We stopped by Aux Epices, a popular French Malaysian restaurant located on the Lower East Side, for a relaxed lunch on a lazy summer day. The place has a nice, casual vibe. Despite all the hard surfaces–tile floor, tin ceiling, open kitchen, brick wall, and a glassed front wall–the narrow space didn’t feel live, and although it was open to the dining room, the kitchen was subdued and added very little noise to the soundscape.
We don’t know why the space didn’t wasn’t louder than it was–perhaps the narrowness helped?–but it wasn’t. Even with music playing–bossa Nova and lite Euro jazz which felt appropriate if unnecessary–the soundscape was manageable. Checking the meter mid-visit we saw that the reading was a hair under 76 dBC, which surprised us because we would have guessed that the reading was at least a few decibels lower.
There were, of course, some empty tables–the place was more than half full when we arrived but emptied over time–and the space will inevitably get louder if every seat is taken. That said, at more than half full, Aux Epices was surprisingly manageable.
Aux Epices offers very tasty food and attentive service in a relaxed space. We recommend a visit.
Open 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day
121 Baxter Street (betw. Hester and Canal Streets), New York, NY 10013