Working in the music business leads you to some weirdos, and one of our favorite weirdos led us to the Radiance Tea House not too long ago. A friend of ours in the office who is an artist, meditation enthusiast, and all around enjoyer of life tipped us off to this random little Midtown bookstore/restaurant last summer, and we have been back for lunch quite a bit since. It's a great escape from the drag of a busy Tuesday - an escape to dumplings.
That background on how we ended up here is important, because upon first inspection, the Radiance Tea House looks like a place that your estranged "free spirit" cousin would probably hang out in. You know, the one who skipped college to follow Phish around for a decade before settling in some small town in Arizona where everyone has their own tee pee. You don't have any cousins like that? I guess that's what growing up in Colorado gets you. Anyway, once you really survey the situation at Radiance, you'll realize that it's way less eccentric than all that, and is really just a great little place to get some grub, drink a pot of tea, and maybe peruse a text about Buddhism. We find ourselves in here from time to time to do exactly that - except for the Buddhism part. I figure if I'm too ADD to read, I'm probably too ADD for that religion. Plus, it can't be good karma if I get ponzu sauce on the book.
The lunch special menu is where you want to be, and these noodle boxes are a solid option. The noodles are always well cooked and served cold, topped with the meat of your choice. We prefer the beef to the chicken.
Far and away our favorite thing to eat here. You get ten dumplings for under $12, and can choose from chicken with mushroom, soupy pork, pork, beef, and vegetable with tofu. We like the chicken, pork, and soupy pork options a lot, though we always wish the soupy pork was a little bit soupier. Also, these dumplings are steamed and the ingredients are high quality, which means you won't feel like sh*t after you eat them. Instead, you'll return to your Midtown office feeling fresh with a replenished soul, ready for your job to start sucking it out of you again.
A nice green tea soba in a sesame sauce. We're big fans of soba, so we love this, though it don't hold a candle to Soba Nippon.
This beef dish certainly won't change your life, but it's tasty, and like the dumplings, is light enough that you won't want to kill yourself after you eat it. This is clean food.