental cacio e pepe, a flawless study in simplicity, built with salty pecorino romano and cracked black peppercorns. Pinsky sharply forgoes the dairy for a smooth house chickpea hozon fermented for six months, imbuing the sweet, nutty twirl of bucatini with an I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-butter richness. It’s easily New York’s best new pasta." Four out of five stars.

The old Nishi Old photo by Gabriele Stabile

[Nishi] Photo by Gabriele Stabile

— The Robs have high praise for the Peruvian fare at Erick Ramirez's Llama Inn: "The beef stir-fry, Ramirez’s twist on the Peruvian-Chinese classic lomo saltado, on the other hand, is pure genius. The meat is cooked in soy and vinegar, scattered with French fries, and presented with delicate chive crêpes rather than the traditional rice. The object is to approach the dish fajitas style, as you might do at your local Chili's, wrapping up morsels of meat with onions, tomatoes, pickled chiles, and avocado; the trick is to wangle the last pancake without attracting attention." Four out of five stars.

Llama Inn Llama Inn

[Llama Inn] Photo from Llama Inn

At Kitchin in Williamsburg, Ligaya Mishan really enjoys Kevin Moon's Korean fried chicken: "The result is a cloud cover of crispy but still somehow ethereal skin, nubbly and dark. Slashes of kimchi-infused aioli introduce a hum of heat without softening the crust." She notes: "You will need more of that fried chicken."

Many of the plates at El Atoradero wow Zachary Feldman, particularly the tacos: "The tortillas make for jaw-dropping tacos — and yes, that includes the version featuring those pig's ears, which Chavez chops into crunchy, cartilaginous fried squares that pop with a trio of salsas (verde, roja, or a chunky, mashed tomato molcajete)." He adds: "I'd encourage you to try all of it, so long as you save room for the delectably fluffy tequila-soaked flan."

It's not the diner of her dreams, but Gael Greene does have a good time at Tick Tock: "It's great-looking. Virtually untouched by the 21st century, the menu is amusing, so full of possibilities. It can make a dateless chick laugh on a Saturday night."

Nicholas Niarcos is a big fan of the mezedes, or small plates, at Avra Estiatorio: "There are classics, including grilled haloumi, which has just the right amount of bounce as you chew and swallow, and ouzo mussels in a tomato-infused broth which explode with anise."

The Blogs: Restaurant Girl has a delicious dinner at David's Cafe, Chris Stang of The Infatuation is a big fan of Aussie cafe Two Hands, Joe DiStefano thinks Joseph Leonard has one of New York's best fried chicken sandwiches, and The Pink Pig enjoys dinner at Faro.

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