Last night, the girls + 1 boyfriend got together and celebrated Carol’s birthday. It was not a good night for the Bento Challenge I’ve been participating in.. buuuut it was a great night in terms of having a good time with friends. There’s not a lot of pictures because it was dark everywhere we went and my camera sucks without lighting.
It was a long night but it felt so short! We started at Kampuchea Restaurant in the lower east side which was super cute and cozy. I would say it’s romantic but there are mostly communal tables. I’m not actually sure what type of cuisine it was but I ordered one of the Cambodian sandwiches. The Catfish sandwich ($11) was similar to a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich in that it had pickled carrots and cilantro with the catfish cooked in a honey, soy, black pepper bbq sauce. It was sweet and spicy which I liked a lot. The sandwich came with fried sweet potato chips (like thick ruffle chips) and a slightly pickled cucumber. My friends who ordered the oxtail sandwich ($13), shrimp sandwich ($12), and pork ribs ($16) liked their dishes. My friends who ordered the braised beef brisket ($19) had mixed reviews because it came out more like a beef stew with daikon radish than a brisket. My friend who got the Cambodian vegetable soup ($16) said it was too salty.
I recommend the sangria ($40) which featured apple cider among other things and each glass is topped with a piece of young coconut. Delicious!! The appetizers were a joke. I guess they’re meant for individuals but still.. the eggplant terrine ($9) was about the size of half a deck of cards and the green mango salad ($8) was very sour and not tasty. Important to note, there are few things for vegetarians here since most dishes have little bits of meat or fish in them. Overall the bill came out to $36 each for 6 people with the birthday girl not having to pay.
Later we walked over to Spring St. near the edge of Chinatown and got dessert. Some of us went to Rice to Riches while the rest went to Pinkberry. I split a “solo” size almond rice pudding ($6.75) with Wendy. It was delicious and super rich. I would totally go back for more except that it’s fattening (they advertise all over the store that it’s fattening and sinfully legal) and expensive. I could probably make like a gallon of rice pudding for that price. If it’s crowded, I recommend walking across the street and sitting in the park. Lots of benches and chess tables which were filled with people eating dessert and pizza from nearby Lombardi’s. Rice to Riches serves the pudding in reusable plastic containers which are great because I can and will reuse it (I know it’s reusable because they sell the spoons). But it’s terribly wasteful to only serve it in those containers because most people throw them out when they’re done. They should make an option to have it in a paper dish rather than plastic. I can’t find any information on the containers so let me know if you find anything.
We decided the night shouldn’t end yet because it was so nice out so we went to La Caverna for drinks. Funky looking underground bar with a cave theme. It was pretty nice. They also serve fancy looking food but it seems like a weird place to eat. I recommend the Altarima ($9) which is passion fruit, Champange and peach. Their gin and tonic ($7) where not bad either. The music is good but it got really crowded and it was so loud that I lost my voice.
We recovered at McDonalds. Ending up at McDonalds meant that we were not thinking straight and I abandoned all inklings of eating healthy. Chicken McNuggets and super-sized fries anyone? I finally got to try the sweet chili sauce.. too spicy for my liking. After stuffing our faces with grease, half of us hailed a cab back to Brooklyn while the rest (more sane of the group) took the train. A cab back to Brooklyn was $30.
I listed all the prices because I need to remember not to spend any more money on anything not needed. And I listed all the food to remember not to eat unhealthy food. Besides an already planned brunch, let’s hope the rest of April doesn’t lead to more gluttony.