Sometimes it's snow in April. Sometimes it's a person who sticks their armpit in your face on the subway. Either way, at some point, New York will make you question your will to keep going. You will think there must be somewhere a little better? You never thought you'd say it, but... LA? And before you know it, you're deep down a rabbit hole of real estate listings for a place in Venice, and wondering about exactly what one does with a "lawn."
The next time you're feeling this kind of way, hit up El Rey, a little cafe on the Lower East Side with West Coast vibes. It's the kind of "almost healthy" stuff we find ourselves wanting to eat a lot of the time, but spiced up and spiffed up a bit. For example, the avocado toast is served on a pita with Middle Eastern spices, and your typical kale salad/grain bowl comes with an egg that's been dyed pink by beet juice.
When it first opened, El Rey was doing an interesting dinner menu with table service, but since their chef left to open his own spot, Lalo in Chinatown, it's now an order-at-the-counter situation, and they're open only until 7pm. So come for breakfast or lunch. Or just go to LA.
A spin on avocado toast where instead of chili and lemon, you get pickled onions and Middle Eastern spices. You can get the avocado as a solo side, on top of a pita, or with an egg on top.
Don't fall victim to ordering the kale salad during lunch - this one is the same, but with stuff (farro and shaved radishes, mostly) actually in it. Top it with a pickled pink egg and, naturally, avocado.