From left to right, Poke bowl from Sons of Thunder, acai bowl from Pause Cafe, and charred chicken from Dig Inn.
My first poke experience was in Seattle in 2014. My friend introduced me to the Hawaiian dish and I immediately loved it. Sliced up sashimi on top of a rice is a basic but brilliant idea. In addition to those basic ingredients, different toppings and flavors identify each unique poke bowl. Of course, fresh fish is essential to any great poke bowl. The marinade is the second most important element. If either aspect is missing, the bowl is a failure. Since 2014, I have been to Hawaii in 2015 and 2016. Naturally, I have tasted a lot of great poke. The poke invasion has made its incursion into New York City and there seems to be a poke spot opening all the time. Below are the poke I have experienced in New York so far.
1. Sons of Thunder (204 East 38th Street New York, NY 10016)
I ordered “Half + Half” and went with the ahi tuna and salmon. The fish is ridiculously fresh. It is the first time in New York I felt the poke is comparably fresh to Hawaii. You can have the fish served on rice or salad with tostada chips. I went with the salad so I could get the chips. They are baked on site and very crisp. The poke bowls are also served with cucumbers, seaweed salad, and tobiko [fish roe/ eggs]. You can also add on additional toppings. I added the garlic alaea krispies because they were very crunchy. I also had siracha aioi on my bowl and it was awesome.
When you walk into Sons of Thunder, you will feel like you walked into a Shake Shack. Moreover, it serves hot dogs, fries, and shakes. Accordingly, I describe it as a poke Shake Shack. Nevertheless, I definitely enjoy the poke bowls more than a Shake Shack burger and I really enjoy the burgers.
- Chikarashi (227 Canal St, New York, NY 10013)
One morning, my train was stuck in the station because there was sick passenger on a train ahead of us. As a result, I had to walk half way across Chinatown and Canal Street to catch a separate train line to work. Obviously, I was not amused. Nevertheless, something awaited me that would brighten up my day. During my walk on Canal Street, I noticed something I had not noticed before: Chikarashi. I remembered the name and made sure I Yelped it when I got to work. It had great reviews and the pictures looked amazing. As such, fate must have intervened to make sure I tried it.
If price is not an issue, Chikarashi is the best poke in New York. The menu can be overwhelming at first because it includes exotic choices I have never seen before. I went with a large Goma Shoyu Tuna: Bluefin tuna, goma shoyu, chili oil, nori, hijiki, avocado, and garlic chips. I have no idea what a couple of the ingredients are but it all works together. The poke and flavor is incredible. In addition, Chikarashi is the only place in New York where I know I can get Dole Pineapple Whip. For anyone who has never tried it, the Dole Plantation on Oahu is known for delicious pineapple soft serve ice cream. It is truly awesome and I was craving it since I returned from Hawaii in November. Not only does Chikarashi have it. It tastes exactly like it does at the Dole Planation thousands of miles away. For all these reasons, Chikarashi provides tastes of paradise without actually being in Hawaii.
On the other hand, it is very pricey. A large poke bowl and Dole whip will be over $20. After tip, it is approximately $25. For this reason, I can only eat here once in a while.
- PokeLICious (5-37 51st Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101)
It is a new poke spot located in Long Island City/ Queens. Although it is in Queens, it is only one stop on the 7 train from Grand Central. It is in a live area of Vernon Jackson where there are a lot of restaurants. It measures up to the best poke spots I have tried in New York. You can build your own poke bowls but I went with one of their signature bowls. When you create your own bowl, you can choose a small (3 scoops of protein) or large (5 scoops of protein). The signature bowls are automatically large. I wanted to try the tuna and salmon so I ordered the “New York Poke”, which also includes furikake, shoyu, cucumber, sweet onions, radish, seaweed salad, pineapple, arugula, and wasabi mayo. Both fishes are extremely fresh. They do not mix it with the shoyu until you order so it definitely helps keep everything fresh. Everything in the bowl is very good and the flavor is awesome. I will note that the wasabi mayo is intense and I almost teared a couple of times when I was eating it. Then again, I am a spicy lightweight. Despite being overmatched by the sauce, I will attest it is very good and I found a way to eat it all. Nevertheless, I will probably try another sauce next time so it does not overpower my senses so I can taste the fish more. The bowl is topped off by an edible flower. Accordingly, it is also one of the most photogenic poke bowls you will find in New York.
