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Restaurant Spotting: Tito King’s Kitchen

All photos by Jess Nash

All photos by Jess Nash

East Village stalwart, Jimmy’s No. 43, has long been about more than just great beer — although with up to 50 hard-to-find bottles and 14 unique drafts on tap, it certainly has that, too.  But owner Jimmy Carbone is equally devoted to food, whether he’s hosting an annual Cassoulet Cook-off, or welcoming in edible pop-ups, such as Revolving Dansk and their Danish-style hot dogs.  Which is why he recently joined forces with King Phojanakong, the talented chef & owner of Kuma Inn and Umi Nom, to create a permanent, in-house eatery dubbed Tito King’s Kitchen — effectively making Jimmy’s No. 43 a full-on, 7-day-a-week dining destination.

efEMbmHFDiskGNCIK3xULyG3Sh7iac8tHcyZ5XG9nIEInspired by both Thai and Filipino street food, the current menu includes tasty options like Chicken Wings “Adobo” shellacked with garlic, vinegar and sticky soy, because every great beer bar needs an equally worthy wing.  There’s also bite-sized, crispy-skinned Lumpia; the Filipino answer to spring rolls.  That’s just for starters.  Tito King’s Kitchen is peddling fat steamed Dumplings, filled with fresh garden vegetables as well as top-selling Pork Belly Tacos, featuring a duo of pliant tortillas crowned with wobbly planks of Thai chili lime sauce-drizzled meat, and a tender Beef Burger, dripping with sriracha chili mayo and brightened by a heap of pickled papaya slaw.

03yKN4k5z1RRYmuTda5FyOuRsnKVHTcwRWNthHiU78AIf you plan on going drinking with a crowd, you can even order Lechon (a whole pig) in advance — which makes sense, considering Carbone and Phojanakong previously collaborated at Pig Island; New York’s yearly, pork-adulating festival.  But whatever you do, don’t skip out on the Halo-Halo Fries, which borrows its name (Tagalog for mix-mix) from the popular Filipino dessert.  Instead of shaved ice, fruits, jellies, evaporated milk and sweet beans, however, the spectacularly messy snack features thick-cut fries tossed with crumbles of Japanese mayo-sauced pork and finished with a shower of gently undulating bonito flakes.

VNUe6vKw1NCoaRKvhJHP-XZYmZF11vB-_8jfzoR_uvoWhile it’s a cinch to come up with fantastic beer pairings at Jimmy’s (we love their selection of citrusy sours and saisons), they’ve launched a series of new, complimentary cocktails as well, including a Tequila Paloma, Lemongrass Gin + Tonic, and Vodka Calamansi.  So if you’re going to get your booze on in the East Village, don’t bother scouting St. Marks St. for late night bites afterwards.  Because thanks to the Southeast Asian-style eats at Tito King’s Kitchen, there’s no need to venture further than Jimmy’s No. 43.

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