Long Island City is booming and dialing up its cool quotient!

Arris Lofts in the Court Square area of LIC

Arris Lofts in the Court Square area of LIC

Spent the weekend in LIC (sleepover at Arris Lofts!!  YAY!!  Parties/dinners, no need to subway it home, Awesome!!).  On Saturday, my friend Susan B. and I did a  walk-around the neighborhood to explore new stores, restaurants and bars.  The good news:  LIC is booming (thousands of new apartments currently being built!) and it’s a great place to live (really chill and so close to the city without the city’s hassles).  And, importantly, there are a few pretty cool places popping up to join pioneering hot spots like Dutch Kills and M. Wells.  The not so good news: the vast majority of new places are just not that great – for a variety of reasons, but for me, the failure most often lies in bad design and a lack of attention to detail. See below the break for more info on my picks of winners and losers – and note: it is not a comprehensive list.

Newish places worth checking out:

Mu Ramen (12-09 Jackson – dinner only, not open Sunday)

IMG_6191Haven’t eaten here yet but every time I walk by I am newly dedicated to checking it out.  It looks awesome and it’s always packed!!  I also love the fact that based on how the light above the door is lit, a passerby can know if it’s full (light is blue) or if they have space available (light is orange).

Hibino (10-70 Jackson – dinner and now also serving lunch)

Tofu presentation

Tofu presentation

Japanese restaurant serving both traditional and new style sushi and Japanese tapas.  I’m also super excited to try their special tofu.  My friend, Susan B. loves it and I cannot wait to check it out soon.

Cyclo (5-51 47th Avenue)

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Really cool, very popular spot

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This is the chicken wing dish – the sauce is so yummy!!

Vietnamese by the Tuk Tuk people. Very popular spot and some quite delicious food – our chicken wings were very tasty, the clay pot curried tilapia and the banh mi sandwich – not as fabulous. However, regulars eating around us had some pretty delicious looking stuff so I would definitely check this out again.

Sweetleaf (4615 Center Blvd – down by the water)

Sweetleaf has a really cool vibe - would totally be my hangout if I lived nearby

Sweetleaf has a really cool vibe – would totally be my hangout if I lived nearby

Love this place!!!  Really cool vibe, coffee bar during the day and cocktails and wine at nite.

Other favorites worth hitting up include:  Tournesol, Domaine Wine Bar (but has been up for sale so who knows if it’s still good), Casa Enrique, M. Wells and Dutch Kills (caveat:  the last few times I was at Dutch Kills, it was too crowded to enjoy).

Disappointing/Sub-par:

Cannelle Patisserie – so wanted this to be good but unfortunately more like a fast food restaurant, messy, sparse selection, no attention to design detail.  Not sure if this will survive.

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Urban Market – doesn’t hold a candle to Food Cellar (which I love!!)

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ON ANOTHER NOTE ALTOGETHER – great to see that Speedy is keeping it arty (love what he’s done to his van…)

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AND SUPER SAD TO SEE THAT THIS IS ALL THAT REMAINS OF 5 POINTZ

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