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Hands dive in to pick up fries on a plate with a whole lobster on it.
The lobster french fries at Chino Grande.
Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet/Eater NY

30 Restaurants That Define Williamsburg Right Now

Fried rice bars, karaoke saloons, starless steakhouses, and some of the city’s toughest reservations

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The lobster french fries at Chino Grande.
| Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet/Eater NY

A massive neighborhood deserves a massive dining guide. So goes the logic behind this sprawling map of Williamsburg restaurants, slice shops, karaoke saloons, and fried rice bars defining the neighborhood right now. This stretch of north Brooklyn has undergone significant transformation since this guide was last published in November 2021, with new additions like Bonnie’s (a Cantonese American restaurant from a former Win Son chef), Santa Fe BK (a home for smothered burritos and margaritas made right), and Fan Fried Rice Bar (the latest addition to this neighborhood’s collection of Taiwanese spots) now anchoring the scene. Rest assured, we’ve made plenty of space for classics, too: Peter Luger, down a Michelin star, is still worth visiting, as is Lilia from chef Missy Robbins, if you can get in. Ahead, 30 restaurants that define Williamsburg right now.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Le Crocodile

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“French classics done well” could be the motto behind Le Crocodile, a swanky restaurant from the folks behind Greenpoint’s popular brunch spot Chez Ma Tante. Yes, this is a restaurant on the ground floor of a hotel. Yes, it’s still worth visiting. It’s hard to go wrong on this menu of hits, but standouts include the leeks vinaigrette, an entree-sized portion of escargot, a pâté made from mushroom instead of liver, and a plate of steak frites that’s worth its $45 price tag.

A slice of foie gras pate on a white plate with a torn hunk of baguette
Foie gras destined for baguette.
Liz Clayman/Le Crocodile

Laser Wolf Brooklyn

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With its location atop the Hoxton Hotel, offering spectacular views of that little town across the East River, Laser Wolf is Williamsburg’s latest destination restaurant, and you’d best make reservations far in advance. Basically, the place is a type of Israeli skewer shop known as a shipudiya. Here’s how it works: You pay a fixed price for a grand tray of appetizers, followed by a large charcoal-grilled beef-, poultry-, or fish- kebab (there are vegetarian options, too), then finish up with a small dessert. The apps are the best part.

Ten small bowls filled with dips and vegetables and salads are arranged around a larger hummus bowl on a shiny, round metal platter. Pita and fries are off to the right side.
Unlimited salatim come with dinner at Laser Wolf.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Fedoroff's Roast Pork

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If you come from the City of Brotherly Love and miss its renowned cheesesteaks, the best chance to remedy the situation is found at Federoff’s — which looks like a fast-food joint right out of the ’60s or ’70s. But the real focus of the place is a sandwich perhaps more appreciated by Philadelphians than tourists — a roast pork and broccoli rabe hoagie, knocked into orbit by sharp provolone cheese.

A sandwich on a seeded roll broken open.
Federoff’s delicious garlicky roast pork and broccoli rabe hoagie.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

This Williamsburg classic was founded two decades ago over the L stop at Bedford Avenue by local Palestinian residents who vastly improved the neighborhood’s falafel offerings. Now in bigger digs, Oasis has expanded its menu to include chicken and lamb shawarma, the bread salad called fattoush, flaky hand pies, and mousakah, in addition to all of the luscious mezze from the original location.

A person and their dog stand out front of a restaurant, Oasis, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Affordable falafel and shawarma draw a crowd at Oasis.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Anthony & Son Panini Shoppe

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Anthony & Son Panini Shoppe is the rare case of a social-media sensation that actually lives up to the hype. Sandwiches come out as they appear online: rolled tight and packed with Italian cold cuts, cheeses, and hot and sweet peppers. The menu is massive, and popular orders include the Godfather (prosciutto, capicola, soppressata, salami, pepperoni, mortadella, and mozzarella) and the FDNY (mozzarella, vodka sauce, and a chicken cutlet that’s way better than it should be).

A hand clutches an Italian sandwich wrapped around itself with meat, cheese, and lettuce.
Here is a well-made Italian sandwich.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Santa Fe BK

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Santa Fe BK makes margaritas as God intended: muddled by hand with tequila, triple sec, and citrus, available in single or double portions, spicy or non-spicy. The cocktails are a strong vote of confidence for the smothered burritos and enchiladas that follow, comforting dishes that are rarely done justice in New York City. Order them blanketed in red or green sauce (made from Chimayo and Hatch green chiles, respectively) or a mix of both, called “Christmas style.”

