The MasalaWala

Interior

The MasalaWala
179 Essex St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 358-9300
Official Site

To find a good Indian restaurant in New York City is easy as there are pockets of areas across the five boroughs. In Manhattan, East 6th St. between First and Second Avenues and in the 20’s on Lexington Avenue is packed with such places. Indian cuisine from the different regions of the country are well represented here. But in the Lower East Side, there is a restaurant called The MasalaWala. Specializing in serving the street food of India and the rest of South Asia, Masala meaning a mixture of spices and wala a person that serves or provides a service, it is a local treasure of the Lower East Side. The MasalaWala inhabits the intersection where Essex meets Houston Street, a miniscule space that is designed to maximize every square foot available packing it with dark wooden tables and hard wood chairs. The restaurants humble décor is designed with a visible open kitchen, walls of exposed red bricks with paintings, and tiny light bulbs hanging from the ceiling.

Exterior

Dining Room

With a menu that is extensive, and can be overwhelming, with all the goodness it offers at an affordable price range. Separated by vegetarian, meat and sea food choices, starter dishes average in the single digits, while entrées hover around $17 with only a few that cross the $20 mark. For starters there is the Malai Tiger Shrimp Tandoor-grilled Tiger Shrimp marinated in sour cream, nutmeg and sesame. Four pieces of wonderfully grilled shrimp were the second most expensive on the appetizer menu. Chowringhee Pani Puri – Semolina puffs, potatoes, chickpeas, and tamarind are small pastries with a savory filling. Dip it into the tamarind sauce for a nice hint of sourness. Wala Veg Sampler-Assortment of Mumbai Samosa, Dilli Bajji and Paneer Pudina Tikka is a delicious sample of non-meat offerings on one plate. Their watery Spiced Lentil soup has a good nutty flavor while the hearty Aloo Masala Roll- spiced potatoes, tomatoes and cilantro was a generous serving and more than enough as a meal.

Malai Tiger Shrimp

The entrées, Chicken Tikka Masala-Tandoor-grilled chicken in fresh tomato cream sauce with fenugreek, a creamy sauce that drowned the grilled chicken with its consistency and traces of sweetness. The intense spiciness of Chicken Madras-South Indian specialty curry with tomatoes, ginger, mustard seeds and curry will be much appreciated by those who enjoy a lot of heat with their food. Jalfrezi chicken- A tantalizing combination of paprika, tomatoes and coriander in a hot and tangy sauce on the other hand had a delightful depth of piquancy while also having the wonderful mixture of spices and herbs in the background. A paneer entrée of Mattar Paneer -North Indian favorite with pressed cottage cheese, green peas, herbs and spices, where cubes of cottage cheese swam in a tomato based sauce seasoned with different spices.

Vegetarian entrees like the Bhindi Do Pyaza (Okra) – sautéed okra, onions, tomatoes, dried mango, had beautiful aromatics with all the ingredients it was sautéed in. The vegetables married well with one another and the okra was not over cooked like it often can be, causing the dish to thicken, but instead it provided additional texture. Baingan Bharta (Eggplant)-Roasted eggplant, spiced tomatoes, cumin. The combination of tomatoes and roasted eggplant mashed together while also having a peppery substance made up a pleasant dish. To soak up the curry sauces plain biryani rice is served with the entrees or different types of roti or naan are available as a side order. I usually prefer the fresh garlic naan as it gives that extra garlicky tang that goes well with the restaurants curry sauces.

]Traditional Indian sweets make up the desserts like the Rabri Ras Malai,cottage cheese dumplings in sweet condensed milk, garnished with rose water and pistachios. The mildness and texture of the cheese prevent it from being overly cloying, instead it creates the right amount sweetness. Gulab Jamun Khoya,dumplings in sweet saffron syrup are round spongy like dumplings that are soaked in a sugary syrup, quite a contrast from the other but nevertheless this gives the palate sweetness afterwards that complements the savory dishes.

