NEW YORK: COME TO AMSTERDAM AVENUE Indian/Ecuadorian/Vegan/Pub Grub/Crafted Beers/Authentic Italian @ Harlem Prices

@Lapacazo, What Do You Know? I know about good food. Where to find it at a price that can and will leave a great, big smile.


This week, I suggest that you explore Amsterdam Avenue, in Harlem, and get a foot-forward and test the joints out before

the city becomes “Tourist New York!”

It is official — well almost — the summer is fast approaching and the city will be stuffed with smiling tourists who will be flocking up town, in part, to visit Alexander Hamilton’s home which is Hamilton Grange (414 West 141) and made widely popular because of the sold out, Tony nominated musical, HAMILTON written by uptown “son” Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Alexander Hamilton was interesting long before he hit the “great white way” mostly in part because he is an immigrant. His humble beginnings as an orphan on the Caribbean island of Nevis to become George Washington's right-hand man and his “fall from grace” and his move uptown, to Harlem, has made a visit to his aforementioned estate a must-see.

So that brings me to the jewels of Amsterdam Avenue and all located between 145th and 137th.  In those short nine blocks the palate can travel the world and the prices are “neighborhood” friendly.  My hats off to the owners for keeping the prices low and the quality high.



What I love best about these six edible choices is the “friendly-stay-awhile” feeling that makes everyone feel like Harlem, Amsterdam in particular is your second home.


Top Choices on Amsterdam Avenue

Cafe One has one of the largest selections of Vegan and Vegetarian treats mixed with the usual delicious, homemade sugary treats.  This place is a jewel because of the affordable lunch specials, casual atmosphere, super fast wifi and original art work by local artists (changed monthly). The owners, Susan and Sam Yang, wear a smile that comes from the inside and out.

Address: 1619 Amsterdam Ave


FUMO is under new management and it’s absolutely authentic Italian cuisine. The historic coal-oven pizzeria makes their piazza crust one of the best in the city.

Address: 1600 Amsterdam Ave


Clove Indian Restaurant & Bar the Yelp reviews are specular but it’s the owner, Sammy and his lovely wife, that help make this one of the best dinner choices on Amsterdam Avenue.  Monday through Friday the $10 all-you-can-eat buffet is worth every penny.  There are vegan, vegetation and meat choices.  Everything is authentic Halal because Sammy, is Muslim, and his wife is Hindu.  That diversity makes for a delicious meal.  Delivery just added.

Address: 1592 Amsterdam Ave


GRILL ON THE HILL has the “Cheers vibe.” Labeled a sports bar it’s open to everyone and is no frill LGBTQ friendly. The great selection of craft beer, pub grub (the spiced chicken wings ate addictive and the mac&cheese intoxicating) & weekend brunch with karaoke and comedy nights, makes this a new favorite on the block.  

Address: 1624 Amsterdam Ave

Open until 11:30AM–4AM


THE GRANGE offers microbrews, craft cocktails all served in a comfortable, roomy and rustic-chic space. Outside seat is optional. Private dining room available. All You Can Eat Weekend Brunch and Jazz Sundays.

Address: 1635 Amsterdam Ave

Open 11:30AM–4AM



Alert:  You don’t have to travel to Queens to taste delicious Ecuadorian cuisine.  The ceviche is fresh and the chaulafan (Ecuadorian fried rice) cooked perfectly with generous meat choices (shrimp, sausage, chicken). The wait staff might appear “too laid back” for most diners but it’ a small price to pay for an authentic Ecuadorian meal.

Address: 1685 Amsterdam Ave, New York (cash only)




Celebrate Diwali with "beautiful & delicious" Indian food at AARZU

You may be wondering what does "beautiful" have to do with Indian food. Well, you are in for a delicious surprise at AARZU, a wonderful Indian restaurant in Freehold, NJ. The food is not just delicious, but beautifully decorated and presented. And comes with wonderful service too. Checkout the pics here yourself. And then go and try it for yourself this weekend!

Renowned restauranteur Kamal Arora and Arora Hospitality Group’s latest culinary venture, AarzuRestaurant, opens its doors to the community to celebrate its first-ever Diwali season this week (Diwali is on Sunday, October 30th). Specializing in modern Indian cuisine with a focus on taste, texture and presentation, the Freehold, New Jersey-based restaurant and banquet facility is hosting a week-long Diwali Festival with a specialized Indian New Year tasting menu, in-house henna artist and live tabla player, all in an attempt to engage and excite the community and educate them about the significance of this important Hindu holiday.  

