Dining

10 New Restaurants to Help You Beat the Heat This August

A.C. and stellar food will cure any temperature woes
The Burger at Emmy Squared: NYC New Restaurant
Le Big Matt at Emmy Squared | Photo: Danielle Adams

Looking for a new restaurant to try this weekend? Here are 10 options around the country to get you started.

New York

Hao Noodle Chelsea

One of New York’s most consistently excellent Chinese restaurants has a new spinoff. The goal, as explained on the website, is to "introduce to you not only a condensed encyclopedia of traditional Chinese noodles, but also feature progressive culinary trends happening now." That includes skewers like pork tenderloin with perilla leaf and eggplant with a fish sauce, green pepper and sweet and sour sauce.

Sofreh

Joining New York’s small cluster of Persian restaurants is this airy place near Barclays from Nasim Alikhani, who grew up in Isfahan and immigrated to the U.S. more than 30 years ago. In an effort to give New Yorkers a taste of her homeland, she’s making yogurt from scratch, importing sugar-coated dried fruit to pair with tea, and serving hearty dishes like Persian plum chicken with saffron and tart barberries.

886

Eric Sze, who owns The Tang in the East Village, has a new project in the neighborhood. This one, named for Taiwan’s country code, offers plays on Taiwanese cooking like three-cup chicken reimagined as a small plate of wings. There’s also the cheekily named sausage party, made with Taiwanese sausage, sticky rice, cilantro, shallot and duck yolk. All of it is served in the glow of purple neon lights that line the space.

Emmy Squared

Brooklyn's beloved square pie destination Emmy Squared is now serving the East Village. Many of the pies made the trip across the East River, including The Emmy, with banana peppers, red onion, ranch and side sauce. There are a few newcomers like the Emmyletta with mortadella, pepperoni and an olive salad, plus the Curry Row with Brooklyn Delhi aachar, onions, peppers, cauliflower and chutneys.

Photo: Emily Bolles

Los Angeles

Menya Musashi

There's a new ramen-ya in town. Menya Musashi, which started in Tokyo, opened in Sawtelle Japantown mid-July. The menu is short and sweet, focusing on ramen with rich chunks of braised pork belly and tsukemen, noodles that are served alongside a bowl of broth for dipping.

Crack Shack

Richard Blais has brought his fried chicken to Los Angeles. Diners can order the chicken on its own in five- or 10-piece increments or opt for sandwiches like the Firebird, which stacks a potato roll with a spicy fried chicken thigh, crispy onions, pickles and ranch dressing. Those looking to hang for the afternoon can head outside for a game of cornhole.

San Francisco

Smokebread

For the past year, former Bar Tartine chefs Nick Balla and Cortney Burns have been experimenting with a series of lunchtime pop-ups in the Mission restaurant The Perennial. Smokebread is the latest one, which opened recently with "spoon salads" like the Sofia: tomato, cucumber, olive, feta, pickled beans and marjoram vinaigrette. There’s also the Duna with salami, pepper jack, tomato, mushroom and pepper, and the namesake Hungarian smoked potato bread.

 

Sofia Salad

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Chicago

Omakase Yume

There are only eight seats at chef Sangtae Park's new omakase restaurant, meaning each diner gets face time with the chef who helped open Mirai and Japonais and ran Badaya and Izakaya Yume. Dinner here consists of 17 "courses" of Edomae sushi influenced by the chef’s upbringing in Busan, South Korea.

 

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Mini Mott

Mott St's beloved burger now has a dedicated home courtesy of James Beard semifinalist Edward Kim. The mini menu offers burgers (topped with American cheese, hoisin aioli, miso butter and more), wings, fries and soft serve in fish-shaped waffles. Grab a toy from the Japanese vending machines along the back wall.

Washington D.C.

The Spot

Rockville’s new food hall brings dishes from around East Asia (and Hawaii) under one roof. There’s Taiwanese tea spot Gong Cha serving up bubbles and iced teas, Cheers Cut hawking fried meat and seafood, Mian serving hand-pulled noodles, a poke spot, and a sweets vendor turning out bubble waffles with toppings like matcha ice cream.

Devra Ferst is a food writer, editor and cooking teacher based in Brooklyn. She cares much more about babka than any one woman should. Follow her on Instagram at @dferst.

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