Marching in the footsteps of Republic and Kelley & Ping, Noodle Bar is way more creative when it comes to pan-Asian noodle and rice dishes, though the thumb-size cafe; may be tight as far as space is concerned. Crux of the menu is a Cuban sandwich made with kimchee and Spam littered with caper berries, but you can go more conventional with a brilliant take on Chinese fried rice sweetened with anise-y sausage. There is a second location at 172 Orchard St.
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Sure, Noodle Bar has its forerunners. There's Republic, a consistently good Union Square establishment that slings Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese rice and noodles; and Soho stalwart Kelley & Ping, where the fare runs from pad thai to...