East 8 New York Fusion Tapas + Bar: Empire state of mind

New York’s really inspiring young entrepreneurs these days, what with places like Little Diner and Club Street Social joining the fold in the last year. And now there’s East 8 New York Fusion Tapas + Bar a joint inspired by eighth street in New York’s East Village.

Also known as St. Mark’s Place, the street was a hub for alternative culture and tattoo parlours in the 1980s. Today it’s a little gentrified and has become a sort of Little Tokyo, with yakitori spots, noodle houses, bakeries and tea houses galore. Besides that, there’s also Morroccan food, shisha bars, Taiwanese dumplings and French chocolate boutiques adding to the eclectic vibe.

Drawing influences from the area, East 8 serves Asian fusion. There are skewers—like chicken thigh ($10), pork belly ($10) and seafood ($10)—a nod to the street’s yakitori parlours, a raw bar (with dressed up sashimi including hamachi with caviar ($15)) and desserts reminiscent of the stuff at Japanese patisseries such as banana tempura ($12) as well as coconut panna cotta with pandan and gula melaka ($12).