James Beard-winning chef and restaurateur Ken Oringer has a full plate. This week, Little Donkey joins the ranks of Oringer’s empire of Toro locations in Boston, New York, Bangkok and soon-to-be Dubai with co-conspirator/owner Jamie Bissonnette. For his newest endeavor, the 50-year-old Paramus, New Jersey, native turns fusion on its head with charcuterie platters featuring Vietnamese Bologna and Lamb BLT lettuce wraps with pimento cheese, and main courses of Monkfish Biryani and Matzo Ball Ramen. But for himself? He’s just fine with some cheap taquitos.
Best late night meal?
My go-to would be the late night ramen at Uni. At that time of night, I love eating eitherspicy food or street food, and the ramen is a nice combo of the two. If I'm extra hungry, but want to keep it light, I'lltoss in a fistful of nigiri.
Best meal under $5?
This might go a little over budget, but I'd sayClover Food Lab's Cauliflower Sandwich. It's all vegetarian but loaded with flavor, messy and delicious. If you really have to keep it under $5, I'd say the taquitos from7-Eleven. Multiple locations, cloverfoodlab.com;7-eleven.com
Best hidden foodie gem?
The food court at Korean grocery store H Mart.They've got great donkkaseu and areally interesting Asian bakery selection. 581 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, hmart.com
Best place to dine alone?
The upstairs bar at Felipe's Taqueria in Harvard Square. I'll usually get the carne asada andcarnitas tacos.21 Brattle St., Cambridge,harvardsq.felipestaqueria.com
Place you always take or recommend for out-of-towners?
Neptune Oyster in the North End. This is a classic Boston spot in a quaint neighborhood that every out-of-towner should see, and the food never fails!63 Salem St., Boston, neptuneoyster.com
Go-to date spot?
Kava in the South End. It's a great new Greek spot, really warm, has the mosthospitable owners and just an all aroundgreat little neighborhood spot.315 Shawmut Ave., Boston, kavaneotaverna.com
Best place to catch up with friends?
I like to catch up atBlue Dragon. They've gotsuper fun food and acasual ambience, but withgreat energy and great drinks.324 A St., South Boston, ming.com
Most Instagrammable restaurant/dish in town?
After all this time, it's still probably thePig'sHead for Two at Craigie on Main.853 Main St., Cambridge, craigieonmain.com
Check out Little Donkey at 505 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, littledonkeybos.com.