I’ve wanted to check out Vandal for a while now and since we were in the area, it was a perfect opportunity to give it a shot! Check out these pictures! I’ve never seen a space that looks like this! It’s all inspired by street-art culture and the owners (same as the Tao Group) truly captured it’s essence by recruiting actual street and graffiti artists to design the various walls of the restaurant. I’m sure the name, Vandal, makes sense by now! If you have some time, I highly recommend heading to the Vandal website where you can learn more about the artists involved and see who designed what. This massive, enticing restaurant definitely fits in with the Lower East Side’s eclectic nature.
The brunch menu was just as interesting as the atmosphere. It seems like the restaurant tries to add fancy twists to some classic eats, while also trying to show off some innovative plates. I ended up getting the Chile Nogado ‘Rancheros Huevos Style’ (the mini taco-like dish with the three tortilla shells) Christy got the Chile Cheese Toast (they have the three tiny quail eggs on top) and both Austin and Ben got the Chilaquiles (the bowl with the egg, steak and tortilla chips). I definitely didn’t hate my meal, but unfortunately I can’t recommend Vandal as the best brunch I’ve ever had. Part of me thinks the kitchen, lead by celeb chef Chris Santos, is trying a little too hard to make the menu “different”. Sometimes less is more! That’s just my two cents, though. That being said, I would love to check out the lounge beneath the restaurant. The entrance is at the bottom of the spray painted steps. You can’t tell by looking at them, but the words spell out the lyrics to “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel. Pretty cool! They’re definitely the restaurant’s staple design. The entrance to Vandal itself is also through a flower shop, which I thought was pretty cool (after we managed to get inside the place). So my final thoughts on Vandal: go for the atmosphere, not the food! Do you have a favorite brunch spot? Leave a comment and tell me about it!