4. The PokéSpot (120 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003)
It is an excellent spot for poke by Union Square. I ordered the Miso Spicy: Tuna, Salmon, Hijiki Seaweed, Kani Salad, Sweet Furikake, Rice Puffs, Fish Flakes, and Spicy Mayo. The fish is very fresh. Everything in the bowl is very good. The spicy mayo is excellent and adds a lot of flavor to the bowl. I do not rank it higher in my poke rankings because it does not have a wow factor that a few other spots I have tried have but it offers a very solid poke bowl in New York.
- Wisefish Poké (263 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011)
It is a poke shop in Chelsea. It is one of the first to market in New York that started the poke craze in the city. After my 2015 trip to Hawaii, I was craving some poke. Of course, I had high expectations. Naturally, I went with the “Hawaii Style”: ahi tuna, sweet onion, hijiki, and classic sauce. It was pretty good but I was not blown away with my memories of Hawaii. The bowl is a little small because there is not as much rice as I have had at other places but the protein is a good portion. It is definitely a good spot for poke in Manhattan.
6. Red Poke (600 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036)
It is a decent poke spot in Times Square. You fill out a card to give to the servers. You can build your own poke bowl or go with one of the signature bowls. I went with the latter and ordered the Waikiki: tuna + salmon, cucumber, red onions, edamame, wasabi aioli, mango, pineapple, hukujinesuke, masago, and rice cracker. The salmon is very fresh but the tuna is not on par. However, the wasabi aioli is an excellent sauce that compensates for lower quality tuna. Wasabi can be overpowering but the sauce at Red Poke is not overly spicy. I also really enjoy the rice crackers because they add a crunch throughout the entire bowl. It is $13.50 for a large bowl. The portion size is generous. If the tuna gets upgraded, Red Poke could be a special poke place. Until then, it is good but not great.
- Pokeworks (63 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018)
It is right next to a Chick Fil-A in Midtown. When Chick Fil-A opened, there were lines half way up the block. When Pokeworks opened, my co-worker warned me about the lines. When we went to try it, I saw a line and said “Do not worry. That is the line for Chick Fil-A”. Of course, I was wrong and it was the line for Pokeworks. As such, we actually went to Chick Fil-A that time and I tried Pokeworks at a later time.
In my opinion, Pokeworks is one of the first poke spots in New York and got a lot of hype because of it but it is not among the ones at the top of my list. The fish is just not as fresh as some of the other places I like. On the other hand, it is great because it is the only one with unlimited toppings. Accordingly, it is fun to load up the bowl. Seaweed is always a must for me. I also love to make my bowls crunchy. Roasted macadamia nuts, wonton crisps, onion crisps, garlic crisps, lotus crisps, and toasted rice puffs? Put them all in.
- Pokee (121 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012)
It is located by West 4 and next to NYU. The fish is not as fresh as other poke spots. In particular, I was not a fan of the tuna. I could tell it is not the freshest or highest quality. It is too chewy. I tried two places in Hawaii that noted they used frozen poke and Pokee’s tuna definitely reminded me of that chewiness. On the other hand, the salmon is much better and decent. I ordered the “Fifty 50”: salmon, tuna, cucumber, edamame, scallion, pineapple, seaweed salad, and yuzu wasabi dressing. I would recommend against the tuna and try something with salmon instead. In addition, I did not like the wasabi dressing. Overall, I tried Pokee and feel I do not have to try it again because there are better poke spots in New York.
On the other hand, Pokee is strategically located next to the NYU campus. It offers a nice shop with comfortable and modern tables that provide a nice setting for students to meet and mingle. It also offers a snack size. In all those ways, it is catered to students. In my ramen noodle days ten years ago, I totally would have loved this place. However, I am well past those days and have progressively refined my tastes with better food as I have worked more and can afford more.
Please also note that Pokee is credit card only.
