April 12, 2008

Cafetasia w/ Guest Reviewer Ryan

While finding cheap Asian food isn't difficult in New York, or pretty much any city for that matter, finding value in your purchase can be quite a challenge. Any time I can get an appetizer, entree, and drink for $20 is money well spent. It helps too when the food is good, and the eclectic, possibly trendy atmosphere make it feel like a bargain.

On my two separate trips to Cafetasia I sampled several different dishes. Their menu offers items sized small to extra large, priced accordingly. Having the option of a sampler platter of the small dishes (3 for $10) is a great way to try a few different items, or share an appetizer with friends. The calamari fritters and beef, mushroom, and pepper teriyaki skewers were particular standouts of the small dishes.

The medium dishes on the menu are primarily salads. The grilled shrimp and grapefruit salad had some great flavors - unfortunately they were over powered on my palate by the intense spicy heat. When the menu says the dish is hot, it's hot. On the large size, the pad thai is an obvious choice that doesn't disappoint. While not the best version of the classic dish, it is well portioned and satisfying.

On the alcohol front, the wine list is small and reasonably priced, as are the specialty cocktails. Don't look for anything too crazy, but you'll be sure to find something to quench your thirst, which you may need when your water glass empties. While service is not the best, it's easy to forgive as you sit at communal tables and stare at the bizarrely floating candles that illuminate the dining room. The dim uni-sex bathroom also gives you something to talk about as you wait for your food.

On the whole, the good food, low price point, and unique surroundings make Cafetasia a worthwhile destination. The service leaves something to be desired, but exercise a bit of patience with your server and you'll be rewarded with a reasonably priced, memorable dining experience. -Ryan

I first attended Cafetasia one night with Ryan and a group of other hooligans and a ravenous appetite. We were seated after a short wait- they were busy and most of their seating is dining hall-style. I had the tasting menu from the "small" portion of the menu-- three choices for $10. It was a nice way to sample a few different things and (as Ryan mentioned) the skewers were especially good. David got (and let me eat some of) the Beef Pad Se Ew from the "large" part of the menu ($9). It was a nice-sized bowl of tasty noodles, bok choy and beef.

I ended up at Cafetasia again about a week later with Amy. We went for lunch, which was also busy. The lunch deal is exactly that--a deal. Their prix fixe menu is $7.50 and includes an appetizer (choice of 8) or soup of the day and an entree. Amy had the Massaman Curry (pictured) and I had the Virgin Veggies (also pictures) with chicken. Amy said the curry was "well seasoned" and mine was full of very fresh veggies. Only downside with my dish was a slight lack of flavor.

The menu is the best part about this place. You can choose your food according to the portion size or try a few different things.. and it is all affordable. Definitely a nice variety and good even-if-not-spectacular food. I'd go here again on occasion especially to take someone from out-of-town. But the restrooms are creepy. -Laurel

38 east 8th street (b/t Greene and University)


Open Late:
12am on the weekends

Delivery: yes, guaranteed in 30 minutes

Take Out:

Bar/Happy Hour:
yes and not sure. drinks are pretty reasonable, however.


Jonathan said...

I love creepy restrooms. If the restroom isn't creepy, then I don't want to eat at that restaurant anymore. Sounds delish!!

jennifer said...

speaking of creepy restrooms

i meant to ask
should we review the bourgeois pig?
probably not...
because all anyone needs to know is that the entire place is effing creepy.


Laurel said...



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