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>kokotxa with anise hyssop, WD-50

Dinner this week at restaurant WD-50 on the Lower East Side.

The streets here still look like the 70's grimy New York. Lovely. I almost tripped over a hubcap on a sidewalk. A short while later, I actually witnessed another hubcap being flung into the air like a dangerous frisbee as the wheel hit a particularly deep pothole. It landed in the middle of the road and was repeatedly flattened by oncoming traffic.

WD-50's entrance does not feel updated. You can pretend you are stepping into a dark secret pleasure dungeon, the anti-Per Se the airy champagne palace. You certainly enter with a different frame of mind, as WD-50's tasting menu costs "only" half as much as the lofty fare at Per Se.

First course on the Tasting Menu was

>Kokotxas, smoked cashews, celery, risotto broth

Kokotxa (hake or cod cheek in Basque, cococha in Spanish) was firm, resembling monkfish. The broth was wonderfully rich with clean, refined fish flavor. Garnished with tiny greens - anise hyssop.

Wine pairing
Cava Avinyo Brut NV Reserva (Penedes, Spain)

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