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New Yorkers were thrilled when San Francisco transplant Mission Chinese Food appeared on the Lower East Side, slinging Oklahoma native Danny Bowien's take on Chinese food--which includes extensive mergings with other Asian cuisines. Nevertheless, some dishes read as Sichuan, including ma po tofu and chong qing chicken wings, which anesthetize the lips with ma la peppercorns. Cool the burn with a nifty version of chilled Japanese soba, which ramps up the traditional austere presentation with a very Southwestern (American, that is) green chile sauce. The chef is constantly tinkering with the menu, so who knows what you'll find when you drop by. The subterranean, pink-lit dining room is playful, but none too comfy. Go at lunch to avoid the crowds.