"The Indian New Year is an auspicious time when we celebrate with our families, and food is at the heart of that celebration," said Arora, who has several other successful New Jersey restaurants under his belt. "We would like to invite the community-at-large to become a part of the Aarzu family and indulge in our Diwali festival to mark an important milestone for our newest restaurant."

Post-Diwali, Aarzu will celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holiday season by helping those less fortunate in their community. "For every meal we serve at Aarzu, we will DONATE a meal of equal value to our local food bank for the entire month of November," said managing partner and philanthropist Archana Sharma. "As a socially-responsible small business, we want to ensure that no one in our community goes hungry this time of year." 

Where to enjoy the best NYC Smoothies this summer! #DrinkMNYE


Smoothie history is intrinsic in the US DNA. Back in the 30s health food stores started selling puréed fruit drinks in the West Coast and, by the 60s and 70s, these shakes were the darlings of the East Coast. When strolling in the New York streets it’s a must to carry around a large beverage to sip. It’s either coffee, water or a smoothie.

So to feel like a true New Yorker here are the places to try out the best smoothies in town:

9 FUEL GRILL & JUICE BAR (683 9th Avenue)

If you’re hypoglycemic the bliss haven set in Hell’s Kitchen is the place where you should fuel your body. This Juice Bar’s menu of beverages seems to actually indicate what smoothies best fit your needs. From the Diabetes Helper, to the Muscle Fuel, from the Acne Solver to the Hangover Killer, fruits and vegetables get mashed in an elixir for your well-being.  

8 UPTOWN VEG JUICE BAR (14 East 125th Street)

The number one vegetarian restaurant  in Harlem is a family owned business that has been providing its customers with a healthy diet for over 17 years. The fresh-pressed juices and smoothies are popular amongst uptowners, especially their Green Juice, which is a combination of celery, parsley, spinach, cucumber, broccoli, watercress.

7 DIG INN (150 East 52nd Street)

If you’re digging it with healthy lifestyle, go Inn! The creed of Dig Inn (in all six locations) is that everyone deserves to eat well, even on a budget. That is the reason why they decided to democratize the farm-to-table movement offering vegan selections at fair prices. If you have a sweet tooth, you will love the chocolate smoothie made with organic cacao, fresh whole banana, dates, organic soy milk, and agave nectar.  

6 BLOSSOM DU JOUR (259 West 23rd Street)

The name and ambiance seem to weld East and West, thanks to Pamela Elizabeth who established Blossom Du Jour as an alternative to fast food. All vegan recipes are delicious and nutritious, healthy, eco-conscious and enlightening on the benefits you may gain by detoxing through juice cleansing. 

5 LIQUITERIA (170 Second Avenue)

The original location set in the East village has become ever so popular that it branched out in other locations around Union Square and the West Village. So what is it that makes smoothies and juices so popular here? Juices are packed with easily digestible raw vitamins, minerals and enzymes from fresh fruits and vegetables, flooding your body with wholesome nutrition and the nourishment you crave. 

4 JUICE PRESS (156 Prince Street)

Thirteen locations all over New York City demonstrate how good Juice Press is. What is the trick? Being organic and cold pressing juice to maintain the solid pulp, which is then pressed by the hydraulic press. The variety of flavors is unbelievable: there are 59 unique bottled beverages and 23 superfood smoothies. My favorite? The ginger fireball that is also great for the immune system.

3 D’VIDA (11 Madison Avenue)

You will be truly Living D’Vida Loca when exiting this health bar. The wide assortment of fresh fruit smoothies, will satisfy your thirst for freshness. But you can also indulge in a  healthy guilty pleasure, trying their frozen yogurt, sweet shakes or baked goods.

2 ORGANIC AVENUE (116 Suffolk Street)

You may find an Organic Avenue store all over the Big Apple, since it’s the premier plant-based retailer in the US. It truly inspires healthy living, that will “Feed Your Brain” as their motto says. The revolutionary must try is their energizing Matcha, that contains caffeine, but as a result of unique phytonutrients, that basically kick into your system less traumatically than coffee but still set you running. The Matcha Latte  and Revival Smoothie contain this chlorophyll derived ingredient that helps oxygenation and balances the blood’s pH.

