Mon-Thu, 5:30pm-midnight; Fri-Sat, 5:30pm-2am; Sun, closed
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Pearl & Ash combines good food with a glitzy atmosphere—a perfect fit for the attractive, bar-hopping clientele. The 62-seat restaurant is lined with a long, sleek bar on one side, and geometric cubbies filled with knick-knacks like antique Kodak cameras and moss-filled boxes on the other. Sit up front to get in on the bar action, and ask for the back if you want to avoid the singles scene. Either way, this restaurant is hopping, and thus, rather loud. The chef, Richard Kuo, is an alum of wd~50 and Corton, and most recently, he served as chef and owner of Frej, the now-closed Scandinavian pop-up in Williamsburg. His menu's designed so that you can order all plates in a smaller size if you desire, and none of these appetizer-like items run over $16. But what seems like a deal quickly adds up: Portions are small. Very small. It's almost a shame, because the food is very good. Tea-cured salmon with goat cheese, tamarind, and seaweed is a light dish that evokes a classic combination of lox and cream cheese. The octopus with sunflower seeds and shiso is even better: It's dry-rubbed in Asian togarashi peppers for 24 hours, and cooked in mirin. Long beans with chile and uni is less successful—but not because it tastes bad, it's just a disappointment because there's barely any uni. These plates work well for sharing, but if you're going for heftier dishes like skate, veal cheek, and quail, opt for the larger sizes, or you'll leave hungry. For dessert, there's a playful fernet-branca ice cream sandwich. But if you're looking for more booze, stick to the drinks. There's an extensive cocktail list, draught beers, bottled beers, and a super-long and varied wine list. There's a chance you may leave hungry if you don't order correctly, but you sure won't leave sober.