Eatery Row: Forest Hill

Kim Jennings

Feb 2, 2013

MoCA, on 70th between Queens Boulevard and Austin Street, is one such hyper-trendy Asian fusion spot.

Originally published in Blogger


A few years ago, hyper-trendy Asian fusion restaurants were all the rage. Nary a nabe existed that didn't have at least one reflecting pool, waterfall, or giant Buddha statue. The cliché was that Asian fusion restaurants were where you would go to eat Asian food if you hated eating Asian food. "Spicy" meant tangy, "sweet" meant covered in pineapple, and "cocktail menu" meant a dozen varieties of the lychee martini.


While I've yet to go to an Asian fusion restaurant that was exceptional, they do tend to be pretty good, on average. No small feat when you consider that they're essentially a cross between the a nightclub without a dance floor and a theme restaurant. Still, they aren't likely to appeal to a food snob traditionalist who gets his or her jollies by bragging about how the best dumplings in the city are at a hidden lunch counter in the basement of a Flushing dry cleaner.


MoCA (the awkward acronym for Modern Concept of Culinary Art), on 70th between Queens Boulevard and Austin Street, is one such hyper-trendy Asian fusion spot, complete with waterfall, crystal chandeliers, oodles of black marble, glitter, glowing red tables, and, lest we forget, lychee martinis. Its menu spans the far east, from Thai curries to Japanese sushi to Chinese Peking duck. The only thing it lacks is Korean bibimap.


I've been to MoCA a handful of times over the years and never had a bad meal, but I've shied away from going more than a handful of times largely because it happens to be among the area's more expensive options. As Pike so simply put it when he opened the menu, "Well, it's less expensive than Capital Grille was."