1 JUICE GENERATION (Grand Central)

Grand Central is just one of the main locations of this extraordinary juice realm, created by Eric Helms, back in 1999. His mission is expanding across Manhattan - through 15 stores and counting - to promote a lifestyle movement and sustainability. For instance Juice Generation is part of the Green Restaurant Association and participates to New York’s Food Waste Challenge. Not only are the juices top-notch, but the philosophy promoted by Helms has made Juice Generation the epitome of juicing expertise all over the media.

Want Barcelona style tapas? | BOQUERIA SOHO (3/4) #EatWithART

I like Spanish food. And no, I’m not talking about Mexican food, it’s different. I like that too. And yes, Mexican food is not same as Tex-Mex… Anyways, before I go off the tangent… Let’s go back to Spanish food. Our New York City happens to have some very good Spanish tapas bars, and I’ll definitely say Boqueria is one of those.

On a warm-ish NYC day, my stroll to get there for lunch was quite nice, it’s in the cool SOHO neighborhood. And the place is nice, modern with a very warm and welcoming environment. The server was also very warm, informative and nice. So far, so good!

The menu offers a wide variety of tapas style dishes which can be ordered alone or shared for the table. On average you may need 3-4 tapas dishes for one person. Oh, just in case you didn’t know tapas means, it is small snack style dishes, not full meal. But it’s cool, as you can order many and enjoy many dishes. The prices are not ridiculous either; it’s on the moderate side. The menu also has American style full entrees. The servers are nice, friendly and will explain whatever you may need.

I ordered Cojonudo (Fried quail eggs and chorizo on toast), Albóndigas (Lamb meatballs, tomato sauce, sheep’s milk cheese), Moruno y Salsa Verde (Grilled lamb, salsa verde, pickled shallots, rustic baguette). All 3 were delicious, and served pretty quick (10-15 mins). Lamb was tender and very well marinated. The meatballs had great seasoning too. Although by serving all 3 together, some of the things got cold. But it was still pretty good… And yes, they can make omelet from quail eggs. I have tried, it is kinda hard!

So, if you like Spanish food, or you like tapas, you like flavourful fun food, or you just want to try, this is that place. Enjoy!

For more details, check out their site below

How to eat like a real Italian in the City #EatMNYE

Food Eataly NY

As an Italian (born and raised in the boot-shaped land) living in New York, I must say the Big Apple is one of the places where you can enjoy the best food. No matter the nationality of the cuisine, you will always find what you are looking for. It’s a real haven for those who, like myself, are what they call back in my country “a good fork” (i.e. a good appetite). But please bare in mind that certain Italian-American dishes have nothing to do with Italy!

Let’s begin with spaghetti and meatballs: this is truly an invention of the star&striped country. In Italy we do have “ragù” which is similar to the so called Bolognese sauce, but it’s blasphemy for an Italian to see the first course in the same plate as the second course.

Moving on: fettuccine Alfredo, have never been - and probably never will be - part of Italy’s typical dishes, just as pasta with chicken or veal chicken parmigiana. A true Italian would twitch his nose in disdain at the idea of putting those ingredients together.

Nevertheless once you have acknowledged the difference, it isn’t impossible to eat like a true Italian in New York. If you want to cook yourself a meal at home, the places to go food shopping are Eataly (200 Fifth Avenue) and Buonitalia in the Chelsea Market (75 9th Avenue). Whereas if you are in the mood for a romantic dinner date or a fun lunch with friends, Piccolo Café has several locations in Manhattan which will guarantee you a true Italian tasting experience.

But a very curious experience I have come across, while gourmandizing in the City, is that New York’s pizza is the best on earth! In Italy the most delicious Neapolitan pizza will never be as scrumptious as the one in the Big Apple, no matter if it’s a 99 cents slice you nibble walking down the street, or whether it’s a pie served in a sleek venue. Some say it’s because of the quality of New York’s water, that welds with the ingredients so wonderfully, and yet the mystery still remains unsolved. Is there any foodie out there who can solve the enigma?

