Dinner at Noreetuh

Last weekend, I ventured out into the city on a gorgeous day to celebrate my friend L's 30th birthday and to have dinner with D. I decided to drive, since the weather was amazing and mid-afternoon traffic on a Saturday is virtually non-existent. I managed to find metered parking near Cooper Union and wandered down to meet my friends.
The birthday party was at Lionsbeerstore, which is a really nice little bar on the LES. The walls opened up completely so we got to enjoy the amazing breeze and sunshine, the beer selection was pretty decent, and the food was incredible.

I didn't take too many photos at the party, mostly because I was having fun and got distracted. But, I did remember to snap a portion of the feast. We had sloppy joes and really good wings, garlic bread, salad, a meat platter, and the most delicious mac & cheese I've had in a long time. If you're ever in the neighborhood, I highly recommend a visit. Lionsbeerstore is located on 2nd Avenue and 6th Street.
After the party, I walked a few blocks over to Noreetuh to meet D. We both decided to pick off of the prix-fixe menu and shared some awesome dishes. We started with the silken tofu with uni and shiitake. The uni was kind of fishy (though, I tend to always find sea urchin a little fishy) but the tofu was really good. It lived up to its name in its silkiness and the shiitake was really good.
We also got the mochiko wings, which were really good. The breading was crunchy, the chicken was tender, and the seasoning was a mix of sweet and savory.
Next, the big eye tuna poke was served. It was really fresh, the tuna was tender, the seasoning was savory and subtle and complemented the fish nicely.
Our second starter was the octopus poke. The octopus was grilled just until tender and oddly enough, it was served with baked beans, which actually worked really well. The baked beans were slightly sweet and the soft texture offered a nice contrast to the barely chewy octopus.
The first main that came out was the mentaiko spaghetti. It was a wonderfully seafoody spaghetti, cooked perfectly to al dente, and there were these lovely thin slices of butterfish tucked within the noodles. This might have been my favorite dish of the evening.
Our final dish was the braised pork belly. It was falling apart, it was so tender, and the soy-based seasoning was a yummy combination of sweet and savory. I guess Hawaiian food is all about that lovely balance.
For dessert, we shared the King's Hawaiian bread pudding. It was awesome. The bread pudding had little crispy bits and super custardy bits and the rum raisins and ice cream were a nice accompaniment.
Noreetuh is an unassuming little restaurant, but so worth the visit. It is a little pricey, but the service is impeccable and the ambiance is sweet. We saw an even mix of couples on dates and friends hanging out; it's good for everyone, except maybe children.
After dinner (which ended pretty late because we were being super chatty), I hopped in my car and drove home. Luckily, my drive home was just as traffic-free as my drive there.