Social Eatz: Familiar flavors with a twist (CLOSED 3/1/13)

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Dear Food Diary:
I’m a big fan of Top Chef and naturally followed chef Angelo Sosa’s season. His American-Korean inspired joint Social Eatz was on my list of casual places to eat at and finally made it there a while back. ( A bit behind on my posts, *sigh*)

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In their own words, this is “American comfort foods with an Asian kick”Very laid back, with bright pops of color and the new cheesy cliche of Sriracha sauce on every table. The signature red bottle with green top has become rather popular these days. Anything remotely “asian” inspired/related seem to have some kind of connection to it. Vietnamese restaurants have been using them for decades, I mean, I grew up on this red “joker” sauce (joker ‘cuz it seems to go well with everything). 
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Chili Kissed Tilapia wasn’t very spicy even thought it was brushed with thai chili. The fish was fresh and moist. The avocado and green tomato salsa  and onions gave it a bright and creamy  mouthful. I liked it.
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Korean Beef Taco was marinated with a sweet and savory sauce, the taste was aight, but the look of it was a bit of a turn off. The slaw on the side added a nice crunch and hint of spiciness.
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Bulgogi Burger was pretty tasty. Charred beef patty with familiar flavors like soy sauce, sugar, garlic, sesame oil and scallions. There’s a nice crunch from cucumber kimchi and a nice japanese mayo. This burger felt “lighter” less oily than your usual bistro burger, yet the beef remained juicy. It was pretty good and different. It doesn’t replace having a Shack Stack, but its unique in its own way. Stalker Boy liked it so much, he had two, but then again, these weren’t very big to begin with. I liked the pickled radish on the side for a sweet and tart kick. I hear the Bimbimbap Burger is amazing, with an egg on top, must go back for that!
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No burger would be complete without Crispy Fries. These were perfectly crispy and golden. Some smokey paprika and a very light hint of spiciness, with a turmeric dipping sauce.

Overall I like the place for lunch or after work chill place, with drinks and some bites, so I guess that would be the social aspect of it. Food was good but not amazing or anything.

P.S. Chubby’s Rating:chubby rating 3
232 East 53rd St.
Social Eatz on Urbanspoon
REVISITED 11/11/11
My friend M read the post above all the way in Cali and requested Social Eatz as her first lunch in NYC today. I also wanted to go back for their Bimbimbap Burger so it all worked out.
social eatz Bimbimbap Burger
Bimbimbap Burger was Winner of the Eater’s “Best Burger in America” Competition. First look, didn’t resemble the big poster they proudly display right by the door, I sorta had a moment like that scene from Falling Down, where Michael Douglas goes crazy at the fast food joint (about 3:57 into the clip). If you ask me, the egg is essential here and mine came out an big ugly blob and overcooked. Most of the egg white were missing too. I grew up with great “al caballo” (eggs over burger or steak in Argentina) so this was disappointing. Looks aside, the flavors were ok, a little sweet and tart from the pickled carrot and cucumber, but it all hid the natural beef flavors and I missed that good chard from the grill component. I totally disagree with “the best burger in America” win, maybe most unique or different. It’s also a bit messy, the juices from the veggies made it soggy. Plus, it didn’t really made me think of bimbimbap and the rainbow of colors from mountain vegetables to bean sprouts. I personally prefer the Bulgogi Burger.
social eatz mac and cheese
Mac & Cheese with an asian twist. Sake cheddar and panko instead of regular bread crumbs. I had two bites and was done. The flavor was a bit off, more sweet than savory. Looks are deceiving in this case. I would skip it.