I like the concept of Ember Room more than the execution, but that being said, it's a unique place. It is far outside the usual prototype establishments that I write about, but here I am explaining myself anyways.
The place creates some very unique takes on many popular items across a broad spectrum of Asian palates, and quite often uses these flavors on more American staples. To be honest, it's a pretty good idea. The place just opened, and I think they must be still in development, and bound to improve, but some of the tastes are not yet ready and a bit confusing. I wondered whether I should be thinking about these compared to their homeland dishes, or in a whole new light.
They put out straight up Thai papaya salads and satays, use words like "pork belly," and in today's market are fairly guaranteed of good press and buzz, but something unexplainable goes a bit further. If they can really find their identity, I think this can become a long-standing neighborhood favorite. Maybe not the type of place you leave New York City through food, like I prefer, but a restaurant making fun, interesting, and tasty food.
If this review has a more negative bent than usual, it is probably due to the fact that the website has no off button for the music.
647 9th Avenue, New York NY