Angelina CafeThis place is dinky. And not overwhelmingly clean-looking. Not to say it’s dirty or anything, but just casually sloppy in its own way. I suppose a normal person would call it “casual” or “homey.” It feels like some guy with a dream to open a small restaurant found a space that just happened to be available and have a kitchen and just set up shop with little to no thought about doing anything but serving food. Luckily I wasn’t in the mood to be surrounded by opulence or highfalutin decor and settled in to the small wooden chair, my feet on the crumby tile floor and elbows on the votive candled table. I had to admit, it was kind of quaint and cozy in its own East Village way. The menu is kind of a mish-mash of Mediterranean stuff, including Italian, Middle Eastern and then a weird smattering of crepes and sandwiches. The menu is unfocused to the point that I categorized this joint as ‘continental’ because I just couldn’t pinpoint a concrete direction. Granted, I think the main dude’s name is Rafik, which indicates what, I don’t know. Ms. Hipster had hummus for her appetizer, in fact. I stuck with wine and a nice bowl of penne a la vodka with grilled chicken. It had some melty fresh Parmesan on it and was stick-to-your-ribs decent. Surprisingly. The service, as it is in most “casual” eateries with just one server was, uh, casual and the atmosphere relaxed to the point of sleepy. The prices were certainly right and overall the experience was actually a decent one for a serendipitous duck in before a show at Mercury Lounge. [MF]

37 Avenue A (bet. 2nd & 3rd St.)