Acai berries are a popular fruit in Brazil. It is good for you since it is high in anti-oxidants. Of course, they are the key ingredient in acai bowls. The berries are blended with other fruits to create a base that tastes like a sorbet. Afterwards, granola and a medley of fruit is put on top of the acai base. I tried my first acai bowl in Miami in 2014 and it was love at first bite. Not surprisingly, the best acai bowls I have eaten around the country are in tropical/ warm places: Miami, Hawaii, and San Diego. The best ones I have eaten usually have a great honey that puts the whole thing over the top. Unfortunately, most of the acai bowls I have eaten in New York do not utilize honey on top. I have yet to be blown away by a bowl in New York but there are a lot I really like.
1. Pause Café (3 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002)
It is a small café in the Lower East Side. It is cozy but there are a limited number of tables to sit. It arguably has the best acai bowl in New York. I ordered the “Very Berry”. The blended base includes acai, banana, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. I love the base because it includes most of my favorite berries. The toppings on the bowl are granola, banana, strawberries, goji berries, blueberries, and honey. Most of my favorite acai bowls have bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. I do not often see goji berries but they are definitely great on the bowls. With all the berries in the base and on top, it truly lives up to its name as the Very Berry. All the ingredients are fresh. A great honey really puts a bowl over the top. Pause Café is the only spot in New York that I have seen put honey on top. It tastes and is probably just a regular honey. In addition, the bowl could use a little more honey on top of the fruits. Accordingly, an amazing honey and a little more of it would put the bowl over the top. A small bowl is $8 and a large bowl is $11. In my opinion, the larger size is definitely worth it. It is the correct portion to definitely make you full.
As a side note, all the other food I saw ordered by the other customers look really good too.
- Hawa Smoothies & Bubble Tea (422 E 14th St New York, NY 10009/ 181A E Broadway, New York, NY 10002)
I have been to the Hawa in the East Village and the one in the Lower East Side. Both places have a great acai bowl. They are hole in the wall type spots. There are a few seats but orders are mainly taken to go. I ordered the “Acai bowl”, which includes the banana, pineapple, strawberry, seeds, and granola. I like my acai very cold and the temperature is perfect at Hawa. A bowl costs $8 but you can upgrade to a large bowl. I always upgrade. It is the only acai bowl in New York that I feel completely stuffed afterwards. Hawa dumps a massive amount of fruits on the large bowl. Just as important, the fruit is very fresh. The presentation could be a little better but I have no complaints about the substance. As their name discloses, they also serve smoothies and bubble tea. I have not tried them yet but they also look great.
Please note that Hawa is cash only.
- Juicology (387 8th Ave, New York, NY 10001)
Juicology is a juice bar and healthy food spot a couple blocks south of Madison Square Garden. I am a fan of its “Fresh fruity” acai bowl that includes granola, strawberries, blueberries, and banana. They have a distinct acai base because they accentuate the taste of the acai berries. The toppings on top are very fresh. A great honey is the only thing I can think of that could make it even better. It is at the expected price range for an acai bowl in New York at $8.45. It is in my running for the best acai bowl in New York. It is not a full restaurant but there is plenty of seating with tables in the back and counters along the front. The juices and other food look great too so it is definitely an excellent place to grab a quick breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
4. Agavi Organic Juice Bar (72 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003)
Agavi is a small hole in the wall, juice bar in the East Village. There is only a small counter in the front so most orders are to go. I tried the “The V.I.P.” acai bowl. It includes organic acai, banana, almond milk, goji berries, granola, dragon fruit, hemp seeds, strawberries, and banana. The almond milk really adds to the taste of the bowl. All the toppings are fresh. I am a big fan of dragon fruit and Agavi is the only spot that I have been that includes it in an acai bowl. The bowl is the correct size too. Overall, it has excellent acai bowls. It is $10.50 for a bowl but it is bigger than the bowls at most spots I have tried in New York.
I also tried its Pitaya [dragon fruit] bowl with blueberries, bananas, and strawberries as toppings. I love the dragon fruit as a topping. However, the pitaya base is a bit bland. Moreover, the servers were blending a few orders of smoothies during one of my visits. They made slightly more than they could fit into the cups so they started giving me the extra in small cups because I was sitting there. As such, I can also attest that the smoothies are very good although I only visit Agavi for the acai bowls.
