Aziz Ansari tackles a myriad of issues in his new, binge-worthy Netflix series Master of None, in which he plays thirtysomething New York actor Dev Shah. In the refreshingly candid sitcom, the laughs intersperse all-too-real commentary on dating in the Internet age, stirring portrayals of immigrant parents and cheeky condemnation of modern-day racism. But equally as on-the-nose is the show's depiction of the New York dining scene: Dev gets cut in line at critics-darling ice cream parlor Morgenstern's, tries to woo a date at Team Torrisi's Dirty French and has a heart-to-heart with his dad at Cali-cool café El Rey Luncheonette.
A bona fide food geek in real life, Ansari captures the realities of wining and dining in New York—a scene where locals are more interested in and knowledgable of what they eat than ever before—in ways that other similarly-minded NYC-based series like Girls and Broad City haven't been able to. From Greenpoint (Achilles Heel) to Chinatown (Mission Chinese Food) to the Upper West Side (Shun Lee Palace), the range of venues and neighborhoods featured in the series reflects New Yorkers' willingness to travel for grade-A grub, whether it's from a food truck or a fine-dining restaurant.
Near the end of the season, Ansari's Dev and Eric Wareheim's Arnold hunt online for the city's best tacos, performing a mad search of Yelp, food blogs and, yes, Time Out New York before landing on mainstay Tacos Morelos. After discovering that the truck is sold out, Dev exclaims, "What am I supposed to do? Eat the second best taco like some kind of asshole?" It's a joke, of course, but there's some accuracy to this increasingly discerning ethos that defines our generation's fixation with cuisine—like Dev, we want the absolute best from every experience and we're willing to put in some work to find it.