Magazine article The New Yorker

Food & Drink

Magazine article The New Yorker

Food & Drink

Article excerpt

FOOD & DRINK

BAR TAB

Fat Buddha

212 Avenue A (212-598-0500)

At Fat Buddha, an East Village Asian-fusion ultra-dive, the eponymous Buddha (corpulent, imperious, swathed in mini disco balls, and encased in a glass box stuffed with cash) looks like a reincarnated bouncer who opted for an off-book route to enlightenment: namely, booze, hip-hop, and a jovial no-holds-barred policy on happy-hour pork buns. Nestled comfortably at the back of his cavernous temple, next to the d.j. deck, he has a bird's-eye view of the bar, with its toddler-sized soju bottles and posters touting "Wu Wednesdays." The Buddha asks, via a framed bulletin, that visitors abide by a few select precepts: Don't be a Dick; Don't be Creepy; Please Tip. His disciples, of course, are many and diverse. On a recent evening, they ranged from an elderly Asian pair gnawing on some golden-brown honey-ginger wings to a lesbian couple with pastel ombre hair and two newcomers, one of whom complained impoliticly that there was a troubling lack of "manly liquor. …

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