NEW YORK - GET YOUR "EAT ON" for Valentine's Day! #EatMNYE #LWDYK

I am hungry! Hungry! Hungry!  But I don’t know what I want, and once I zero in on the type of cuisine, I don’t know what part of the island has the best in my modest price range. Help!

The sentiment listed above is echoed throughout the city!  Pretty much all day, you are witness to hungry people checking the plethora of apps trying to give that exact information, to help squash those aching hunger pains!

Since February 14th is fast racing and it’s the time for “lovers” and dates, dates, dates — I am searching for that perfect spot that might fit most pockets.

So my count down begins.  In reverse.



The Little Owl — Cost: $58

It’s called “little” for a reason. It’s only 28-seats (West Village) and regulars know to “mark” the day and to call 45 days ahead.

90 Bedford St.; 212-741-4695

RedFarm—Cost: $53

There are thousands of places to get Chinese food but to find good Chinese food, that is something to share. So, if  you enjoy great dim sum and “innovative” locavore cooking, this nosy place can work.  Not great for a first date unless you don’t want to chit chat. Great if you just want to eat!

529 Hudson St.; 212-792-9700

Jewel Bako—Cost: $80

If your date has money, say yes to this one!  Yummmy to the tummy.  It’s located in the East Village. Japanese fish and very fresh.  

239 E. Fifth St.; 212-979-1012

Rose Water—Cost: $47

Park Slope does not disappoint.  It’s fine and cozy and consistent.  

787 Union St., Brooklyn; 718-783-3800

Il Buco—Cost: $63

Pricey but a great wine selection.  Pricey. It’s Med-Italian fare and it’s very good for group dinners.  

47 Bond St.; 212-533-1932

Bocelli Restaurant—Cost: $50

Tuscan decor, this Grasmere Italian “definitely stands out” and it’s in Staten Island; reservations are a must on weekends.

1250 Hylan Blvd., Grasmere; 718-420-6150

Good Fork—Cost: $46

Brace yourself. It’s rough Red Hook but the food is seriously good and Asian-accented.

391 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn; 718-643-6636

Dovetail—Cost: $81

It’s expensive but the famous $52 ‘Sunday suppa’ is a “special treat.”

103 W. 77th St.; 212-362-3800

Wolfgang's Steakhouse—Cost: $79

No need to explain.  It’s succulent meat. 

Multiple locations

Dirt Candy—Cost: $50

Clever, tasty and complexvegetarian dishes that make you happy that you choose veggies.  East Village knows how to make leafy stuff swing!

430 E. Ninth St.; 212-228-7732

Bianca — Cost: $33

Hearty.  Plentiful. Bargain driven.  Therefore crowded. Go early!

5 Bleecker St.; 212-260-4666

Wallsé—Cost: $78

Vienna calling. Answer. Modern Austrian fare is waiting and there is "artwork by Julian Schnabel/”

344 W. 11th St.; 212-352-2300

Scarpetta — Cost: $75

If he/she is buying and your downtown — ok — it’s gosh, darn good spaghetti and “elegantly simple” dishes.

355 W. 14th St.; 212-691-0555

Piccolo Angolo—Cost: $47

The owner, Renato Migliorini, puts “heart and soul” into his West Village joint. He cares and it shows on the plate. 

Insiders know to  reserve ahead—now you know too!

621 Hudson St.; 212-229-9177

Keens Steakhouse—Cost: $76

MAD MEN old school with an outstanding scotch selection and thousands of antique clay pipes adorning the ceiling.

Old school means circa-1885 and it’s known for it’s detail to service. 

72 W. 36th St.; 212-947-3636

Marc Forgione—Cost: $72

The menu is crafted by Iron Chef Marc Forgione and therefore it’s crowded and people leave happy!

A “perfect date” place – just book far ahead

134 Reade St.; 212-941-9401

Taïm—Cost: $13

This is a hidden jewel in the West Village.  Vegetarian Israeli draws “100-mile-long” lines.

Multiple locations

ABC Kitchen—Cost: $59

Jean-Georges Vongerichten and chef Dan Kluger’s organic sourcing and farm-to-table approach makes this a worthy trip!

35 E. 18th St.; 212-475-5829

Rooftop Beer garden: Tavern29 (3/4)

It’s almost May and it’s still cold in NYC. And it sucks. Otherwise this will be perfect time to be going to rooftop bars and even better, beer gardens! However, it’ still not too bad of a time, to grab your beer under the sky. Although surrounded by buildings, and no real view, except the sky. After all it’s NYC, and this place will not really burn a hole in your pocket, so you have to expect that. I'm talking about Tavern29 at 47 East 29th street b/t Madison Ave & S Park Ave.

