Therapy taught us that phobias are irrational responses to things we regard as treacherous.
In order to overcome beefgangophobia (a.k.a. fear of Friday night in the Meatpacking District), we had to confront it.
That meant heading directly into the safe embrace of 5 Ninth alums Zak Pelaccio and Rick Camac, whose new venture, Fatty Crab (named for a resto chef Zak and wife Ana used to frequent in Kuala Lumpur), opens today on the outskirts of the MD.
Anxiety melted at the first bite of Malaysian dishes like quail egg shooters, steamed pork buns, and tea sandwiches filled with lamb, pork, and sardines. Ditto slow-braised short ribs, crispy skate panggang, and Chinese broccoli with salted fish.
The restaurant is (refreshingly) small and simple. No architectural gimmicks, no three-story fountains, no secret membership cards. The design might be a tad caligynephobic: The Asian porn wallpaper in the bathroom has been strategically painted over for modesty’s sake. (We hoped they’d attach pasties to the wall, but, alas, no.)
No heart palpitations about 5 Ninth either: Pelaccio will be commuting between the two kitchens.
Which means there’s nothing left to fear — except fear itself. And Little West 12th Street.
Fatty Crab, 643 Hudson Street, between Horatio and Gansevoort Streets (212-352-3590).