Queens >Food & Dining > El Ay Si Restaurant Bar Long Island City
4738 Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, NY | Directions 1110140.744456 -73.953825
Neighborhoods: Hunters Point
i'm comforted – the place is small and quaint, with a creative energy buzzing through the place. they care about what they do and how you feel. the food feels like it's been made with love.
comforting comfort food – the setting is small but roomy enough that everyone has their own space. the food is immaculate. from the ricotta filled ravioli to the " amazing today and just as good as lunch tomorrow because it's too big to eat all tonight" wild boar shepherd's pie. everything is well balanced. not overly fatty or creamy like most people who try to make comfort food. it's the right blend of flavor and that enigmatic release of endorphins that makes you wonder how you ever lived without this fried chicken.
i left very full and very happy.
the staff is extremely friendly but not to the point that you feel like they're paid based on how many smiles they shine. they were very cordial and welcoming.
i will definitely be back.
thejoshonator vs. Good Food – I urge everyone who reads the review from thejoshonator to please go out and eat at both Chat and Chew in the city as well as Masso in LIC so you can have a good gauge on his taste in food. Those two restaurants are so far less than mediocre. I have been to El Ay Si twice since their opening, and they are by far one of the best non-italian restaurants LIC has ever had. Not only is their food great, their service is fantastic. It bothers me that someone who would make the world's worst food critic is allowed to post their thoughts here. He probably wears a fake rolex and thinks his girlfriend is hot too.
Mediocre Food – So we tried El Ay Si tonight for the first time. Since they state they are a comfort food place, we immediately chose the Mac and Cheese and Fried Chicken. We also ordered the Wild mushroom Agnolotti to see how that fit in.
Service: Ok. Pretty standard.
Restaurant: Really cramped, cool if you like that style, this is smaller than most small restaurants. It is kind of annoying that if you sit along the kitchen wall the wait staff is running back and forth with food and dishes (this is like 30% of the possible seating). It is cozy though, which can be good for a date.
Food: I love comfort food, so I went in here thinking to expect something like Chat and Chew. It's not like Chat and Chew.
Mac and Cheese - Meh. I've had better at countless other places, including lots of home cooked varieties. The sweet bacon didn't mesh well with the cheese flavor. It also wasn't very cheesy or flavorful, which is sad because that is the part of the meal we really looked forward too. It was more on the dry side and slightly bland for mac and cheese.
Fried Chicken: I was expecting a large piece of buttermilk fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy with some veggies (comfort food). You get 3 little pieces of fried chicken. Small but enough to fill you as part of the meal. The problem was the breading was thin, had little flavor, was a little overcooked (tasted pan fried). The chicken meat was tender though. Another issue was the small chicken had lots of little bones in it which is annoying.
The mashed potatoes weren't creamy, they reminded me more of "smashed potatoes" where they aren't fully whipped. They were ok. I was hoping there would be a lot of gravy, but it had a small amount of this gravy sauce (like hollandaise). Ok overall.
Green beans were cooked in what tasted like butter and garlic. Not too much but enough to notice. They were the kind of crunchy which to me tasted like they weren't fully cooked, not like fried crunchy.
Wild mushroom Agnolotti - Another ok portion of the meal. It was a really heavy ravioli dish. The kind of heaviness that sucks all of the liquid off of your tongue when you put it in your mouth, like gnocchi sometimes does. The mushrooms on top were really good. All in all, it was an ok dish, nothing I'd order again or recommend, but it was OK.
Summary: Mediocre standard dishes which could be found at other restaurants that would taste better for comparable prices. With other better tasting restaurants in the area serving "regular" food (Manetta's, Bella Via, Masso..) I would probably never return.
Citysearch Editorial Profile – Comfort food at an American restaurant in Long Island City.
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