Einstein's Theory of Relativity assumes that matter and energy are conserved; in a closed system the totality of both—interchangeable according to the formula E = mc2—remains the same. A corollary pertains to the New York dining scene, positing that restaurants, too, are conserved. The Theory of Restaurant Relativity maintains that when a restaurant disappears, an equivalent pops up somewhere else in the five boroughs—if only you can find it. Latest confirmation of this theory is Cambodian food. For years the city's only Cambodian restaurant was Fort Greene's South East Asian Cuisine, offering lots of Thai and Chinese dishes, but only a handful of uniquely Cambodian ones, including the amazing amok (a gingery mousse of pureed chicken), tchruok spey koaob (a beguiling collection of pickled veggies), and some sour and fishy noodle soups. Sadly, S.E.A. Cuisine went belly-up not long ago. Evincing our theory, however, Kampuchea Noodle Bar appeared about the same time on the Lower East Side. Located at the busy corner of Allen and Rivington streets, the café is all big windows and dark woods, with raised communal tables flanked by high backless stools. The chef and his pals made the tables themselves. K.N.B. already feels like a... More >>>