Kuma Inn [Click the photo above to go to Kuma Inn’s website]
113 Ludlow Street(between Delancey and Rivington) New York, NY 10002
Friday night dinna. What to do? What to do? My money is slipping quietly through my fingers as I pretend I don’t notice, but a girl’s gotta eat, so where do we go? Kuma Inn. Asian tapas and BYOB (cash only p.s they don’t serve alcohol there so don’t hold back, because what you bring is all you have).
The restaurant opens at 6 which means I have to wait all day to make the phone call to secure reservations (not on OpenTable what the eff), and when I call I ask for an 8:45 reservation.
The lady on the phone goes, “8:35?”
“I was going to say that’s specific.” How about you shut your mouth and schedule my reservation? I haven’t stepped foot in the restaurant yet, and they’re already chastising me.
Reservation was made at 9, but I told my friends 8:45. Girls are always late.
Obviously we extended the invite to everyone, but they’re girls so two of them didn’t confirm they were coming until like 6 o’clock on Friday.
I call the restaurant to ask if we could extend the reservation by 2 people, and this little butthead tells me he can’t extend it, there’s no room, but we can still show up, but there will be an approximate 2 hour wait. I say to just keep it at 3, and be done. I’ll deal with it when I get there.
As it turns out only 1 of them is coming so it’s just 4 of us. I call my friend and tell her what the host said. She is reassuring and says, “there are 3 of us so they’re going to seat us at a table for 4, it will be fine.”
You would think…
Kuma Inn is not just a regular ol’ restaurant. Oh, no. It’s in the LES so it’s sorta grimy (part of the lovely LES appeal) and up a huge flight of steps (don’t fear the bathroom is on the same floor ladies). My friend had on backless wedges and feared for her life while walking up to our dinner/her death. Did I mention we’re all carrying alcohol?
When we arrive we are greeted by a blonde version of Mitchell from Modern Family. He dismisses us quickly and we are shuttled to our seats, which is a table for 2 with 3 plate settings. UM, ok.
“Excuse me, there’s actually going to be one more of us.”
The waitress looks nervous and jittery, “talk to the front.”
I walk up to blonde Mitchell, and go, “Hi, our table is for 2 people, and there are 4 of us. Could we get an extra table?”
He shrugs. “That’s it. Unless you want to wait 2 ½ hours.”
Now we’re both just standing there.
Thanks a*s hole. I walk back to my seat, and ask the lady (the nicer of the 2) for an extra chair. So now the three of us are sitting, while my friend awkwardly stands there, waiting for a chair to be brought over, while she holds two 6 packs of beer.
Guess what? There are no more chairs to be had in this restaurant, so they bring over a stool. Yes, a stool.
So now we look at the table, and there are no room for plates on the table with all the glasses for the sake, the beer, and the water. Time to consolidate. We put the water in the wine glasses, and the beer in the water glasses, and for some reason the sake glasses are gigantic. Tiny restaurant, tiny table, HUGE sake glasses, ok.
Guess what? I’m gonna get drunk.
I ask the waitress to just bring one dish out at a time, because we only have room for that at our table.
We order: edamame, chicken wings, vegetable dumplings, the Chinese sausage (upon recommendation),two orders of pork buns, and spicy shrimp.
Edamame comes, and it’s flavored with lime and some other spice. REALLY GOOD. It better be.
“They charge you a $1 per beer so hide the beer.”
“Where?” Our table is the size of a computer screen.
We keep the beers under the table, and use the same bag that holds the fresh beers as a garbage for the old ones.
Chicken wings come. They’re yummy and really juicy. However the menu says “chicken wings,” and I’m pretty sure they were thighs.
“You don’t like chicken right?”
“I don’t like meat off of the bone. It weirds me out.” Hmm, I see your point. Whatever, more for me.
Spicy shrimp is ok. Chinese sausage is surprise! Boneless spare ribs. Delic!
“Can we have the 2nd bottle of sake please? Thx!”
Pork buns, I mean, c’mon, they’re pork buns. It’s good, and actually larger than others I have seen.
I peer over our tiny table and notice my friend’s nails are polish-less and bitten up. “Ew gross, you need to get a manicure.”
A minute later I receive a text message, “f*ck your face.”
Bill is only $25 per person (fine Kuma Inn, your food is good and cheap, but your manager is a dill hole). I did buy a bottle of sake though…
We pay, and begin our descent. As I make it to the bottom of the stairwell, I hear “hey! Wait for me! I have to take my heels off!”
Kuma Inn (sake)
Look at these sake glasses! How do you expect to sake bomb with this!
Kuma Inn (edamame)
I don’t even love edamame, but this was great!
Kuma Inn (chicken wings)
Pretty good, as you can see I forgot to take a picture at first, so that’s all that was left by the time I remembered.
Kuma Inn (spicy shrimp)
It was ok. Cute pic though.
Kuma Inn (vegetable dumplings)
They were really plump for vegetable dumplings! Usually they give you these wimpy servings so props to Kuma Inn for that one!
Kuma Inn (pork buns)
1 order is 2 pork buns, so 1 for each of us. Yum!
Shopsins [Click the photo above to go to Shopsins website]
120 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002
If you’re in the mood for a big brunch go to Shopsins on the LES! It is inside a supermarket, doesn’t take reservations, and only takes parties of 3 or less, and kitchen closes at 3 (oh AND closed on sundays, go on a saturday). Even with all those limitations it’s worth it!
Their specialty is Blisters on my Sisters (die for their name), but I went for ham & cheese grits and french toast grilled cheese with poached eggs.
I didn’t die for the grilled cheese, but the grits were perfect! It’s definitely worth the cals.
We waited on line for a while, bc there are maybe 8 tables, but the menu is so extensive I spent the entire time debating about what i wanted to eat..
I got to catch up with my friend and drank an iced coffee while we waited to be seated.
Meet the owner of Shopsins, Kenny Shopsin! He is what you would call a character. When I was in search of a restroom (i drank a lot of iced coffee) he handed me 2 keys and said “they’re real ass holes here. They make you go upstairs.”
I asked which key was for the upstairs and his response was “the one that’s not for downstairs.”
Im in love. Im in love, and I don’t care who knows it!
Shopsins: 120 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002
My friend got the pancakes with eggs stuffed imbetween the pancakes. she clearly liked them.
I cannot help myself! Here are the ham & cheese grits!