Went last night, after discovering that first choice Mitchell Fish and Chips was closed. Went w/ diminished expectations. Bob Law was a pleasant surprise at every turn. Though they had just closed, the staff offered to make me two catfish dinners to go.
This is the best fried fish I have had in New York City. It's the best fried fish I have had in the Northeast. I've had comparable and better in Tunica, MS, and in LA. But Bob Law is more than enough to recall those good times. No overbearing fishy flavor. Nice texture and flavor to breading, but not too much to overwhelm lightness of fish. Catfish of a much higher quality than at comparable restaurants. And cooked expertly (passed all fork tests).
Sides were also a pleasant surprise. Collard greens still retained texture, and not over-simmered. Yams out unfortunately, but mac and cheese, from which I always shrink at soul food restaurants, was fine substitute. It is easy, both with catfish and with the m&c side, to lose the balance between density and flavor. Bob Law walks the line.
Bob Law is, in a word, awesome. Can't match the barroom charm of Mitchell (one block down), and Mitchell will remain on my roster (since it serves the best fried chicken I have ever had), but this is fine, fine fish. Fine, fine sides.