Travel

Soho Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Bombay Bread Bar
195 Spring St., Soho
Chef Floyd Cardoz grew up biking around Mumbai, India. It follows that he became an expert in Indian street food. His new SoHo restaurant celebrates the foundation of so many of these snacks—namely, the puffy, buttery, herby kulcha flatbreads slathered in spicy chutneys. We loved the Indian version of a panini, with spiced lamb, cucumber raita, and mustard mashed potatoes pressed between two slivers of toasted naan (he calls it the lamb naanini). But there are also plenty of less carb-y options, like the Bengali banana-leaf-wrapped halibut. The interior, meanwhile, was dreamed up by Kris Moran, a member of filmmaker Wes Anderson’s creative team who worked on The Darjeeling Limited. As you’d expect, it’s a whimsical collection of Pop Art, citrus-patterned oilcloths, and entire walls covered in Bollywood-inspired murals by artist Maria Qamar.
Le Coucou
138 Lafayette St., Soho
A collaboration between restauranteur Stephen Starr (of Upland and Buddakan, among many others) and Chef Daniel Rose (you know him from Spring, one of GP’s favorite restaurants in Paris), Le Coucou’s menu is a lighter take on old-school French cuisine (duck breast, halibut in beurre blanc, lobster tail salad). Roman and Williams transformed the space on a once-seedy block of SoHo, injecting their signature glamour into the grand dining room. You’ll talk about the space, which is marked by overstuffed banquettes, gilded mirrors, a hand-painted mural, and an open kitchen, but you’ll also talk about the service, which is super attentive and buttoned-up. Interior Photos: Ditte Isager; Food Photo: Corry Arnold
Souen
210 6th Ave., Soho
A New York mainstay since the '70s, the prevailing theory at Soeun is an old-school Japanese-based macrobiotic one: there is no meat, dairy, or eggs on the menu and certain veggies are prohibited. One could argue that the cult of the macro plate began here, but there are plenty of other dark green veggies, grains, beans and fish on the menu to leave you feeling pleasantly sated. Salmon or black cod can be ordered with teriyaki sauce; the yuba, tofu "skins" are served with Chinese cabbage, carrot, and scallion in a tamari kombu broth. Both downtown spaces (the other is in the East Village) are light-filled and sparsely decorated. Bonus: They deliver.
Omen a Zen
113 Thompson St., Soho
While it’s nothing special when it comes to atmosphere and décor, this unassuming Japanese nook in Soho serves up delicious Kyoto-style food, including plenty of super fresh sashimi and small, flavorful cooked dishes. We’re partial to the Omen udon noodles, served simply with seaweed and hot or cold broth. This spot is a big hit among artists, actors, and creatives, who probably love the food as much as its hushed, relaxed vibe. We always order The Garden.
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