Dirt Candy 430 E. 9th St. (@ Avenue A)
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The name may sound strange to some, but the words "Dirt Candy" ring a Pavlovian bell for vegetarians. Run by chef-owner Amanda Cohen (of Angelica's Kitchen, Pure Food & Wine, Heirloom), Dirt Candy is a tiny, 18-seat vegetarian restaurant in the middle of hip little shops on E. 9th St. Many claim the spot is cursed, but the curse may have been broken with Dirt Candy's successful start. You may not be obligated to get the jalapeno hush puppies served with maple butter, but you would be cheating yourself if you didn't. Crispy tofu with green ragout and kaffir lime beurre blanc also deserves a mention. Many of the dishes are prepared using sous vide, so the nearly untouched veggies taste like they've come straight from the hands of God. Vegetarians and the people who love them can rejoice at having another option besides Red Bamboo and Vegetarian's Paradise 2. Open Tues.-Sat. 5:30pm-11pm.