Welcome to The Order, a guide to making the most of the neighborhood’s best restaurants.
The lamps at Win Son are made out of recycled water bottles; the food on the tables has had a similar update: It’s Taiwanese-American food for a 2018 Brooklyn audience, heavy on the crunch, topped with cilantro, and designed for sharing over drinks.
Win Son opened in May 2016 at 59 Graham Ave. and draws crowds for its danzi noodles, oyster omelettes, and pork buns — all served in an unassuming dining room that’s usually playing hip hop.
Though the waits may be long, Win Son is absolutely worth a visit from both Bushwick locals and people from other parts of the city. The atmosphere is lively, the food is exciting; it’s a place that all the staff admit to visiting on their days off. Here’s how to approach a meal at Win Son.
When to Go
First of all, there’s rarely a wait before 7:30 p.m. and brunch is never crowded. If you can eat a little early, you should be good. Happy hour goes till 7 p.m., with beer-shot specials and discounts on wine.
If you do have to wait, know that the it’s always shorter than the original estimate; and you can kill time with a drink at the bar or at Duck Duck down the block. Wednesdays and Sundays are quieter days, and the food tastes particularly right on a Friday night after a rough week. If you really can’t stand the wait for a table, order your food to go and have a drink while its prepared.
Who to Bring
Bring someone you’re seriously dating or two friends — you’ll want to sample a lot of thing. They also have a few corner tables perfect for a trio.
The bar is perfect for solo diners, though you’ll probably be able to try just a few dishes. Like many solo activities, this can be sad but still worthwhile. If you do bring others, make sure they like peanuts, cilantro, and sharing food.
What to Order
Start with drinks. In the past few months, Win Son has transitioned its wine list to be nearly 100-percent natural, and they offer lots of interesting stuff by the glass. Get an orange wine or the house white to balance out the spicy food.
On the cocktail front, try the Breakfast of Champions: The aged rum with peanut milk and a shredded coconut topping is a slightly sweet counterbalance to all the chilis you’ll taste. Or keep it simple with a Taiwanese beer.
For food, you’ll need the sesame noodles, served warm with meaty oyster mushrooms. They share a name, and little else, with the dish you order on Seamless. The Lu Rou Fan combines pork belly, rice, and pickled broccoli rabe in a bowl of umami you’ll probably order on every subsequent visit.
A personal favorite is the clams, served in a buttery wine sauce with a seasonal vegetable (green garlic at the moment) over an excellent scallion pancake. The scallion pancake is a real innovation, as its chewy layers are perfect for soaking up all the sauce and wiping the bowl clean. Who needs crusty bread?
For something green, try the pea shoots with fried shallots and garlic or the crunchy Guohua Street salad with mango, cabbage, tofu, and shrimp. Make sure you add the homeade peanut-chili sauce to every third bite.
Most of the main dishes cost between $10-$15 and are quite filling, so it’s better to under-order and correct later if needed, since you’ll be hard pressed to leave food on the table. And even when you’re full, you won’t want to leave.
Moderately priced Taiwanese-American fare with a 21st-century Brooklyn update.
59 Graham Ave., (off the Montrose stop on the L train)