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The South Side Supper Club recently hosted Rockaway Taco, marshalling a bright blip of summer before the snow cloaked the city yet again. The supper club is held at Nha Toi (160 Havemeyer Street, Brooklyn), a Vietnamese restaurant in Williamsburg that once served bowls of pho until it shuttered last August. Fred Hua, the owner, chef, and sole waiter of Nha Toi, said that the problem was, “My landlords! They tore a big hole in my wall. I had to get out.” He is currently looking for a new spot and reimagining a Vietnamese menu.
Throughout the evening, the crowd milled around the whitewashed space, drinking Rockaway Brewing Company’s ESB, an English amber ale with extra special bitters. Andrew Field and his Rockaway crew doled out a meal in seven courses: hot peanuts, boiled with chile and garlic and then heaped into red and white checkered holders and eaten like edamame; esquites, corn cut from the cob, simmered and served with mayonnaise, cheese, chile powder, and lime; shishito peppers, blistered and shiny; a cocktail de camaron; and a bright arugula and radish salad.
The best course was the hand-pressed sopes, slathered with bean puree and nuggets of chorizo with a smear of blackened dried chile oil; these were hefty, pleasurable bites. As the music crept upward, the kitchen juggled orders while toasting friends with plastic cups of beer. My dining companion quipped, “The only problem is the portions are too large.”
Scarlett Lindeman is a Brooklyn-based writer, covering the city’s best taquerias, fondas, and cantinas. She writes the ¡Oye! Comida column for Fork in the Road.
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