Should you eat at Buddakan? Roughly 99% of the time, the answer is no. But sometimes you have to get dinner with a couple of people who want to spend a significant amount of money on a “big night out” and would like to stay within walking distance of Tao Downtown (a place that’s very similar). And sometimes you have to entertain a few out-of-towners who are convinced that the Meatpacking District represents the pinnacle of dining in NYC. Those are occasions on which you might go to Buddakan - and you should know that you can actually have a good time here. Sure, it’s overpriced ($17 for a few dumplings, for example) and the food isn’t what we’d call “great” or “worthwhile” (no one needs tuna tartare egg rolls) - but the massive space is impressive, and dinner here feels like an event. The restaurant has two levels with a big sunken dining room that looks like an upscale version of the dining hall at Hogwarts, and - while there’s usually a crowd here - you can make a reservation pretty easily.
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