COME HERE FIRST to get fresh authentic Filipino food. The restaurant opened a few years ago and is located further west along Roosevelt avenue. When you enter you get the impression that you are not in a Filipino restaurant, but in an elegant upscale Manhattan style Chinese restaurant. And not the run of the mill cheap Filipino eatery.
Once you sit down, then you experience top quality Filipino cuisine. The food is not heavy and is lightly cooked. If you like that heavy greasy stuff, go else where, but if you want the best and healthiest choices, eat here. The staff really know how to prepare a decent meal.
True, service can be a little slow, but I guess waiting for a top quality dining experience is worth it. And the staff are very friendly too.
Management has created a spacious and well lit dining experience, with plenty of natural daylight
Only other negative, I can think of, is that this being a much more upscale experience Payag is much more pricey. For two people you can easily spend anywhere between $60-75, including drinks and desert. However, if you want to wow a non Filipino friend, definitely come here for that special occasion. First impressions mater when it comes to food, just like everything else.
Overall i would rank as #1 on my list of Filipino Restaurants in NYC (see my other reviews if you are new to the city and Filipino restaurants in particular).