— The bibimbap and barbecue dishes fail to impress, but Pete Wells loves the blood sausage and yuk hwe at Insa. Here's the Times critic on the raw beef dish: "Insa’s yuk hwe is one of the most suave versions of beef tartare any Korean restaurant has served me. The chopped eye of round is chilly and firm, crunchy with Asian pear and fried capers, and deliciously shiny with sesame oil. I would have lapped it up with a spoon, but it was, no doubt, better on gnarled curls of shrimp chips." Wells also has a great time at Insa's jungle-themed karaoke room. Two stars.
— Mimi's Hummus serves Ligaya Mishan's favorite hummus in New York, and the critic is equally impressed with the other options at the new East Village outpost: "Chicken shawarma is approximated without a turning spit, the thigh meat grilled and roughly shredded, bearing a whiff of Indian curry powder. This is even better anointed with amba, an Iraqi take on mango chutney, the fruit pickled almost beyond sweetness, flaring hot and sour."
— At Lilia in Wiliamsburg, the meat options aren't exciting, but the pasta dishes are all standouts. Ultimately, Bloomberg's Tejal Rao loves the execution of Missy Robbins' dishes: "When people go on about 'good execution,' this is what they mean. Even a basic bowl of pasta, dressed with cheese and pepper, can be infinitely better when put together with serious attention to detail, seasoned correctly, and brought out at the right temperature." Two stars.
— Tygershark's Korean comfort food receives high praises from Zachary Feldman of the Village Voice: "Another bowl holds opaque marrow broth made from bones boiled as long as fifteen hours; the kitchen adds bouncy wheat noodles and brisket that's been braised overnight in banana leaf, notes Hwang. As brisket goes, it's heady stuff that couldn't be any tenderer, with herbal notes from its leafy wrapping. And while the $19 dish is meant to recall creamy tonkotsu ramen, Sandoval spoons in a jewel-like cascade of salmon roe that imbues both beef and broth with a pleasing subtle brininess that transports it far above your run-of-the-mill noodles"
— According to Gael Greene, burgers aren't the only star at Salvation Burger. The critic loves Bloomfield's desserts, McDonald's-like fries, salads, and the chili. Here's Greene on the salads at Salvation Burger: "All four salads are excellent, especially the gnarly beets with tarragon, smoky blue cheese and walnuts, and the splendid romaine. In a feeble attempt at temperance last weekend, I order only that favorite with its crisp, long leaves in clumps, salty and savory from roasted garlic, anchovy and a crunch of croutons."
— Silvia Killingsworth of Tables for Two likes most of what she tries at the new UWS location of Han Dynasty: "Dumplings in chili oil were good if not life changing, and scallion pancakes were excellently flaky, like savory puff pastry. The sweet cold sesame noodles could have been skipped, given that dan-dan noodles are also available, and appetizers of Sichuan pickled vegetables and spicy, crispy cucumbers left much to be desired."