Tsismis has a lot of things going for it. The casual space on the Lower East Side has a bunch of plants, murals, and multi-colored light fixtures, along with a bar in the middle of the dining room. The wine list is filled with bottles that cost around $50, and the Filipino dishes, like lumpia, fried fish balls, and strip steak with garlic soy sauce, are all shareable. The problem is that almost all of the dishes taste like they’ve been prepared for someone who has an aversion to spice, salt, and strong flavors in general. The wings with hot mango salsa aren’t hot, the ceviche tastes like flavorless jello, and the angel hair with crab fat sauce doesn’t have any discernible crab flavor. If you’re looking for a spot to get food with a group before a night out on the LES, there are better options nearby.
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The Meatball Shop
A restaurant on the Lower East Side operating with the sole purpose of turning out ridiculously good meatballs and presenting you a few options in which to consume them.
If you have ever been to Pianos to see a band in the back room, you probably didn't expect that it's the kind of place that would turn out some damn good bar food.
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Mama Fina’s is a counter-service Filipino restaurant in the East Village that makes excellent pork sisig.
Maharlika is an East Village restaurant from the people behind Jeepney, and it’s great for a last-minute date or an exceptional weeknight meal.
Pig And Khao
Pig And Khao is a Thai/Filipino restaurant on the LES that serves great food and feels like a party.
Suggested by our writers
Speedy Romeo LES
A smaller, very casual Lower East Side outpost of Brooklyn’s Speedy Romeo. They may be known for pizza, but that’s not the best thing here.
Here’s the good news: If you like the idea of eating various pig parts in some sort of spicy chili sauce, you’re going to love this joint. Jeepney is Maharlika’s second East Village restaurant, and this one is a take on a Filipino gastropub.
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