A Christmas-style burrito with smothered sauces is served on a yellow plate on a wooden table.
A smothered burrito, Christmas-style.
Christian Rodriguez/Eater NY

Bonnie's

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Bonnie’s has become the mascot of our city’s so-called reservation crisis, whereby everything cool feels impossible to get into. Don’t worry; it’s only partially true: This restaurant, from a former Win Son chef, can book its tables two weeks out within minutes, but there are a handful of seats at the bar set aside for walk-ins each night. The reward for those who persevere is a bathroom designed for mirror photos in addition to well-executed Cantonese American dishes, including “cacio e pepe mein,” cha siu glazed pork served in the style of a McRib, and that $53 fish.

An assortment of dishes from Bonnie’s, a Cantonese-American restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Bonnie’s, one of Brooklyn’s hottest restaurant openings of the year.
Adam Friedlander/Eater NY

Lilia is still one of the toughest tables in Brooklyn a half-decade after opening, but should it be? We’re not saying this restaurant isn’t worth visiting — the cacio e pepe frittelle, sheep milk agnolotti, and other Italian American dishes here have a devoted following for a reason. We’re just saying there are 29 other restaurants on this list that won’t quote you a three-hour wait even if you’re Jennifer Lawrence.

A corner of Lilia’s dining room with lights that hang over the tables
Reservations at Lilia still ain’t easy.
Paul Crispin Quitoriano/Eater NY

Cozy Royale

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The name of this full-service restaurant from the Meat Hook is fitting: The dark wood and mismatched vintage art displayed really do make it feel like a home dining room of sorts. Much like any tavern worth its salt, the move here is the burger, which these days features Sungold jam, scallion aioli, pickles, and American cheese; it comes with pretty damn good fries, too (a rarity in 2022, as complimentary fries become few and far between). If red meat isn’t what you’re after, try other cozy classics like the chicken Milanese.

A spread of food including salad, pepperoni balls, and fried pork with an egg displayed in white porcelain dishes on top of a brown wooden table
Breakfast at Cozy Royale.
Clay Williams/Eater NY

Llama Inn

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Opened in 2015, Llama Inn has settled into a sweet spot: The Peruvian restaurant is casual enough that locals can walk in on weeknights, but still feels right for a birthday or special occasion. Dishes like the chicken thigh with aji verde, fluke tiradito, and salmon ceviche are small but packed with flavor, while the lomo saltado and quinoa with cashew and banana offer something more substantial. If the weather allows, head to the rooftop upstairs, which has its own bar.

A plate of steak, tomatoes, fries, and herbs.
The lomo saltado at Llama Inn.
Eater NY

Bamonte's

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Red-sauce Italian fare is Bamonte’s specialty, and it’s been serving it to the neighborhood since 1902. That old-school mentality shows: The waiters wear tuxedos, tables are draped in white tablecloths, and there’s opulent decor like chandeliers and red drapes. Rest assured, the food still stands up, especially standout dishes like baked clams, chicken Francese, pork chop with sweet or hot peppers, and spaghetti with meat sauce.

The outside of a red restaurant with an American flag and a sign that reads “Bamonte’s Restaurant” Daniel Krieger/Eater NY

Edith's Eatery & Grocery

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After a pandemic-era bagel pop-up led to a permanent sandwich counter, owner Elyssa Heller expanded with this full-service restaurant. Made to look like a cozy general store, Edith’s offers a casual, all-day menu of chicken schnitzel, chopped salad with pickled mackerel, flaky malawach bread, and seasonal frosties, like a coffee with tahini that can be made boozy. Look out for weekend brunch specials such as coconut-macaroon french toast.

The deli counter and dining room at Edith’s Eatery and Grocery, a restaurant and grocery store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Edith’s, a deli counter and cafe.
Molly Tavoletti/Eater NY

Birds of a Feather

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Birds of a Feather is still our go-to for top-notch Sichuan food in Williamsburg, even with newer arrivals serving food from the province. A long communal table at the heart of the restaurant is part of the draw. The menu offers modern inventions — pork and okra “mini rolls,” fried eggplant accordions — as well as more traditional dishes. The stylish restaurant comes from the team behind Cafe China, a Midtown restaurant that held a Michelin star from 2012 to 2019.

