Here's a good test for tender squid: Squeeze one end between two chopsticks, and nip off the other end with your teeth.
At humbly decorated Great N.Y. Noodletown, the lightly salt-baked cephalopod, shown with shrimp and scallops ($14.95), came through in a pinch. Also shown: jellyfish and thousand-year egg ($6.95); flowering chives and scallops ($12.95); and E-foo noodles with mushrooms ($8.95). The last featured flat egg noodles made from wheat flour that were exceptionally elastic and chewy.
As for the illuminated sign: After walking by many times without hardly looking, I realized that the three large Chinese characters do not read "Great N.Y. Noodletown." In the middle is the squarish character for "mouth"; to either side are characters meaning "advantageous" and "auspicious." The whole might be translated as a "knack for good timing with tasty food."
Great N.Y. Noodletown
28 1/2 Bowery (at Bayard St.)