A gentrification-blind list
  1. Lam Zhou Handmade Noodle
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    Don't let the *crack* of a braided noodle on marble slab jilt you. Order up a #2 and a #17, and the dumpling/soup steam alone can loose even the most congested winter-weary nose of its deeply lodged phlegm. I know a Chinese American whose family could never teach him love of the motherland, but who acquired that virtue when he felt from his pores the sweat that cometh from a slurp of Beef Brisket Soup, and the greatness of those who made it.
  2. Mission Chinese
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    To witness Danny Bowien bounding around the place in his short shorts during the opening months of the E Broadway location is a special experience NYC foodies will carry with them forever. Following the closure of the OG location, DB looks like Ted Kennedy after 72, Foreman after Zaire, Stones after Alta Mont, take your pick. He's wounded in the corner, and he's cooking out of fear. The results are breathtakingly magnificent, and important in ways we are only just beginning to learn.
  3. Forgetmenot
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    Rumors of FMN's demise began percolating amongst Chitown's aspiring artist class around Feb 2015. And so precipitated a most welcome decline in the self-importance the place's clientele, opening it to a crowd not so interested in a new destination so much as a good meal and great michelada. And that's when things started to get really fun. They doubled size w/o sacrificing an ounce of the moody punk vibe that makes it...unforgettable. Bar hits its stride on the summer margh mixes round July
  4. 169 Bar
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    Local legend is the owner was hit by a cab in the 80sor90sorsomebygonenycera, and used his lawsuit payout money ("billions") from the city gov to buy the place. In more recent history, Gothamist churned up that the city caught them serving minors (no shit) and will soon be forced to close. True or not, I saw about a dozen 12 yo's there the week after the article: a testament to their relentless DGAF attitude, and natural fodder for a 21st cent "city giveth and city taketh" parable.
  5. Joe's Shanghai
    Every neighborhood needs its institution. This is Chinatown's. Soup Dumplings so soupy, my roommate once bit into a dumpling whose bottom fell out, exploding on her brand new iPhone (her old one was stolen out of her hand on Canal street the day prior) and breaking it instantaneously. Cue the 'put it in rice joke' if you must, but that is a true story.