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Xi’an Famous Foods Posts Video of Late Night Vandals and Asks Them to Pay for Stolen Dumplings

Plus, NYC mayoral candidate Eric Adams dines at Rao’s with a billionaire Republican — and more intel

Xi’an Famous Foods’ spicy cumin lamb noodles sit on a white plate as a person pulls them up
Xi’an Famous Foods’ spicy cumin lamb noodles
Nick Solares/Eater

Xi’an Famous Foods captures vandals on camera cooking dumplings in Chelsea shop

Two women allegedly broke into the Chelsea location of Xi’an Famous Foods early on Sunday morning, after an electronic lock on the front door disengaged due to a power failure. Xi’an Famous Foods founder Jason Wang posted a video of the incident, in which the suspects attempted to cook their own food — apparently in cold water — and made off with a bag of dumplings. The suspects fled the scene after a few minutes and left a mess: Food was on the counter after they tried to cook a few dumplings, a fridge remained partially open, and other spoiled ingredients had to be thrown out.

It may seem like a case of the late-night munchies gone wrong, but Wang says the company won’t report the trespassers to the police if they pay for their food and any related expenses. “While we can respect that one has cravings for our food late at night, it is still trespassing, and it’s really not OK for you to feel so entitled to be able to waltz into a commercial kitchen,” Wang wrote in a YouTube video posted roughly 24 hours after the incident. “It’s not legal, it’s not safe for our guests or even yourselves. Yes, the food is just too good to pass up, it’s like having a golden ticket to the XFF safe, but, no, don’t.”

The incident happened around 12:30 a.m. July 11 at 96 Eighth Avenue, the newest location of Xi’an Famous Foods. The two women, whom Wang described as “drunk” in the YouTube clip, apparently were able to get in the store because the electronic lock on the door didn’t work due to a power outage. Wang tells Eater that he’s trying to see the humor in the incident, but he wanted to also harness social media to hold the suspects accountable.

In other news

— Cote heads out East after a pandemic year in which the Korean steakhouse had a splashy Miami opening and offered outdoor dining and delivery for the first time at its original Flatiron location. On July 16 and 17, a $525 butcher box, which includes Japanese A5 wagyu, will be available for delivery in certain parts of the Hamptons. Email outeast@cotenyc.com by July 14 to order.

— NYC mayoral candidate Eric Adams shared dinner with billionaire Republican John Catsimatidis at exclusive Italian restaurant Rao’s, the Post reports.

— Peoples Wine in the Market Line is reopening its bar and shop on July 22. Chef Nir Sarig of ETI NYC is heading up the kitchen for a three-month residency.

— Ahead of this past weekend’s Les Halles pop-up, Resy — which partnered in the three-day event highlighting the documentary Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain — sat down with Philippe Lajaunie. The French bistro owner shared stories about the now-shuttered restaurant and his close relationship with Bourdain.

— Di An Di, the popular modern Vietnamese restaurant in Greenpoint, is holding a sale after being closed for nearly a week for renovations. Plates, glassware, and more will be sold between 1 and 5 p.m. from July 15 to 17.

— Gothamist’s Scott Lynch checks in on the many noodles (and all the vegan options) on the menu at Lower East.

— Malai and chef Maneet Chauhan will partner for a pop-up on July 18 from 1 to 4 p.m. for National Ice Cream Day with a Chaat Party Box featuring a trio of ice creams and a mango mastani drink from Chauhan’s new cook book, which will also be on sale.

— The claw is law? Not this summer.

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