Cubes of bean curd bobbing in a light red sauce.
The mapo tofu at Birds of a Feather.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Birria-Landia

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The Jackson Heights food truck credited with jumpstarting New York’s birria boom has a second location on the corner of Meeker and Metropolitan avenues. The tacos, coated in fat then crisped on the griddle to order, easily rank among the city’s best at $3.50 each. Cups of consomé come free with birria tacos at other spots, but here the disposable cups of soup ($4.50 to $6) come loaded with chunks of stewed beef and make for a substantial snack. Dip your tacos in, and enjoy.

A corn tortilla is dipped into rendered beef fat, giving it an orange hue. Several other tortillas wait on the grill next to it.
Birria-Landia is largely credited with kickstarting the city’s birria boom.
Christian Rodriguez/Eater NY

St. Anselm

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Peter Luger may reign as the best steakhouse in Brooklyn, but the more intimate St. Anselm holds its own with pitch-perfect steaks and a menu where nearly everything touches the grill. The butcher’s steak with garlic butter is the way to go.

A steak at St. Anselm
St. Anselm’s steaks have inched out Peter Luger in recent years.
Michael Parrella/St. Anselm

Zaab Zaab Talay

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Few restaurants have earned as much acclaim in as little time as Zaab Zaab. The Elmhurst Thai restaurant opened in the spring of 2021, attracting critics from Eater and the New York Times, before announcing a citywide expansion that includes three more locations. So goes the story of how Williamsburg ended up with one of the city’s next great Thai spots. Called Zaab Zaab Talay, this restaurant focused on seafood — whole fish steamed in lime-garlic broth, papaya salad with oysters and crab legs — offers infinite rewards for those with a spice tolerance.

A whole fish, white rice noodles, and thicket of herbs and lettuce.
Find some of the borough’s best Thai food at Zaab Zaab Talay.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Chino Grande

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If fighting over lobster french fries to the tune of karaoke sounds like a night well spent, Chino Grande might be for you. This Williamsburg restaurant from a co-owner of Win Son bills itself as a “karaoke saloon” — and even though singing is only permitted after 10 p.m. on weekdays, and 11 p.m. on weekends, the bar is buzzing here most hours of the day. Look out for a short menu of finger foods like swordfish skewers, five-spice pork ribs, and an order of $65 french fries topped with a whole lobster.

Guests clap as performers sing a karaoke song.
Chino Grande doubles as a late-night karaoke bar.
Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet/Eater NY

Claudia's

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Claudia’s, a colorful bistro that opened in 2019, boasts an expansive menu of Guatemalan dishes, like the mama’s tamal, a masa based dish that can be ordered with carnitas. Breakfast is served all day, and at dinner, try the hilachas, a shredded beef stew in roasted tomato sauce.

On a red plate is a banana leaf wrapped tamale, a fried egg, a roll, and pile of purple onions.
Tamales and fried eggs for breakfast at Claudia’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

A-Pou's Taste

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Williamsburg is an unassuming enclave of Taiwanese restaurants that include Win Son, also on this list, and Fan Fried Rice Bar, which recently relocated from Bed-Stuy. A-Pou’s Taste, to the east, may be our favorite of the bunch. The small cafe has the feel of a well-worn neighborhood spot, even though it opened at this address in 2017, serving top-notch dumplings — pork and pumpkin are best — in the afternoon and fan tuan and egg sandwiches in the morning.

Chunks of tender beef float in a broth with noodles and vegetables at A-Pou’s Taste in Williamsburg.
Beef noodle soup comes loaded with meat.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

The Four Horsemen

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Opened in 2015 by LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, Four Horsemen remains one the best restaurants in town. Diners can sip on a glass of fun pet-nat and find Michelin-worthy small plates that lean expensive but are perfect for a celebratory night out. It’s rare for a wine bar to hit a home run with both its drink and food menus, but this Williamsburg favorite strikes the right balance by creating a place where wine lovers, a see-and-be-seen fashion crowd, Francophiles, and restaurant enthusiasts can all sit elbow to elbow.

A spread of food and wine from the Four Horsemen
The Four Horsemen is one of the best spots in town for a celebratory meal.
The Four Horsemen

Fan Fried Rice Bar

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Fried rice is king at this corner restaurant and bar, the newest addition to Williamsburg’s growing Taiwanese food scene. Fried grains are infused with egg, scallion, and onion, then topped with a number of meats: Taiwanese sausage and a massive slab of breaded pork chop offer something closer to the fried rice shops of Taipei, where owner Paul Chen is from, with a handful of less conventional options like pastrami or chorizo with pineapple.

