4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R at 14th St.-Union Sq.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Houston St. to 23rd St., Ave. A to Fifth Ave.
This venue is closed.
The sleek, industrial-modern space—more London than New York—belies the warmth and humor within. In the narrow, puce-painted room are rows of chunky tables in bold hues, a tiny votive set sweetly into each one. If the weather's right, head past these into the enclosed, waterfall-backed patio and garden. The menu is truly pan-Asian, split between mainly Chinese entrees and a full sushi menu. Non-sushi dishes are an eclectic mix of mainland Chinese cuisines and more, from Peking duck to Mongolian steak. From this half of the kitchen, try the shrimp dumplings, stuffed to bursting in a thin homemade skin, and the shredded peppercorn chicken with basil leaves, tender and lightly fried and with a peppery kick. If sushi rocks your boat, skip the standards and order the whimsical—even downright wacky—Friend House Special Rolls. Strawberries and blood oranges, miso and curry sauces, and even pink seaweed make appearances, and the presentation is exquisite. The Tobiko Duo, a tasting plate, is an unexpected take on tartare: salmon and spicy tuna topped with a thick layer of ruby-red fish tobiko roe and served in a heart shape. The heart may be a touch cheesy, but you can tell it's in the right place.Extra
Friend House's lunch special—including a spring roll, rice, soup, and main—is a deal at $5.95, especially considering that you can have it delivered. Available until 4 p.m.Recommended Dishes
Fantasy tuna roll, $12; sakura roll, $11; shredded peppercorn chicken with basil leaves, $11