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Experience New Asian Restaurants on the Lower East Side

New York City’s food scene is ever evolving, with new restaurants popping up throughout the year. And denizens of One Manhattan Square are especially well situated to explore the latest Asian fare on the Lower East Side, famously one of the epicenters of top-tier Eastern cuisine on the continent.

Recently opened establishments include Tolo, a Chinatown restaurant with Chinese and Hong Kong dishes; Sushi Oku, an eight-seat sushi counter that serves a 17-course omakase; and Chinato, where you can imbibe thoughtful cocktails and enjoy plates developed by the former sous chef of two-Michelin-star Jungsik.

Tolo | 28 Canal Street

The brainchild of Chef Ron Yan, Tolo is a distinct culinary excursion in Chinatown/Two Bridges, offering a menu that reflects his extensive experience in New York City’s dining scene. It features an array of dishes ranging from raw seafood to noodles, with a spotlight on Typhoon Shelter style fried chicken.

The restaurant boasts a unique interior with vintage furniture and an open kitchen. An impressive wine list, with over 300 selections curated by Parcelle, complements the diverse flavors. The list emphasizes natural producers and traditional collectibles, ensuring a well-rounded epicurean adventure.

Chinato | 108 Stanton Street

Envisioned by Ray Zhou, Chinato represents a remarkable addition to the Lower East Side. Named to symbolize Zhou’s journey from China to New York City, it stands as a testament to his bartending expertise, honed at renowned venues like Double Chicken Please and Compass.

The bar’s design, featuring an island-style setup, enables bartenders to take center stage, offering guests a comprehensive view of the drink-making process. The interior combines utilitarian elements with exposed brick, leather chairs, and stainless steel. Chinato’s cocktails, inspired by Zhou’s favorite songs, include creatively crafted options like Gin & Juice and the eponymous Chinato. The food, curated by Zhaojin Dai from Jungsik, complements the drinks with dishes like bar fries with wasabi, soy, and seaweed flakes, pork and rice, and scallops with fava beans and roasted garlic.

Sushi Oku | 22 Orchard Street

Helmed by Chef Kei Yoshino in partnership with Scarr Pimentel and Ryan Chadwick, Sushi Oku is known for its omakase menu that emphasizes traditional sushi preparation. Chef Yoshino, born and raised in Chiba, Japan, brings extensive experience, having apprenticed under master chef Shigeru Shiraishi in Japan before leading top omakase counters in New York. The restaurant focuses on serving high-quality, in-season fish.

These establishments represent the diversity and innovation of New York City’s ever-expanding Asian culinary scene. Each offers a unique blend of flavors, ambiance, and culinary expertise, making them must-visit destinations for food enthusiasts in the city, especially those at neighboring One Manhattan Square.