La La Lalito…

Red alert…very cool new place located in New York City’s Chinatown.

Lalito is a groovy way to do Sunday brunch.

Getting there was a challenge with most of the westside subways inoperative.

In actuality, it took 1 hour and 30 minutes from Lincoln Center to Chinatown, including 3 subway transfers, a $10 cab ride and a 2 mile walk.

Lalito had better have been great or we were going to be very pissed off.

Before this Chinatown restaurant space was Lalito it was a one-room karaoke dive bar called, Winnie’s.

It is small and cozy with original flooring.

We missed our reservation so we plunked down at the bar and engaged with the engaging and talented bartender, Marc.


The place was buzzing.

Chef Gerardo Gonzalez has expanded his capacity to 47 seats from his former 15 bar stools that occupied his last home, El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette.

The 34-year-old California transplant is serving creative Mex-Californian food in a casual diner like space.
I had to start out with the Cali Kasha Varnishkes which is the absolute favorite dish that my mom makes.

It was served cold and opened up a whole new kasha world.

The kasha was butter toasted with parsley, crimini, onion agrodolce and farfalle ($12). It was crunchy and tasty. I enjoyed it, but still refer my mom’s…I did have a preconceived notion.

Sable Scramble

The Smoked Sable Soft Scramble with fennel, red onion, parsley, capers accompanied by salad and grilled toast was absolutely fabulous ($13).

Bruleed Grapefruit

Another standout is the Bruleed Grapefruit with burnt sugar, pomegranate and tarragon ($8). I could have ordered another one as I decimated the serving. Who knew grapefruit could be so delicious.

Papas Bravas

The Papas Bravas were good, but not what I had expected. I prefer the potatoes crispy and the sauce on the side which was spicy and excessive ($5).

The Mexican Mocha was strong and sweet with Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, Aleppo pepper and condensed milk ($4).

Lalito just altered their name as there is a longstanding restaurant on the upper west side called Lalo and had led to quite a bit of confusion.

For a truly fun and delish adventure, venture to Chinatown and shake it up with spunky bartender Marc, hard working owner, Mateusz  and sample some creative, inventive cuisine at Lalito.


Lalito 104 Bayard Street Chinatown, NYC. Open Lunch Wednesday-Monday 11am-4pm, Brunch Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm, Dinner Daily 6pm-Midnight.


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