Monday, November 15, 2010

The Plaza Food Hall by Todd English 11-12-2010

Location: 1 W. 58th St.
Time: 12:30pm
People: BLee and myself

Feelings: When BLee and I arrived at The Plaza Food Hall, we were instantly reminded of a food hall in Japan or Harrods in London. Growing up in Osaka, a weekly visit to a department store followed by the food hall with my mother was a weekend ritual. I picked up my obsession of fashion and food from these countless visits. Thanks to The Plaza, I can now reminisce the old department store memories with my dear friend BLee. But...The Plaza and Todd English? It seemed a bit pricey for a weekday lunch.

This place is quite hidden, so if you are meeting with someone who is not familiar with the inside of The Plaza, I would recommend meeting at the front desk, and while waiting for your table, you can admire their lovely bakery section.

The price was not as bad as I had originally expected. There were salad dishes from $7-$16, $10 soba noodles and $15 ramen as well as burgers, sushi and pizza. As a blogger of Ramen and Friends, I probably should have tried Todd English's translation of ramen, but I decided with $10 falafel. I never thought I would pay $10 for falafel, but the outcome was quite a quintessential embodiment of Todd English style cuisine. The dish came with three taco-esque shaped sandwiches lined elegantly with a flavor of sophistication. The inside of the falafel was ever so smooth and creamy, and the salad and tahini sauce were incredibly refreshing. This is the kind of falafel that would not give you harsh breath afterward.

BLee also enjoyed her charred octopus ($8) and pork dumplings ($12), which came with a side of kimchi. She seemed to especially enjoy the dumpling skin, and I found the octopus to be simple yet robust. As we suspected, the kimchi was certainly not the type we would find in K-Town and toned down quite a bit.

They do a fantastic job incorporating all the popular New York street food and turning into delicate, sophisticated meal. And if you are used to paying $10 for lunch anyway--Why not schlep to The Plaza and treat yourself with $10 falafel and $8 fries?

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