Robert Sietsema's Top 10: No. 7 New York 2010 - Maima's
Every once in a while, you need to eat something so hot that it blows the top of your head off. So it was with the shrimp pepper soup at Maima's, the city's only Liberian restaurant. Sure, the other things are great there—mainly the combinations of such well-kneaded starches as white yam and cassava, paired with rich fish, chicken, and lamb soups. These are relatively spicy, but the pepper soup outdoes them all, brick-red with chilies and bobbing with a clutch of gigundo shrimp—which should be eaten head and all. The crunch distracts you from the spiciness, which then comes charging back at you like a mad bull.