113 Ludlow St 2nd Fl, New York, NY | Directions 1000240.713510 -73.985941
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Lower East Side
Kuma Inn is one of the truly original concepts to emerge out of New York's increasingly derivative restaurant scene in recent years. Billed as "Asian tapas," it's in fact an eclectic small-plates restaurant that expresses the vision of one man: its talented chef-owner King Phojanakong. Half Thai and half Fillipino and trained under David Bouley, he's come up with food that is utterly unpredictable and, for the quality you are getting, really cheap.
asian tapas equals awesome – the best thing about this place are the prices and the byob policy.
mussels, salmon, and white wine!
Big Disappointment ZERO STAR – I was compelled to join citysearch to write my own review for this over-rated & overpriced pretentious Filipino Restaurant. I am Filipino who brought a FIlipino & a 'Caucasian' American friend. I was just appalled by the soggy lumpia shanghai, salty pancit bihon, very vinegary adobo sandwich and a tasting dessert that was far from Filipino. I'd rather go to Queens for more decent food & better value. I asked the waitress if the chef is a smoker; she said YES! That explains why the food were all salty. Filipino food is never served tapas-style. Kuma Inn did for profit. Don't get me wrong, I can cook what we ordered.
It was my first visit on Mar 11,2009 6:30 dinnertime, and will never go back.
Excellent Food....this place is a gem – The food at Kuma Inn is excellent. Everything we ordered was very good. Definitely try the muscles and the brisket. The chinese sausage is delicious as well. Do not go without making reservations. The place is small and cannot handle walk-ins especially on weekends. You might get away with it on weekdays. Don't expect too much as far as ambience is concerned. The restaurant isn't exactly fancy but is quite intimate. It is also BYOB, thats another great reason to go. Overall the experience was excellent and I will defintely go back.
Very Interesting mix of tapas – Not an easy place to spot but we were able to find the place easily because we knew from a review that it was on the second floor and next to Suba. The place filled up quickly (on a Wedesday night!!) and the tapas were very well done. The chinese sausage with spicey dipping sauce + sticky rice was incredible. The pork-belly was another very savory dish paired with a yummy sauce. The coconut rice although was a side dish to supplement the food was yummy enough to be a main dish for us! The meal was very filling. Its a bit pricey for the ingredients but the flavor makes up for the inflated prices. BYOB is also a reason to go! You can bring your favorite wine or sake to pair up with the food. Note that there are corking fees!
What a surprise! – I was a little hesitant to try this place out after reading a couple of negative reviews but, I'm so glad that I did. If you've never been here, there are a few things you should know; It's small, hard to find, it's b.y.o. and cash only. My friends who had made a reservation for three had been warned ahead of time so we came prepared. When we arrived, we were seated at a corner table for 2 which was able to fit all 3 of us. It was a bit cozy but, comfy nonetheless. Our waiter promptly greeted us and opened our wine. After telling us the specials, we asked out him if there were things on the menu he could recommend. He immediately listed the most popular dishes on the menu as well as the specials and even told us his favorite dishes! We went for 6 of his recommendations and out of all of them, the Chinese sausage was definitely the best dish. He informed us that if there was one dish that we had to get on the menu, the sausage had to be it. We ended up getting 2! Throughout the whole meal, the staff frequently checked on our table, refilling our wine and water glasses, taking away empty plates, even changing our individual plates! I thought they only did that in fine dining restaurants! The food was great and the music was just as good. They played the most eclectic mix I've ever heard in a restaurant. From classic motown and old school, to the lastest indie, rock and hip hop! Who knew Kanye and the Killers would sound so good together while you ate at a restaurant! At the end of our meal, we asked our waiter who picks the music for the restaurant. I was surprised when he told us that it was actually his iPod that was playing! All in all, this was a cool and casual spot with great food, spot on service, and the best mix of music I've heard in any restaurant. I'll definitely be coming back soon!
fantastic people, great management – i planned a birthday dinner here the other night for my girlfriend and was amazed by how helpful the host was and how friendly the waitstaff were. unlike a couple other restaurants i called, kuma inn didn't complain that i was bringing my own birthday cake -- the hostess at public, another downtown restaurant i was considering, was irritable and unwilling to accommodate, stating that "public has a fantastic dessert selection, so you should just forget about the birthday cake and order dessert from us." how charming. fortunately i ignored that advice and instead took the birthday to kuma inn, where the host took the trouble to put my cake in a wine fridge while we ate, and then after dinner the waitress brought the cake out with all the candles lit and started the whole restaurant in a happy birthday chorus for my girlfriend. she was a little embarrassed but loved it. kuma inn nailed all the other important details too, including getting us exactly the table we had asked for. thanks to everyone at kuma inn for helping make that a perfect and romantic birthday night. will definitely come again.
WORST MGMT & Service in all of NYC – I have never experienced such blatant rudeness by both the wait staff and manager in all of my years of dining out in NYC. There were plenty of empty tables, but they were rushing us out because their next reservation was supposed to have "our table." We were still eating and they gave us the check and told us we had to leave. We asked to speak to the manager who was the most unprofessional woman I've ever encountered. She yelled at me like a child for arriving late even though the rest of my party was on time and ordered without me. Their bully of a busboy took our plates from us as we were still eating. I confronted the manager as we were leaving to let her know that I didn't appreciate being treated so rudely and she threatened to call the police. Great customer relationship skills. All and all I don't even remember the food because it was the worst dining experience I've ever had. Do yourselves a favor and NEVER GO HERE!
Amazing food!!! – I went to Kuma Inn with a few friends recently and really enjoyed the food. Everything we ate from start to finish was incredible. Some of the highlights for us were the edamame with the spicy chili lime sauce, the pork belly, and sauteed chinese sausage. We also had a few of the specials which were all good. The chocolate chili ice cream was phenomenal. I'm a very critical diner and there wasn't one dish that wasn't great or outstanding. What's also good about this place is it's currently byob -- and right now there is no corkage fee (though I was told they're going to start imposing one which is a turn-off). It's small so reservations are a must, but well worth the extra planning once you taste the food. I can't wait to go back!!
The worst service I have ever gotten in the restaurant EVER! – I am all for supporting a small restaurant, especially a new restaurant that has been getting consistently good reviews. So with excitement, made a reservation and off we went with group of people. We of course showed up on time, and the place was half empty. We were greeted by the waitresses who were not very helpful, but the deal breaker was when despite the fact that the place was empty and we had the reservation, they decided to sit us right by the entrance of the toilet. Now this place is very narrow and literally the single toilet they have is the unisex and two feet from the table. When we asked politely to sit us elsewhere on many empty table we saw, we were told to sit or leave. Not very difficult choice. We left, and none of us, and I am telling all my friends will never go there again. Whose idea was it anyway to put the bathroom in the middle of the room and the kitchen by the entrance? Obviously they didn't design the space nor train the staff well at all. Highly recommend other many delicious restaurants.
Delicious, but pretty expensive – We really liked the vibe here--the abstract artworks on the walls, the crowd, the music, all is conducive to a charming evening with a significant other or a date. The tonkatsu (pork chop) was really good, and the kalamansi juice, very tasty and unusual. Unfortunately, the value is not as good as other aspects of the restaurant: portions are quite small, and two tapas plus juice and water came out to be 36 dollars, which turned into 40+ with tip.
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