Wu Liang Ye: "This is the best Sichuan food — you must get the razor clams and the smoked duck tongues. You'll get mala, that special numbness that Sichuan peppercorns give you."
Shanghai Cuisine: "They have the best soup dumplings in Chinatown. You've got to try both the pork and the pork-and-crab dumplings. You put it on a spoon, bite a little bit, and suck the soup out with a slurping noise. That aerates it so you can get better flavor, and it cools the dumpling too."
Tang Pavilion: "Another great place for Shanghai-style food, especially their king prawns. You break the head off and suck the brains out. And red roast pork belly — it's so rich I call it Chinese foie gras."
Masa: "This is the place for traditional sushi. Best nigiri I've ever had in my life, hands down. He [Masa Takayama] breaks it down in front of you. By the time you finish chewing one, another piece appears: clam, uni, octopus — phenomenal. The uni risotto with shaved truffles? One hundred percent umami: one of the most deep-flavored dishes I have ever had. Definitely one of the top three bites of my life."
Momofuku Noodle Bar: "I particularly like the fried veal sweetbreads and the Momofuku ramen."
Nobu 57: "Nobu Matsuhisa started the New Japanese craze. I go here for his always-spot-on sashimi, tempura uni and shiso, toro, and caviar tartare."
Kittichai: "Fantastic new Thai. Get the sweet-chile whole fish and the crispy rock shrimp — I had two orders of that."
Spice Market: "If you like spice, sit at the bar and graze on their Southeast Asian food, like the very tasty satays and the tuna-galangal-tapioca-pearl sashimi. You wouldn't think it would work, but it's so good."