- Pure Green (33 E 33rd St, New York, NY 10016)
Pure Green has a space in the Open Kitchen cafeteria in Midtown East/ Murray Hill. It has very good acai bowls. I ordered the “Mixed Berry Acai”. The base blends the acai with strawberries, almond milk, and cold pressed apples. The almond milk adds to the taste. I also love the use of the apples because it makes the base taste just a bit sour. The toppings are blueberries and hemp granola. The granola has a good crunch to it. The server also put strawberries on my order. All the toppings are fresh. The size could be a little bigger but it is just enough. At $8.50 for the bowl, it is at what I expect for a bowl in New York.
6. Healthy Corner (637 9th Ave Corner of 45th St, New York, NY 10036)
It is a hidden gem for an acai bowl. It is a convenience store in Hell’s Kitchen that also serves juices. I had the “Berry Acai” The acai base is blended with blueberries, strawberries, and soy milk. The bowl is topped with Goji berries, banana, organic granola, and agave. It is the first time I saw Goji berries as a topping. I have seen them on a few other acai bowls subsequently but it is not the norm. They definitely help differentiate this bowl. They also put a generous amount of them on. A great honey really puts a bowl over the top. While this bowl does not utilize honey, the use of agave provides a similar effect. At $8.95 per bowl, it is in the range I expect. It is a decent size too.
- Juice Vitality (192 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10009)
It is a hole in the wall juice spot in the East Village with a couple of counters for limited seating. I had high expectations for Juice Vitality. While the acai bowl is still good, I am still a little disappointed. I ordered “The Original Acai Bowl”. The base blends acai berries with thick strawberry & banana. The toppings are organic chia seed, granola, banana, and seasonal fruits. The fruits I had were kiwi, strawberries, mangoes, and blueberries. It is my favorite fruit medley on top of an acai bowl. Moreover, the presentation is excellent and it is one of the most photogenic bowls in the city. On the other hand, I did not really care for the granola which is a bit flaky. I prefer it in bigger chunks and crunchier. I also like the acai base a little colder. The bowl could also be bigger but it is big enough. The $8 price tag is consistent with the bowls in New York.
- Juicy Spot (33 Pell St, New York, NY 10013)
It is a thai ice cream roll spot that also has acai bowls. I tried the “Acai”: Açai blended with banana and apple juice and topped with strawberries, mangoes, banana, granola, and chia seeds. Every ingredient is fresh and solid. The granola has a good crunch to it. It feels slightly smaller than I accustomed to. The $8 price is in line with other spots in New York. If you want to torture yourself, eat an acai bowl in the shop as you watch other patrons eat thai ice cream rolls. I have not tried them at Juicy Spot but they look so good.
- Liquiteria (Urbanspace Vanderbilt 230 Park Ave New York, NY 10169)
Liquiteria has a space in Urbanspace Vanderbilt, which is a cafeteria with a number of excellent food choices including Delaney’s fried chicken and Dough doughnuts. Liquiteria does not have the best acai bowl I have tried in the city but it is not bad. I have stopped by for bowls a few times for something quick by Grand Central. I enjoy the “Berry Crunch”: strawberries, bananas, granola, vanilla almond milk, Greek yogurt, acai & choice of peanut butter or almond butter. I have eaten it before the train ride to a couple of hikes in the Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve. It is great and light thing to eat for energy before a hike. It is $8, which is the going rate in New York.
- Juice Generation (599 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10022)
Juice Generation has great juices and smoothies. I have tried the “I <3 Watermelon” smoothie which includes blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon. It is excellent. As for acai bowls, it is a rip off. I ordered the “Aloha Acai” which is acai, almond milk, bee pollen, banana, hemp granola, pineapples, and strawberries. It is not terrible but I am not impressed. It is one of the smaller bowls I have seen in the city and the toppings are sparse. On the other hand, it is one of the more expensive bowls at about $11. I definitely recommend the smoothies. However, I would not get an acai bowl here unless you are really craving a bowl around 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue because there are no other bowls near the area.
Other Lunch Spots
1. Dig Inn (150 East 52nd Street (Between Lex & 3rd) New York, NY 1002)
Dig Inn has various locations throughout the city and I have been to a number of them. It tastes too good to be healthy food but it is. Everything is good at Dig Inn. I usually get the charred chicken. It is marinated very well with lemon and the char is perfect. Once in a while, I get the beef meatballs which are also awesome. The steak and salmon are also great. For sides, my favorites are the Brussels sprouts and mac cheese. Some vegetables are seasonal. The kale, butternut squash, cauliflower, and broccoli are very good too. Dig Inn is my favorite place to eat well, in terms of health and taste.