Naan

Lunch and dinner at The MasalaWala is always pleasing. The kitchen produces good food with straight forward and honest cooking. The mixture of different spices and herbs bring out bold flavors in every dish. There is a great deal of consistency here, on my most recent visit my palate resonated with the tastes that are still familiar from before. The restaurant has a decent list of alcoholic beverages that includes imported beer from India such as King Fisher as well as European and domestic wines at a price with very little mark up.

A family owned restaurant, the owner’s father was always at the restaurant at the times that I visited The Masalwala. With his welcoming nature, he sets the tone for the staff to provide a more personal service. He stops at every table to chat and greets guest as they come in while also thanking them for their patronage as they leave.

The MasalaWala brings locals and visitors together with its delicious and reasonable price dishes in an inviting atmosphere. An all-day dining on any day of the week, this restaurant has never failed to deliver a good meal. This is one of the best tasting Indian restaurants in New York City and I’m not the only one that shares the admiration, a quick search on Google will bring up a plethora of favorable write ups from blogs and other review sites.

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Jadis

Interior

Jadis
42 Rivington St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 254-1675
Official Site

In a city like New York, choosing a wine bar can be quite the challenge, when there is an overwhelming array and number to choose from—a problem that most major city on earth wish they had. There are numerous wine bars in every neighborhood in this city. The Lower East Side alone boasts quite a few. In this area I’m a big fan of Jadis, a French wine on Rivington St.

The atmosphere in Jadis is cozy and relaxed, which definitely are attributes of a fine wine bar. The lounge area in the back is downright inviting with its comfy dark leather sofas and matching ottoman chairs. It is a wonderful place to unwind with a group of friends.

The rustic interior of Jadis is designed with exposed brick walls and ceilings. There are cabinets that display bottle of wines and shelves with classic novels. The dimly lit space comes alive with the dramatic flames of the candle lights on the top of each table. Soft music fills the air and sets the tone in the background for a romantic setting. The setting is so romantic that at any night of the week, you may find a couple or two occupying one of the dark two top tables, or can be seen sitting by the reflex angled bar in the front area.

It’s not only the setting and the atmosphere that makes Jadis a pleasant place, their food and wines solidify its integrity as a good wine bar in the city. You can’t possibly go wrong with good food and wine at a reasonable price. The wines by the glass cost between $6 to $9 and the most expensive item on the food menu is no more than $19.

 

 

 

The wine list is not overbearing and predominantly French; there are a few from Napa Valley, Germany and South America. Most of the wines are available by the glass, except for the bottles that exceed $45. Bottles of wine are economically price and won’t break the bank.

The menu at Jadis is simple and made to compliment the wine. Due to absences of a kitchen at this place, each dish are premade and prepared behind the bar. I can understand that it can be a turn off for first timers like I was. But when I finally succumbed to trying their food, I was impressed.

Starters like Beef Empanadas, Mushroom Truffle Risotto Puffs and Mini Quiches are tasty finger foods. The escargot on the hand has a buttery flavor. The snails are served without the shell, and have a nice soft and slippery texture.

 

 

Other dishes to my liking were the Duck Liver Mouse and the Duck Rillettes. The rillettes duck meat was tender and fatty. The duck liver mouse is thick and creamy. I also had the Venison Terrine. It was interesting since this was the first time I ever had venison. It has a very distinct gamier flavor. All three dishes are better eaten if used with the spread to the bread that it came with.

There’s also the very rich opened face sandwich called Tartine Champetre. The bread is drenched with cream, gruyere and sautéed mushroom. The Quiche Poulet made with tomatoes, chicken and manchego cheese is a buffet of goodness. It just might be the lightest dish I had in Jadis other than the starter plates.

 

 

I would never expect that this wine bar would have one of the best Crème Brulee I’ve had so far in this city. I never bother to try their other deserts because of this and I’m pretty sure that I will not be disappointed if I did. But for now, my favorite part of this dessert is the perfectly torched crust and the watery but firm inside of the Crème Brulee.

The owners of Jadis are present every night to assure the quality of service the patrons are receiving is up to par. The staff is knowledgeable with their wines and will even provide recommendation for wine pairing with their food.

