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The gist: Well-executed Japanese-Italian mashup dishes are the focus at Kimika, a Nolita restaurant led by executive chef Christine Lau. Bringing over 15 years of industry experience and opened by Rivers and Hills Hospitality Group—the team behind places such as homestyle Thai spot, Wayla—the dishes here successfully captivate with a delicious approach to an oft-attempted (and oft-failed) cuisine hybrid. When enjoying your meal, don’t be surprised if one of their signature dishes, the Crispy Rice Cake Lasanga, looks familiar, as it’s been an IG hit since the spot opened in the summer of 2020. And don’t miss out on must-try desserts from pastry chef Clarice Lam.
The food: Offerings include a Pizzette Fritte section of dedicated flatbreads with toppings like burrata, mortadella, prosciutto, or uni. Small plates include Mushrooms with Black Garlic-Miso butter and perilla; Persimmons with Iberico pancetta and candied walnuts; and the signature Tuna Tartare with spicy mayo. Choose from various pasta and rice dishes like Soy Butter Bigoli with Tokyo negi and shallot gremolata; Cavatelli with Pork Ragu and buffalo ricotta; and the Crispy Rice Cake Lasagna with sweet Italian sausage and provolone. Large plates include Eggplant Katsu; Porchetta with crispy pork belly and miso mustard; and Ribeye with sesame ponzu and wasabi chutney. Sides include Duck Fat Fried Potatoes with mentaiko mayo and Charred String Beans with Castelvetrano olive tapenade.

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