It also has a phone app and it is easy to pay through it. It charges you once a month and you get a $9 credit as a reward for every $99 spent.
- Omar’s Kitchen & Bakery (154 E 55th St, New York, NY 10022)
It has some of the best Middle Eastern food in the city and features chicken shawarma and kabobs. The kaufta (lamb) kabobs is my favorite dish. The meat is great and I enjoy the chives inside the kabobs. The chicken shawarma and chicken kabobs are also very good. However, chicken can dry out on the skewers so lamb is the best bet for a consistent experience. I have never had bad kaufta kabobs. I also always go for the platter. For sides, I usually get the hummus and rice. The potatoes are a bit too bland for me. Baba ganoush is another side but I do not really like eggplant. The platter also comes with fresh baked pita. The pitas are phenomenal and I put my hummus in them. To finish things off, you also get a small piece of baklava for dessert. It is awesome. You will definitely be stuffed after eating a platter.
The line goes out the door around lunch time. However, it moves fast because most people get the food to go. Regardless, there is a nice seating area in the back with tables if you want to stay.
- Fields Good Chicken (26 E 40th St, New York, NY 10010)
First, it has a brilliant name. Next, the chicken is incredible. It light years ahead of Boston Market as a fast food style rotisserie chicken spot. It is fall of the bone good and you can eat it with just a fork. It is arguably the best rotisserie chicken in New York. The sides are also very good (e.g. corn, potatoes, kale, etc.). There are various deals for a quarter, half or whole bird. As such, it is great if you for lunch whether you eat alone or with a couple of friends.
4. Izakaya Mew (Basement, 53 W 35th St, New York, NY 10001)
The entrance is inconspicuous so you can definitely walk past it. I did so my first time trying to find Izakaya Mew. I went back the very next day and missed it again. Although it is in a basement, it has a very nice decor. The service and food comes out very fast. As such, it is great for a quick sit down bite as you can get in and out within half an hour. At noon, the place is empty. By 12:15, it is completely packed. For this reason, definitely get there before 12:15 to get a seat or you will have to wait. The lunch menu is great. It includes sashimi, sushi, noodle soup dishes, noodle dishes, and rice bowls. In my first visit, I ordered the sashimi trio quinoa bowl and a salmon avocado roll. The bowl includes salmon, tuna, yellowtail, seaweed salad, cucumber, quinoa & baby mixed greens with yuzu vinaigrette. It is very similar to a poke bowl and I really like it. The salmon avocado is awesome too. In my second visit, I ate the tuna tartar don rice bowl and a spicy tuna bowl. The salmon is higher quality and fresher than the tuna. Accordingly, I enjoyed my first visit a lot more than my second. Looking around, the deep fried pork chops and chicken cutlets, ramen, and udon dishes looked great so I will definitely be back. It is about $10 per dish, which is a solid price for lunch in Manhattan. The portion sizes are solid too.
It has a completely different and bigger menu for dinner. I will definitely have to try it.
Please also note it is cash only.
- The Cellar- Beecher’s Handmade Cheese (900 Broadway, New York, NY 10003)
Beecher’s has some of the best mac and cheese you can eat anywhere. I loved it when I had it in Seattle. I was thrilled to find out there is a location in New York. The Cellar is the restaurant in the basement of Beecher’s. The mac and cheese is even better than I remembered it in Seattle. Moreover, it features charcuterie. It also has wines, beers, and signature cocktails.
- Room Service (690 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036)
It is a very good Thai restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen. It has a lunch special from 11:30-3:30 PM that starts at $8.50 and includes an entrée and appetizer. For the appetizer, the spring rolls are very good. I usually upgrade $1.50 to get the Tom Yum Soup. It is loaded with mushrooms. For an entrée, I always order a chicken or beef pad see euw noodle, which is basically the Thai version of a beef or chicken chow fun at Chinese restaurants. Other entrees include Pad thai, pineapple fried rice, grilled pork chop, etc.
