We went to the Lower East Side the other night to see what the young people are up to. Our son, Max, was playing a gig at the Bowery Ballroom with a great band called dinowalrus. They totally killed — awesome. Jill and I were the oldest people in the neighborhood by at least thirty years.
We didn’t make reservations for dinner before the show because we always assume we can get ourselves fed when it’s just the two of us — often at the bar. I did have a destination in mind, though — Xicala, a tapas/wine bar that looked online to be properly LES. It was raining, so we scurried from the Grand Street subway across Bowery to Elizabeth Street, where Xicala promised to be and it was closed. Locked shut. I later checked their website, which says they’re “undergoing a makeover.” Good luck, Xicala. See you next time.
We were now wandering aimlessly in the rain, looking to grab a quick bite before the show. It was definitely an any-port-in-a- storm situation. We saw little orange lights coming out of a dark front window and crossed Elizabeth Street to see what was up and it was a restaurant called Little Rascal that serves Turkish food. Yeah — Little Rascal — Turkish. It made no sense to me, either. But our interest was definitely piqued — and our appetites as we’re both partial to Turkish food.
Inside was small and sweet, really just a bar with a few tables. At first I thought there was a larger dining room in the back, but Jill pointed out that I was looking at a mirror. I had thought there was a cute little Jewish guy back there checking me out. But no.
For starters we ordered hummus and a white bean salad with parsley and red pepper that really lit us up. They served this with fresh Turkish bread. Jill followed up with the red lentil soup with onion, potato, garlic and red pepper that she’s still raving about. I had the excellent shrimp casserole and a glass of lovely tempranillo to wash it down.
They have a nice wine list, by the way. It was a delicious dinner in a cute place with very little noise, which was perfect because there was plenty of noise inside the Bowery Ballroom.
Try Little Rascal. It’s fun.
LITTLE RASCAL: 163 Elizabeth St. (between Spring St & Kenmare St), New York, 10012
by Maia Harari