It’s quite rustic looking with exposed bricks, wooden touches, dark-ish lighting, but it’s cool. There are 3 floors including rooftop/terrace, so there’s enough space. I was there over weekday evening, and it was pretty full. Not over crowded, but cool. They have a decent collection of many different well priced beers. They had some good NITRO stout. The place has a full menu for lunch, dinner and snacks. Pizza was nice and really good dips. So you can enjoy eating with drinking, under the sky!

They also do Bottomless Boozy Brunch, which you may want to try.

For more info, checkout their site:

It’s Gelato Time! Try myNewYorkeye’s Top Choices

Spring leading into summer can only mean one thing: It’s time for ice-cream! New York has a variety of places where you can enjoy the sweet delight, but few are the spots that evoke  the true scrumptiousness of Italian gelati. Before giving you my top 6 locations, bare in mind that to evaluate the quality of a good gelato you should take a look at the chocolate shade: if it’s beige the ice-cream is sure to be an epic fail, but if it’s dark brown, almost black (especially if the flavor is dark chocolate), it’s a thumbs-up.

Here is myNewYorkeye’s Gelato Hit Parade:


6 POPBAR (5 Carmine Street)

This place doesn’t exactly align with Italian gelato compositions, but it is truly worthy of mention for the exquisite creative innovations to traditional ice-cream: all kinds of gelato come on a stick with additional nuts, chocolate, or other coatings. 


5 GROM (2165 Broadway)

Though I feel this gelato chain founded in 2003 in Turin is often overrated, it actually abides by its motto: “Il gelato come una volta”, i.e. “Ice-cream made the good old fashioned way.” The Torroncino is the real treat, very popular among Upper West Siders. 


4 GELATERIA AT EATALY (200 Fifth Avenue)

Eataly is the place in the City where you can find the exact same flavors of the boot-shaped land! This obviously includes gelato flavors that are extraordinarily creamy, since they are made with local organic milk. 

Laboratorio del gelato

3 LABORATORIO DEL GELATO (188 Ludlow Street)

If you step in here, you will truly feel like entering a lab: a bunker-like design with a heavenly allure. The fruit flavors are incredibly smooth and, if you want your taste buds to run wild, you can try some more extravagant flavors such as green tea, white sesame, toasted coconut or even beet.

L'arte del gelato

2 L’ARTE DEL GELATO (75 Ninth Avenue)

The art of ice-cream making” (the literal translation) has branches on Bleecker, the High Line, Chelsea Market, and Lincoln Center. All these locations attest how the gelato craftsmanship has won the hearts of locals and tourists alike, especially thanks to certain flavors such as pistacchio, olive oil and zabaione.


1 AMORINO (60 University Place)

Love is in the name and it truly is the best place for a date. Women love to be homaged with flowers and sweet things so what could be better than an ice-cream cone that reproduces a flower, where every petal is an ice-cream flavor? Oh and trust me, this place passes the chocolate shade test more than any other gelateria in New York!

Buon Appetito!

Sant Ambroeus from Milan to the Big Apple

If you happen to be from Milan (like myself) it is impossible for you to ignore the city’s patron saint, even if you aren't religious. Sant’Ambrogio - aka Sant Ambroeus in Milanese dialect - became bishop of Milan in the year 374, by popular demand, and ended up running the city for 20 years. He was a skilled demagogue and orator and is still tributed today on December 7th. One of the most beautiful churches in Milan was named after him and was tributed in a poem by the Italian 19th century poet Giuseppe Giusti [who by the way happened to have a love affair with my ancestor, Isabella Rossi Gabardi Brocchi].

Hence, Sant’Ambrogio is all over: in trivia, in history and he truly embodies the milanese essence, that is why one of the most sophisticated pastries in the Italian fashion capital was named after him. Sant Ambroeus Caffé was founded in 1936 by a couple of pastry chefs who had trained in Paris during the enticing period of la Belle Epoque. They decided to open a pastry café close to the opera house La Scala and to name it after the great bishop of Milan. The  celebrated pasticceria and confetteria quickly became the meeting place for the local intelligentsia, who would enjoy the legendary cappuccino and cornetto at Sant Ambroeus.

