Today's Friday Fives guest is about as NYC as they come. Natasha Lyonne is a badass both on the screen and off, with the personality and attitude of someone who has spent their whole life in this great and crazy city.
Lyonne, of course, was a child actor. Some will remember her from Pee-Wee's Playhouse or Dennis The Menace in her single digit years, others possibly from her roles in Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You or American Pie as a teenager. Or maybe you had no idea Natasha existed until recently, when you became completely obsessed with Orange Is The New Black, her role in which netted her an Emmy nomination this year. Either way, you've definitely seen her somewhere. Maybe even just at Takahachi on a random Tuesday.
We've actually observed Natasha in her natural East Village habitat more than a few times - she's kind of the mayor of these parts. She's also not someone who goes out and eats at all the trendy new restaurants. Instead, Natasha tends to stick with the neighborhood classics, frequenting them often. We like that about her.
Here are Natasha's "Perfect For" New York restaurant picks, and to keep up with her latest antics/dinner plans, follow her on Twitter.
natasha's "Perfect for" Picks
"I'm sushi crazy. I've lived in the East Village/Alphabet City for most of my adult life and I spend a LOT of time at Tackahachi. I find it compulsively addicting and my only complaint is that other people go there, and you have to wait."
"I've been running the Film Form to Souen circuit for the past 15 years. That's my racket. That's my beat. It's macrobiotic. I like to get the plain grilled fish with greens, that's my move. I also like the way they make their squash over there too. By the way, I'm not a big fan of teriyaki. Can we talk about this for a second? Who the f*ck thought of that? It's absolute sugar shellacking. Apparently my formative years were so graphic and unhealthy, that I get hostile when I go places that lather up pieces of fish in teriyaki sauce."
“Omen is the perfect place to go when someone else is paying. It’s a great Japanese restaurant, with a little bit of everything food-wise, but they only take AMEX and cash. It’s an ideal place to take your friend who you’re trying to have a complicated dinner with, and when the bill comes be like, “ummm, I got no cash and don’t have an AMEX.” Dinner on them. Or just go for a “business” meal with someone else paying. I don’t like the fashion heavy crowd here, that’s not my scene, but I do understand why they like it. I’m willing to endure the scene to eat here.”
"My favorite kind of restaurant is an empty one. I do not enjoy the experience of eating on top of people. I find it unpleasant. I'm an old standby kind of person, and Joe Jr. is always one that's been accommodating to my antics, even back in the 90's when all I ate was grilled cheese, french fries, and vanilla milkshakes. That's when I was really wild and eating once every three days. So if you're only going to eat once every three days, you definitely need to eat at Joe Jr."
"I like that meat on a stick. I don't do it as much as I used to, partially because last time I was at Tori Shin I lost my cell phone there. I got into meat on a stick early on, in my teenage years, because of that place off St Marks connected to Angel's Share. I would sit at the counter and order meat on a stick weekly. I really need to get back to my roots."