A fried pork chop sits atop a bowl of white fried rice at Fan Fried Rice Bar.
The fried pork chop is massive.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Leo is our pick for sit-down pizza in the neighborhood, a buzzing spot that’s just as good for grabbing a well-made Negroni as a whole pie with clams or spicy sausage. The corner restaurant comes from two of the partners behind Ops, one of Brooklyn’s best pizzerias. The pies there definitely have the upper hand, but Leo’s are plenty good, coming out bubbly with a little char. The non-pizza menu is substantial, too, with meatballs, caesar salad, pastas, and more.

This corner cafe punches way above its weight class with its menu of modern Jewish dishes and baked goods worth going out of the way for. The chicken schnitzel with challah is a banger, and the bagels remind us of some of Manhattan’s best, even if they don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Grab a seat in the well-decorated front dining room, which invites customers to linger with a menu of cocktails and wines labeled “day drinking.”

The interior at Gertie has windows on the left and a pastel-colored geometric mural on the back
There’s few better places for breakfast in Williamsburg than Gertie.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Noods n’ Chill

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You might not expect it from a restaurant named after a Tinder pick-up line, but Noods n’ Chill is turning out some of the neighborhood’s best Thai fare. Duck curries, fried red snapper, and blood boat noodles (a rich soup flavored with pig blood and bobbing with pork balls) can be ordered for dinner at varying heat levels — the spiciest packing lots of heat — while brunch brings pork floss toast and congee with a number of add ins.

Thai sweet chili paste blankets a piece of bread with cilantro and sesame seeds.
Toasted brioche with dried pork.
Nat Belkov/Eater NY

L'Industrie Pizzeria

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Massimo Laveglia’s slice shop remains one of the city’s great pizzerias — a place for paper thin Roman-esque slices, and a place to leisurely sip beer or wine in the spacious outdoor shed. Burrata slices show off a nice contrast between cool, milky dairy and warm tomato sauce, though the truffle pizza is the sleeper hit here. Laveglia creates a bit of wonderful magic by blending good mushrooms, salty mozz, and a touch of truffle paste. The pricey fungi add a sweet perfume, without ever overpowering things.

Slices with burrata, pepperoni, basil and other toppings from L’Industrie.
L’Industrie serves some of the neighborhood’s best slices.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

With Aldama, Christopher Reyes and Gerardo Alcaraz have given New York one of its most ambitious new guard Mexican restaurants since Cosme opened in 2014. Swing by the electrically charged bar room, or book a table, for al pastor tacos with pineapple-serrano gel, sliced duck breast on heirloom tlacoyos, and a stunner of a vegan mole with black truffles and fragrant corn tortillas. Or heck, just pop in for a few shots of mezcal and for the bumping soundtrack.

A shot from outside Aldama shows patrons enjoying dinner inside the warmly lit bar room.
Mezcal and vegan mole await at Aldama.
Gary He/Eater NY

Andrew Tarlow’s seminal restaurant has been open since 1998, pioneering the current farm-to-table, nose-to-tail, local, sustainable, etc., movements in the borough. Roll your eyes, but Diner is still cranking out New American fare like brick chicken and braised beef with dandelion greens that draw in locals for lunch and dinner. Similar dishes, and better versions of them, can probably be found elsewhere in the borough, but the cool vibes and tight service have made this restaurant a modern classic.

Ensenada

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Chef Luis Herrera, an alum of Blanca and Cosme, has come to Williamsburg with Ensenada, an ambitious mariscos spot that blends the sensibilities of Mexico City and Baja California. That means kaleidoscopic aguachiles studded with shrimp, fish, clamato, cilantro, and sometimes lemongrass. Also look out for shrimp and fish tacos, as well as whole butterflied fish slathered in pastor-style spices. Jorsand Diaz, also a Cosme vet, heads up the agave program, with a few dozen mezcals to choose from. Bryce David, who owns nightclub Black Flamingo downstairs, is a co-owner.

A white bowl with a brown rim is filled with green liquid of avocado and herbs on a white backdrop.
The aguachile verde at Ensenada.
Adam Friedlander/Ensenada

Peter Luger Steak House

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Peter Luger is a New York institution, and the steaks are still good, despite the place being stripped of its stars by both Michelin and the New York Times. Order the porterhouse, and at lunch, get the burger.

Peter Luger’s hamburger with fries, on a white plate with blue markings.
The Luger burger.
Eater NY

Win Son

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A half-decade after opening, Win Son’s still got it. This Taiwanese American restaurant in south Williamsburg draws a crowd most nights with its unfaithful but delicious renditions of fly’s head, lu rou fan, and zhajiangmian. The team also runs Win Son Bakery, across the street, a small cafe worth a separate trip for breakfast (think: mochi doughnuts with scallion pancake bacon, egg, and cheeses) and dinner (wine with fried chicken and smash burgers).