Since the 20th century’s intellectual and artistic cream of the crop found utmost expression in the Big Apple, the Sant’Ambroeus trademark could not but establish itself in New York City. And so it did. Where? All over the island and beyond! Sant Ambroeus can be found in the West Village, on Madison Avenue, in SoHo, at Lowes Regency Hotel and even in Southampton.

The stars and stripes version of Sant’Ambroeus takes the traditional coffee shop a step further, expanding it to restaurant, Italian enoteca, and haven of traditional Milanese cuisine. But it remains faithful to its original identity, being the the hub of uptown clientele, creating a true neighborhood meeting place, where you can enjoy the best Italian coffee and pastries in town.

Give your taste buds a summer Treat - with mynewyorkeye!

myNewYorkeye suggests that you Save the Date, June 1st and get your taste buds ready - because its time to Taste (of) Times Square!

  • When: June 1, 2015
  • Where: Starts at W. 46th St. & Broadway
  • At Pedestrian Plazas 

Spring is trying it’s best to arrive despite the cold rain and light flurries. The creative people at the Times Square Alliance is already gearing up for summer programming. To Kick off the summer season go to Taste of Times Squarewhere a selection of the neighbourhood's best restaurants will offer their finest tastes from around the globe. New York City musicians will entertain the crowd as they sample from booths on W. 46th St. from Broadway to 9th Ave., including Restaurant Row.


Raise Your Frosty Mug New York—it’s time to have a Beer!

This week think beer — it’s New York’s Annual Beer Week and it’s bottoms up all over the city but take a good, hard and sober look at the Brooklyn Brewery and Eataly Birreria and work your way through the city.

7 years strong, this annual celebration of all things beer.

Raise a glass, kick off the Opening Day Bash and taste unlimited samples from 40 of New York’s most celebrated breweries, including Bronx Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery and Sixpoint Brewery.

On Feb 24, hit the Brewer’s Choice event, where Beer Sessions Radio, the Good Beer Seal and the NYC Brewers Guild will bring together more than three dozen brewers pouring their favorite beers and local restaurants cooking up dishes to complement the beverages.

On Feb 28, celebrate Gun Hill’s one-year anniversary. It’ll be releasing a limited-edition beer, along with beer cocktails made with Port Morris Distillery moonshine. Pints will be discounted all night and different specials will be announced at the bar every hour.

Make sure to end the week with a bang at the Closing Party Brunch on March 1. The week’s best breweries will be announced, and the week will end with music, food and — you guessed it — more beer.

For more on 2015 BEER WEEK:

Do Hwa, The Authentic Korean BBQ

Do Hwa .jpg

"If you're having one of those trying New York days and you need comfort food, go home to eat, go to Do Hwa and in case you're too frazzled, by the urban buzz, to remember the way it's located at 55 Carmine Street."

Those are the words that I texted to Art Shrian venture capital liaison for the Asian community and co-writer of  the multimedia children properties BOOGALOO and LADY, THE SMILING PITBULL.

Shrian wanted a restaurant that merged comfort, superlative dining and Hollywood glamour for his discerning, global clientele. 

First impressions seals deals and you can't go wrong when selecting Do Hwa, the authentic Korean BBQ Restaurant owned by Terrence Segura, Jenny Kwak, and her mother Myung Ja Kwak.  The sole investor is award winning film-maker and pop culture phenomenon Quentin Tarantino.

 Myung Ja Kwak is the executive director and under her directions all of the meals are prepared by ajumas.

Do Hwa is an establishment where deals are sealed and friendships forged.  It's an eclectic blending of Wall Street types, passionate foodies, contemporary bohemians and international  filmmakers (established and emerging) all of whom share an affinity for Korean cuisine with soul.

This is truly soul food as delivered by Jenny Kwak, an artist whose family emigrated from Korea, in the late 70's, and her mother Myung Ja Kwak.

It's that soulful connection that drew Quentin, then a frequent dinner at her first spot (Dok Suni) which she owned and operated with her mother.

Times change and when Do Hwa became a new venture opportunity, Quentin decided to take the plunge. 

