[Morningside Heights, Columbia University Restaurant Review] Atlas Kitchen - Modern Szechuan Chinese Restaurant

Atlas Kitchen is a modern Szechuan restaurant located in Morningside Heights. I think Atlas Kitchen opened late winter 2018, but I tried it for the first time this summer.

There aren't many Chinese restaurants near Columbia University, so this is a great addition to the neighborhood for all you students.

The decor of the restaurant is very clean, bright and modern.

When I visited there was a pretty big group celebrating a birthday in the more private section in the back of the restaurant, so this may be a good place to book for a party.

We got a mix of dishes (mainly noodles because I chose), pork, and spicy chicken.

On the left is the sauteed pork and hot peppers and on the right is the dan dan noodles.

I'm not a pork fan, but this was very flavorful without being too salty or too sweet. Even though it is listed as being two peppers spicy on the menu, I would say this was a medium level of spice, especially if you avoid the peppers. The pork was well cooked and even though it was really thinly sliced and sauteed, it was still very tender. This probably wouldn't be my first choice food next time, but that's because I don't eat pork. However, if I was eating with someone who really likes pork, I would not be against this being a shared dish.

The dan dan noodles were a little different than I expected. The noodles were a little clumpy, but that may have just been an off day. The sauce was a little more vinegary, but with a light more watery texture than I am used to. I would definitely recommend checking it out if you're on a similar quest to eat all the dan dan noodles that NYC has to offer.

This next photo shows all four items we ordered. The bottom left is the Chicken with Hot Red Pepper and the bottom right is the Hunan Style Braised Rice Noodle.

So, this is the only photo of the Hunan Style Braised Rice Noodle - I need to start taking multiple shots of food because I've realized that I apparently am terrible at making sure things are in focus.

The Hunan Style Braised Rice Noodles are SO GOOD. I really wish I would have been able to take a better picture for you.  The braised beef on top is so tender and flavorful. I really liked the nice fresh crunch of the peanuts.

These noodles get a little spicy as you eat more and more. It's a pleasant spice, not a mouth numbing spice. I will 100% get this the next time.

The Chicken with Hot Red Pepper is the star of the meal, hands down. Every table in the restaurant ordered it and it was definitely the one item you should order! This is spicy, though. It's a mouthnumbing spice after, which, not gonna lie, is something I really like. The flavor is actually quite multidimensional. I quite like Szechuan spice over Korean spice, which is probably super controversial, but I find Korean spice to just be spice with no extra flavor, but Szechuan spice seems to be more complex to me because you can taste some of the other seasonings, oils, etc. This chicken is so crunchy and crispy, but the meat inside is still quite tender and moist. The breading is very light, but the crunch is heavy. I loved it. I think I ate about 3/4 of the chicken. I would honestly go back to Atlas Kitchen just for this chicken. It's that good.

Overall, I am so happy I tried Atlas Kitchen. The menu has a huge selection of foods that are pretty difficult to find in upper Manhattan, so I will definitely be back to try some more of the options.









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