Good Grub Under Ten Bucks
Sometimes you have to jump through a few hoops to get the cheap food. At Chinoise, thrift seekers must absolutely go only during happy hour (Mon–Fri 5–7 pm). You must sit at the bar if you expect to be served in a timely manner. Furthermore, you must ignore everything that is not on the happy-hour menu. Do not under any circumstances order any "pan-Asian food" (whoever came up with that category deserves to be drowned in a vat of kimchee). Chinoise is a sort of low-budget cookie-cutter concept restaurant—somebody must have figured they could charge more money if they offered pad thai along with their unagi. But the happy-hour menu here is something to swoon over. Every appetizer and sushi roll costs $4. The roll combinations are tasty without being overly involved: Negihama (green onion and yellowtail) and unagi (with avocado!) were two winners on the night I visited. The sushi chef will hand over a huge bowl of salted edamame when you sit down, so after nibbling your way through that, a sushi roll, an appetizer (poke, anyone?), and a $2 beer, you'll be quite full and you'll squeak in just <10.