Designed by Hassan Abouseda, Do Hwa resembles a chic, Korean house with dark brown leather paneled walls. The bar, accented in vibrant red, always plays a selection from Tarantino films ( in a silent  loop) which adds texture and a dash of cool to the dining experience.

The interior can hold 64 comfortably and there are five tables, in the front, that offer smokeless BQ grilling and advance booking is strongly encouraged.

The lighting has a sensual feel without feeling dramatic and the back-lit shadow boxes, decorated with Korean characters that punctuate panels, topped with a row of glazed clay pots, are some of the visual highlights.  As a woman, I'm flattered by the lighting and turn to that sexy venue when trying to make a romantic imprint. 

As I shared, the meals are prepared by ajumas and with Myung Ja Kwak's eye on delicious details, I've grown spoiled.

It's not on the menu but the signature cocktail "Mr. Blue," is what Mr. Shiran ordered, absolutely sure that his deep-pocketed clients would want the cocktail that Quentin gets when he visits, which is often.

Inspired by the character in "Reservior Dogs" and created by Myung Ja Kwak it's a special measure of  Stoli Vanil, blue caracao, and lime juice.

Before I get to the conversation with Jenny, let me share a few words about the soulful, comforting food. The prices are respectful and the portions are so generous that its easy for two to share.

Do Hwa makes my favorite kimchi which I'd consume daily, if possible.  Some of my other favorite appetizer choices include the Mak Gooksu, Mul Mandu, Seng Sun Jun and Jap Chae.

Since I was dining with Art,  whose purpose was to be a well fed tester for future wealthy clients, we  happily accepted the suggestions of our server Mira, whose wide smile and bright eyes made us feel perfectly welcome.

In short order our table was filled with a dizzying selection of fiery goodness. One of  the best just happens to be Quentin's favorite as well. It's the JALAPENO CHICKEN and its fluffy, crispy, moist and addictive and drizzled with the most subtle jalapeño sauce ever created, anywhere in the world.

There are great, group choices for new converts to Korean cuisine.  That menu feeds four (per person – $29 with a bottle of soju – $33) and has five succulent choices: HEYMUL PAJUN large seafood (shrimp and squid) chili pepper pancake;DUK BOKIr ice cakes sauteed in chili sauce with vegetables; WATERCRESS SALAD fresh watercress in sesame, garlic and chili vinaigrette;  JAP CHAE sauteed sweet potato glass noodles with vegetables or L.A. KALBI, beef short ribs in an aromatic barbecue sauce.

As the chilly fall evening wounded down, Art  ordered his third and final cocktail ("Mr. Blue") and I took the opportunity to find out  some interesting details about Do Hwa from owner, Jenny Kwak.

myNewYorkeye: What do you LOVE about owning a quality establishment in NYC?

Jenny: The customer that becomes your everyday friend. Being able to nurture a neighborhood clientele who appreciates the food and cocktails we serve.

myNewYorkeye: How has the American knowledge and enjoyment of home cooking, from Korea, changed in the last two (ish) years? 

Jenny: There has been quite a good amount of dis- mystification of Korean flavors. Kimchi for instance, is common and most, enjoy the flavor and love the health benefits seconds.

The tanginess is addictive and used with confidence in New American Haute cuisine across the country. I once dined in Charleston at S.N.O.B, a well known restaurant and was really delighted to see kimchi combined as a "flavor"

myNewYorkeye: Your family works closely in the business, how does that help shape the feeling form the food to the entire experience?

Jenny: We like warm and simple. The food and people fill the space and all become part of the restaurant space and the experience. It feels robust and lively without being overly ornate. We try not to stray away from what makes Korean food special, at least how I know it in my mother's home cooking.

myNewYorkeye: Does Quentin Taratino have a favorite dish - and why did he express a love for that dish?

Jenny: He got hooked on the my mothers deji kalbi, braised pork ribs that fall off the bone. I think he was delighted to find such a dish...considering he's from Tennessee... then he fell in love with the cook, my mother. The rest is history...


Photo Credit: Art Shiran, venture capital liaison for the Asian community and co-writer of  the multimedia children properties, BOOGALOO and LADY, THE SMILING PITBULL. 

Cocktail:  "Mr. Blue" inspired by the character in "Reservior Dogs" and created by Myung Ja Kwak it's a special measure of  Stoli Vanil, blue caracao, and lime juice