The old-school, deli-like exterior of Win Son, with a pedestrian crossing in front of the restaurant
Win Son’s still got it.
Gary He/Eater NY

Le Crocodile

“French classics done well” could be the motto behind Le Crocodile, a swanky restaurant from the folks behind Greenpoint’s popular brunch spot Chez Ma Tante. Yes, this is a restaurant on the ground floor of a hotel. Yes, it’s still worth visiting. It’s hard to go wrong on this menu of hits, but standouts include the leeks vinaigrette, an entree-sized portion of escargot, a pâté made from mushroom instead of liver, and a plate of steak frites that’s worth its $45 price tag.

A slice of foie gras pate on a white plate with a torn hunk of baguette
Foie gras destined for baguette.
Liz Clayman/Le Crocodile

Laser Wolf Brooklyn

With its location atop the Hoxton Hotel, offering spectacular views of that little town across the East River, Laser Wolf is Williamsburg’s latest destination restaurant, and you’d best make reservations far in advance. Basically, the place is a type of Israeli skewer shop known as a shipudiya. Here’s how it works: You pay a fixed price for a grand tray of appetizers, followed by a large charcoal-grilled beef-, poultry-, or fish- kebab (there are vegetarian options, too), then finish up with a small dessert. The apps are the best part.

Ten small bowls filled with dips and vegetables and salads are arranged around a larger hummus bowl on a shiny, round metal platter. Pita and fries are off to the right side.
Unlimited salatim come with dinner at Laser Wolf.
Alex Staniloff/Eater NY

Fedoroff's Roast Pork

If you come from the City of Brotherly Love and miss its renowned cheesesteaks, the best chance to remedy the situation is found at Federoff’s — which looks like a fast-food joint right out of the ’60s or ’70s. But the real focus of the place is a sandwich perhaps more appreciated by Philadelphians than tourists — a roast pork and broccoli rabe hoagie, knocked into orbit by sharp provolone cheese.

A sandwich on a seeded roll broken open.
Federoff’s delicious garlicky roast pork and broccoli rabe hoagie.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Oasis

This Williamsburg classic was founded two decades ago over the L stop at Bedford Avenue by local Palestinian residents who vastly improved the neighborhood’s falafel offerings. Now in bigger digs, Oasis has expanded its menu to include chicken and lamb shawarma, the bread salad called fattoush, flaky hand pies, and mousakah, in addition to all of the luscious mezze from the original location.

A person and their dog stand out front of a restaurant, Oasis, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Affordable falafel and shawarma draw a crowd at Oasis.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Anthony & Son Panini Shoppe

Anthony & Son Panini Shoppe is the rare case of a social-media sensation that actually lives up to the hype. Sandwiches come out as they appear online: rolled tight and packed with Italian cold cuts, cheeses, and hot and sweet peppers. The menu is massive, and popular orders include the Godfather (prosciutto, capicola, soppressata, salami, pepperoni, mortadella, and mozzarella) and the FDNY (mozzarella, vodka sauce, and a chicken cutlet that’s way better than it should be).

A hand clutches an Italian sandwich wrapped around itself with meat, cheese, and lettuce.
Here is a well-made Italian sandwich.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Santa Fe BK

Santa Fe BK makes margaritas as God intended: muddled by hand with tequila, triple sec, and citrus, available in single or double portions, spicy or non-spicy. The cocktails are a strong vote of confidence for the smothered burritos and enchiladas that follow, comforting dishes that are rarely done justice in New York City. Order them blanketed in red or green sauce (made from Chimayo and Hatch green chiles, respectively) or a mix of both, called “Christmas style.”

A Christmas-style burrito with smothered sauces is served on a yellow plate on a wooden table.
A smothered burrito, Christmas-style.
Christian Rodriguez/Eater NY

Bonnie's

Bonnie’s has become the mascot of our city’s so-called reservation crisis, whereby everything cool feels impossible to get into. Don’t worry; it’s only partially true: This restaurant, from a former Win Son chef, can book its tables two weeks out within minutes, but there are a handful of seats at the bar set aside for walk-ins each night. The reward for those who persevere is a bathroom designed for mirror photos in addition to well-executed Cantonese American dishes, including “cacio e pepe mein,” cha siu glazed pork served in the style of a McRib, and that $53 fish.