- Café Zaiya (18 E 41st St, New York, NY 10017)
It is a great spot to get a quick lunch by Bryant Park and Grand Central. Their sandwiches, white fish and spicy chicken, are awesome. Moreover, they are less than $5. One sandwich will fill you up. I tried eating one of each a couple of times and really had trouble. Instead, I get one sandwich and some sushi when I go. In addition, they have rice bowls, noodle bowls, etc. There is also a full bakery with Asian pastries and soft serve ice cream inside the café.
8. Bareburger (48-19 Vernon Blvd Long Island City, NY 11101)
It is a chain that has many locations throughout the city. I went to the one in Long Island City. Bareburger serves organic burgers. When you see the words “organic”, you know it means it is more expensive than most burgers. They are very solid burgers and the meat is very good. In addition, I definitely recommend the onion rings. They are huge. It is not a place I would go all the time because of the price but it is a good spot to go once in a while.
- Tina’s Cuban Cuisine (23 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019)
Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine is my favorite Cuban lunch spot. Tina’s is like its identical twin sister. The setup is the same. At both restaurants, the roast pork is my favorite dish. I usually get it with yellow rice and French fries. Although the food is great, the green sauce puts it over the top at both places. It is a mystery what is in the sauce but I do not question it. The mystery is part of its legend. I pour it over everything. While Sophie’s fills up by 12:15 for lunch, it is much easier to get a seat at Tina’s for lunch. It is busy but you normally do not have to wait to be seated like Sophie’s after 12:15.
- Barkogi (957 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022)
It is a decent Korean Fried Chicken spot in New York. The chicken is not as good as Bon Chon or Mad For Chicken but it is good. It also has good lunch specials. I go with the wings + drum special which comes with rice. I enjoy the chicken marinated in soy garlic sauce. I also get a side order of tator tots. They are awesome. It has a nice bar area with televisions. I usually eat lunch here when I want to watch a big tennis match during Wimbledon or the U.S. Open.
Nice Sit-Down Lunch Spots
- Becco (355 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036)
Becco is one of my favorite restaurants in New York. It was opened by celebrity chefs, Lidia Bastianich and her son Joe [Master Chef]. It is a popular spot in Hell’s Kitchen for lunch or dinner before and after Broadway shows. It is always hopping. I generally come here for the unlimited pasta, Sinfonia di Paste, for $19.95. The pastas are handmade and different every time. The price and pasta are awesome so you do not need to come here for Restaurant Week to get a great deal. Nevertheless, everything else I have eaten here is awesome. I really enjoyed the steak too. The peporoni ripieni (Cubanelle peppers stuffed with beef, pork & veal braised in tomato sauce dusted with Grana Padano & served on a bed of crispy spinach spaetzli) is excellent. Of course, the stuffed peppers are excellent. I could not get enough of the spinach spaetzli because they are very crunchy. It is a great spot for a business lunch and the prices are very reasonable.
- Estiatorio Milos (125 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019)
It is my favorite Greek restaurant in New York. I was brought here by a Greek co-worker. In particular the seafood, is phenomenal. In my opinion, it has the best salmon entrée anywhere (Sorry Seattle. I think I like this salmon more even if it is farmed salmon). They have a prix-fixed menu for lunch for $29 and includes an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. In addition to salmon, I have tried the tuna burger as an entrée. It is decent but the salmon is definitely the way to go. The restaurant is beautiful. The ambiance is perfect and upscale. In addition, it has the freshest basil you will ever find. How fresh? They have a small pot of basil still growing at your table and cut it straight from the plant into your olive oil for your bread. I recommend Milos whether you want a nice Mediterranean meal for business or pleasure.
- Tao Uptown (42 E 58th St, New York, NY 10022)
Tao is an awesome Asian fusion restaurant. It has one of the best prix-fixed lunch deals in New York at $31.50 if you want a lot of food. The portions are definitely generous. Everything I have had here is excellent. The crispy vegetable rolls are my favorite appetizer. In my opinion, the hanger steak is the best entrée [although it seems to be no longer on the new prix fixed menu]. It is very tender and marinated exceptionally. For dessert, the chocolate zen parfait is phenomenal. The sorbet and fruit is a good alternative if you want to finish your meal with a healthier option.
For other good lunch spots, check out my 2013 recommendations: http://rookerville.com/2013/09/17/local-guide-lunch-new-york/