Do not forsake the potatoes.
Pearl & Ash, the new kid on the Bowery block, does jazz hands with its flashier dishes, but it's the fried spuds that brought on both joy and satisfaction.
Find them listed at the rump of the menu under "Vegetables," described as potatoes with porcini mayo and chorizo ($6).
At the 60-seat restaurant helmed by Richard Kuo, an alum of the (now-closed) Nordic pop-up Frej, it's no wonder there's complexity in these tubers.
Kuo first boils his potatoes, starting them in cold water so they cook evenly. A quick fry crisps the skin. When a diner orders the dish, the potatoes get a second dunk in hotter oil, which renders them golden. The creamy, salty and crisp roots are finished with mayonnaise spiked with porcini powder and topped with chorizo and chives.
Other delights on the menu include long beans coated with sambal oelek and uni ($7), deeply savory pork meatballs fortified with shiitakes, black vinegar, miso and bonito flakes ($9), and chicken-skin-wrapped quail nuggets on a swipe of pomegranate gel ($13 or $24).
Since many of the dishes can be ordered in two sizes, we found much contentment in being able to order the bulk of the menu. But the potatoes are one size only, meaning you may seriously want to consider a double order.
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