Jadis might not have the wine list that your typical wine snob would prefer or the food that will blow diners away, but it does have good food and wine at a reasonable price. So, whether you are on a date or just unwinding after a long day of work, this unpretentious wine bar will make sure that you have a wonderful time.

For individuals who are ordering medicines online, there are several significant factors that must be considered. Internet is an ideal practice to get medicaments. Several medicaments are antifungal medicines. There are at least some medicaments for each sicknesses. Levitra is a medication set to treat few ailments. What do you have to consider about cialis vs viagra? When you buy remedies like Levitra you have to ask your dispenser about viagra vs cialis. Many drugstores describe it as viagra or cialis. Many probably sure the forcefulness of Levitra is well documented. In addition, there are some of explanations and pharmacists are ordinarily able to pinpoint your problem through biological tests. Ordinarily the treatment options may include erectile dysfunction medicaments or counseling. Your generic is for you only. Never give your drugs to other men even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Lost Weekend NYC

Lost Weekend NYC
45 Orchard St
New York, NY 10002
(917) 261-2401
Official Site

Like most New Yorkers, I enjoy a good cup of coffee, especially when I’m sitting and writing my reviews for RaysPicksNYC. So, you can understand why I was very pleased to come across a small coffee shop here on the (Lower East Side). I wouldn’t call myself a connoisseur when it comes to coffee, but I do know a good cup when I’ve had one and The Lost Weekend NYC coffee shop has plenty and much more.

This neighborhood coffee shop is where locals pack the place (especially on the weekend) with their laptops to take advantage of the Free Wi-Fi offered or just to stop by for a cup of coffee. It has a very homey atmosphere and the barista is friendly and engaging as well.

Lost Weekend NYC serves Blue Bottle coffee beans brewed in a poured over style and the beans are grounded per order to ensure the freshness of each individual’s coffee. It’s time consuming to produce a single cup and one can wait quite awhile, especially during busy surges, but it’s well worth the wait.

 

 

When I first had their coffee, I had it with just skim milk. It was so strong that it was almost undrinkable for my taste. But, when I had it with cream it was terrific! The cream seemed to balance out the coffee’s strong roasted taste. The latte’s here are probably the best I’ve had so far in NYC. They have a natural sweetness which is perfectly proportioned with the steamed milk. Cookies or a muffin, which are also served there, compliments the coffee and espresso.

Lost Weekend also serves tea, hand bagged individually at the time of your order. They specifically use Darjeeling, a light tea grown in the Himalayan Mountains. Darjeeling is a comforting and delicious tea that can be had with milk or by itself. So if you are not a big coffee/espresso fan, there is still something you can enjoy here at this café.

 

 

Located along Orchard St., Lost Weekend NYC is not your average coffee shop. It’s also an accessory store, gallery, and clothing store. At first glance it seems like another pop up establishment. Its floor to ceiling store front glass windows and wide open space were once used for either a gallery or a boutique. It has an artsy clean interior with white walls that display photography of edgy surfers and a video reel that plays continuously. Unfinished, but smooth concrete flooring is covered with steel pylon in the middle. A couple of wide wooden tables paired with industrial steel stools and a red sofa facing the windows give the place a relaxed feel.

Unlike the novel, The Lost Weekend that depicts five days of drinking binge, there isn’t any alcohol to be had in the place, other than artisanal coffee specially crafted for its patrons. The coffee here can be enjoyed by both connoisseur and regular folks. This is my pick for a coffee shop in the Lower East Side.

For individuals who are ordering medicines online, there are several significant factors that must be mature. Internet is an ideal practice to get medicaments. Several medicaments are antifungal medicines. There are at least some medicaments for each sicknesses. Levitra is a curing prescribed to treat few ailments. What do you have to consider about cialis vs viagra? When you buy remedies like Levitra you must ask your dispenser about viagra vs cialis. Many drugstores describe it as viagra or cialis. Many probably sure the forcefulness of Levitra is well documented. In supplement, there are some of explanations and pharmacists are ordinarily able to pinpoint your problem through biological tests. Ordinarily the treatment options may turn on erectile disfunction medicaments or counseling. Your generic is for you only. Never give your drugs to other men even if their state appears to be the same as yours.