Today's Friday Fives comes from screenwriter, director, producer, and native New Yorker, Brian Koppelman. We met Brian on Twitter a few months ago and quickly bonded over the Knicks and tales of our music business pasts. So, yeah, you could say it was destiny.
When Brian isn't knee deep in bringing movies like Rounders, Ocean's Thirteen, Solitary Man, and The Illusionist to the world, he's interviewing interesting people on his Grantland Podcast, The Moment. That, or he's eating something awesome, which is why he's here to drop some knowledge.
Brian's "perfect for" picks
"I could put Babbo in almost any category. It’s absolutely one of my favorite restaurants in the world. And everything about Mario Batali’s flagship joint makes it perfect for a business dinner that has to go well. The food is still cutting edge and delicious, the vibe still exclusive but welcoming, and the entire place is designed to be a totally satisfying experience."
"I love Ssam Bar, but Noodle — with the original pork bun, those giant bowls of Kimchi Stew (they’ll make it if you ask), and the rice cakes — always makes me feel happy and safe. And I never walk out of there (or any of David Chang’s places) without a smile on my face."
"There’s a reason that Ivan Orkin, this Jewish kid from Long Island, became the hottest ramen chef in Tokyo. And that reason is this: He sends out an amazing product. When he opened in NYC, I ate at the ramen bar nine times in two weeks. His new downtown location is more than just ramen. But man, that ramen..."
"I’m a sushi freak. And if I’m gonna really go for it, I’m gonna do it at Sasabune on E. 73rd St. I’m gonna sit at the bar, nod at Kenji-san, and let him go to work. Not the kind of thing to do once a week or even once a month. But sometimes, you just want to be dazzled. Sasabune delivers."
"I’m bummed that the original location on 12th St. is closed. But if I’m in a hurry and alone, I always duck into the one in the 40's for a quick but totally satisfying banh mi. I just looked to double check, and yes - in the five years they've been serving them, I have had every single sandwich on the menu."