Fat Radish has been one of the pioneers in the New York dining scene with its seasonal farm-to-table cuisine in downtown Manhattan. It is somewhat bizarre that I never had the opportunity to visit this popular spot despite its significance in the history of locavore dining in the city. When I heard the team behind the restaurant decided to open a new restaurant with their own take on Thai street food, I was immediately intrigued. Can two different cuisines that can’t be any more different, one emphasizing the fresh ingredients and clean flavor and the other known for its spice, co-exist together? My recent visit on a Friday night tells me that the kitchen has done a pretty good job of achieving that mission.
The menu at Lucky Bee consists of shareable “drinking food” snacks, small plates and larger plates. I really liked the way the kitchen put together fresh ingredients while maintaining the integrity of Thai/Southeast Asian flavor throughout its dishes. Larb of organic duck that you can wrap in cabbage was a nice beginning to the meal, as was grilled octopus and roasted pork belly accompanied by summer corn, sesame and tamarind. Szechuan salt and pepper chicken wings were also a winner, with its spicy kick that made me start sweating but unable to stop eating.
The larger plates that my dining companions and I had were even more successful. The best dish of the night belonged to green curry of marketable vegetables and pickled mustard greens. I normally eat Thai curry dishes with meat, but this one really blew my mind in terms of how it maintains a memorable aroma with just vegetables in the broth. The freshness of all the vegetable ingredients inside was evident and I couldn’t stop eating this with a side of rice that was put on the table. Sour orange curry of Atlantic char, lemongrass, fava bean and betel leaf was close second, with nicely cooked fish that had pretty unique of sour orange curry I hadn’t tasted before (which is one reason I pushed for ordering this dish), and all the ingredients came together really well. For dessert, there was single option of banana pudding, tapioca, marshmallow and honeycomb. I did like the texture of tapioca but the flavor of other parts of this decadent dessert quickly overwhelmed my taste bud.
The restaurant has a fun décor with a big bar at the center and pink lightings illuminating the dining space. I saw a lot of young, handsome crowds enjoying their food or simply drinking at the bar area enjoying the beginning of a weekend. In other words, an advance reservation, especially during the weekend dinners, is highly recommended. There is full bar at the restaurant, with some creative Asian-inspired cocktails (including those made with honey where the proceeds from the sale of such cocktails are used to support the New York City Beekeepers Association). I am usually one of the skeptics when it comes to seemingly inauthentic Thai/Southeast Asian restaurants, but Lucky Bee overall is a worthwhile place to visit if you want to see the marriage between seasonality and spice.
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.0/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 7.5/10
Address: 252 Broome Street, New York, NY 10002
Telephone: (844) 364-4286