47-20 Center Boulevard
Long Island City, NY 11109
(347) 242-2450

Having completed the first half of our outing in Long Island City, Bro and I headed, sans actually knowing where we were, to Shi, a large, hip, not-too-expensive, Asian fusion restaurant smack in the ritzy part of the neighborhood. All we really knew was that it was on on the waterfront and was supposed to have amazing skyline views. That and that it was a solid 20 minute walk from where we started.

If you can divide LIC into mini-neighborhoods (and you can), then Dutch Kills is right on the border between the Citigroup corporate plaza section and the I-will-straight-up-and-cut-you-in-the-alley-behind-this-strip-club-bitch section. There's also the public-housing section, the industrial-warehouse section, the auto-dealership section and the artsy lets-all-sculpt-here-in-this-converted-loft section. There's also a train yard. Shi is in the trendy and expensive luxo-tower section.

The sheer number of attractive girls we saw roaming the streets and stepping from cabs in heels and mini-dresses was enough to put parts of Manhattan to shame, and it seemed that they were almost all headed to Shi. I was not expecting this. Bro looked fine with his slacks and vest, but I was dressed like a bum, comparatively speaking. Jeans, a rumpled shirt. I hadn't shaved in a while, and I had just spent the past two hours drinking. But even a bum can get a seat if he remembered to keep his plastic handy. And thusly were we led to a seat betwixt two tables of pre-party-hopping groups of hotness.

We started with a couple of drinks to keep the buzz alive while we ordered. Shi, for all its pomp, is really inexpensive. It also has a large menu. Most entrees were under $15, So Bro and I used this to our advantage. Bro began with an Avocado Roll and some Spanish Mackerel sushi. We both thought the avocado roll was decent (given it's noticeable lack of fish) and Bro liked the mackerel sushi (the bastard at it all before I could swipe a bite). My choices were more shareable. I ordered the Lychee Calamari, a light, fried calamari dish with a lychee berry dipping sauce. Not bad, but sorta boring if you have too much of it. Genius that I am, I paired this with an Eel Cucumber Roll, which, given the sauce and texture of the meat, is anything but light. I liked it, but since I love eel, you'll have to order it for yourself to see if I know what I'm talking about.

My dinner was the Spicy Basil Beef, a very shareable, takeout-style dish which was really more sweet than it was spicy. My nose twinged a little, but not as much as I'd have liked. That said, the dishes at Shi are almost designed to be shared amongst friends, so if your fiends don't appreciate having their tongue seared the way I do, then maybe this is for the best. Bro ordered the Popcorn Beef, which I liked, but not quite as much as what I ordered. It was crispy, but not hard. The more-popular-than-I Astoria blogger, Foodista, went here a year ago and ordered it. She liked it and, though I've never met her, she has a prominent link to this blog, so she must be right. One thing is for sure, for $12, these entrees could hardly be better priced.

I wasn't really feeling the dessert craving by this point, so I stuck with coffee. But Bro was, so he asked to try their Banana Spring Rolls which, I won't lie, was very good. But how could it be bad? I mean, it's sliced bananas that were rolled in soft dough, deep fried and served with a ball of ice cream. Most people could eat this all day.

$88 covered two drinks, four appetizers, two entrees, one dessert, two coffees, tax and tip.

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