Mon-Thu, 11:30am-2am; Fri, 11:30am-4am; Sat, 5:30pm-4am; Sun, closed
6, J, N, Q, R, Z to Canal St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
On a southern section of Mulberry Street, ceded years ago from ever-shrinking Little Italy to Chinatown, the diplomatically named Asia Roma combines both cuisines with uneven results. A shared love of noodles translates into pasta-heavy offerings. One of the most successful is lightly peppered penne primavera, coated in a deliciously pungent concoction of garlic, parsley, and olive oil. Appetizers lean to East Asian classics like coconut curries and chicken satays. Truly jumbo grilled scallops, with a pleasant lemony aftertaste, share a skewer with plump mushrooms, zucchini, and peppers. The few stabs at near 50-50 fusion (among them, shrimp with an "Asian pesto drizzle") are hit or miss; chicken Asia Roma tops fillets with an unhappy mélange of prosciutto, snow peas, and sun-dried tomatoes. Any such culinary shortcomings do little to dim the red-hued, bi-level restaurant's popularity with courthouse workers, who pack the wooden tables and sage-green banquettes at lunchtime. Dinner is a riskier, potentially headache-inducing kind of ‘fusion.’ Nightly karaoke—Asia Roma's a big draw for LES hipsters and Chinese businessmen alike—means that tunes bellowed in the downstairs lounge often reverberate upstairs.Recommended Dishes
Penne primavera, $15