Walk into 886, and you’ll be surrounded by neon. There’s neon on the walls, neon on the ceiling, and even a little neon sign out front that would be considered foreshadowing if it were in a novel. All of which seems to suggest that this place is more exciting than your average neighborhood spot - and to a certain extent, it is.
886 is Taiwanese restaurant in the East Village, and the menu here is pretty straightforward. Mostly, it consists of various rice dishes and stir-fries that should satisfy both your stomach and your bank account. There are also a few small plates, like a bowl of scrambled eggs with tomatoes, and a sausage served in a bun made from glutinous rice (called the “Sausage Party”). If you’re going to eat something with a bun, though, make it the fried chicken sandwich. It involves a big piece of crispy fried chicken topped with shredded daikon, and you might find yourself thinking about it the next time you’re vacuuming your apartment, taking the subway to work, or reading a book to one of your many children.
The only significant issue we have with 886 is the space. It’s roughly the size of a subway car, and on weekends it can feel like a more-crowded version of the psychedelic boat tunnel from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Depending on how many drinks you’ve had and how sensitive you are to restaurant noise, you might be just fine with this. But if you don’t want people brushing up against your back while they search for the restroom, come on a weeknight (and cross your fingers).
The food here isn’t as flashy as all the lights suggest - but a few things are worth a trip, and nothing costs more than $20. So if you can make peace with all the noise and neon, 886 is a solid option for dinner before a night out in the East Village.
A very large piece of fried chicken on a sesame seed-covered bun. The meat is crispy and juicy, and there’s some added texture from all the daikon on top. Get it, or plan on hearing Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” in your head while you watch someone else eat one.
Pick up a piece of lettuce, add some minced pork and chives, and you’ll have a great little wrap. Split an order with one or two other people.
This is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a big bowl of soft scrambled eggs with some very fresh tomatoes mixed in - and if you love eggs, go for it. You could probably make it at home, but it wouldn’t turn out this well.
A small sausage in a bun made out of glutinous rice. We like this dish, but it isn’t as exciting as it sounds, and you aren’t going to miss it if it’s not on your table.
If you just want to order one thing at 886, the Lo Ba Beng is a great option. It’s big bowl of seasoned rice with some pork belly and bamboo shoots, and it makes for a pretty complete meal.
As the name suggests, this is a bowl of stir-fried onions and beef. It isn’t the most interesting dish, but it’s solid and good for sharing.