Restaurant Review: Hao Noodle

Details: Located at 343 W 14th St, New York, NY 10014. Official site is https://haonoodle.com/

Score: 6/10

Hao Noodle is a trendy Chinese restaurant serving some of the most popular Chinese dishes right now. When I went, the vast majority of customers here were Chinese.

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Restaurant Review: Lions & Tigers & Squares Detroit Pizza

Details: Located at 268 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011. Official site is https://www.lionsandtigersandsquares.com/

Score: 7.1/10

Detroit style pizza is one of the trendier styles of pizza recently and this place is one of the primary places to get a Detroit style slice in New York City.

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Restaurant Review: Starbucks Reserve Roastery

Details: Located at 61 9th Ave, New York, NY 10011. Official site is https://www.starbucksreserve.com/en-us/locations/new-york

Score: 5/10

Starbucks Reserve Roastery is basically a really upscale Starbucks. The interior is magnificent. Unfortunately, the food and drink aren’t too spectacular, just expensive.

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Restaurant Review: The Grey Dog

Details: Located at 242 W 16th St, New York, NY 10011. Official site is http://thegreydog.com/

The Grey Dog is a chain of restaurants that primarily serve brunch. I came here for dinner.

I ordered the fish tacos which cost about sixteen dollars and came with either fries or a salad. The tacos were larger than the miniaturized tacos I was used to getting in Manhattan restaurants, but the food was still okay.

Overall, the place was pricey with average food. I’m not sure I’d recommend it. I didn’t have brunch here though so I can’t speak to that. They also have one or two vegan things that got my vegan friend’s stamp of approval.

Score: 6/10

Restaurant Review: Ootoya

Details: Located at 8 W 18th St, New York, NY 10011, among other locations. Official site is http://ootoya.us/

Ootoya is part of a chain of Japanese restaurants which do Japanese food, but more authentic. No reservations unfortunately. I had to put my name down and wait around fifty minutes.

The space is large and calming. It’s clean and all the tables are given plenty of space from each other. The entry way is also worth a mention since it is a wooden cage that separates the entrance form the rest of the restaurant. It helped to increase my anticipation of dinner there when we were finally let inside.

Service was fine. The wait staff were very nice, although it seemed like the waiter/waitress who waited on us may have been a new hire. We had to show them where everything we ordered was on the menu in order to confirm it. No biggie.

Most of the items on the menu offered the item a la carte or as a set. Sets come with the item ordered, rice, miso soup, pickled stuff, and steamed egg custard. We ordered three things: the Katsu Toji (pork loin served in a bubbling pot with egg, onion, and some broth), the Kaisen Don set (assorted sashimi over rice, including fresh uni), and the Gyu Shio Koji Don (grilled slices of washu beef).

It was all delicious. The egg custard was amazing; hot, steamy, and soft, with a thin layer of some kind of tangy sauce over the top layer of the custard. The sashimi served was extremely fresh and the sea urchin was wonderful. The pork loin was fine. The washu beef was good as well, but not extraordinary compared to a good steak house.

We ended the meal with the crepe dessert, which was a crepe filled with some kind of cream and red beans alongsie a scoop of green tea ice cream. Also good.

Score: 7/10 Tasty, but the lack of reservations is annoying. They seem to be opening a new location in Greenwich Village. The one I went to was in Chelsea and someone opined it may be the most comfortable of the three current locations.