Surprise, it’s an Italian restaurant in Manhattan! It seems as though Italian joints on the big island have to try extra-hard in order to differentiate themselves from the crowd. It’s not like bumblefuck, New Jersey where your only options are The Olive Garden and Pizza Hut. One bowl of pasta blends into the next. The only joints that really stick out are the truly horrible ones–and the ones that blow your tastebuds away. Julian’s falls into the forgettable category, which means that it’s a generally solid experience, but I wouldn’t sell my Manny Mota baseball card to buy their chicken parmagian (and he was the first base coach for the Dodgers for, like, years). Anyway, the atmosphere of the place is pretty good (low lighting, brick, wood, etc.) and the help is reasonably friendly, which certainly puts it on the plus side. I seem to recall the calamari being filling and some sort of fish being well prepared. Of course, I wasn’t paying for my meal, so the price was right. [MF]

802 9th Ave.