Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Oda House 02-22-2015

Location: 76 Ave B
Time: 12pm
People: JLam, RB, CK and myself

-At this rare Georgian spot in East Village, you can enjoy various Georgian specialties like soup dumplings, shish kebab and khachapuri, traditional cheese filled breads.
-All poultry and eggs are organic and grass fed here.
-There is a menu section devoted to khachapuri, and it is absolutely a must. Share it with your friends and enjoy the warm gooey cheesy, buttery heaven.
-Chizhi-Pizhi ($9, eggs topped with Sulguni cheese, tomatoes and bread at the bottom, oven baked) is a hearty and perfectly decadent brunch dish.
-Khinkali (hand-rolled soup dumplings, $10 for lamb) are very tender and flavorful, just be careful not to spill any of that yummy greasy juice.
-Each dish is large and great for sharing. Oda House is perfect for group dining on a cold wintry night.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Schnitz 02-21-2015

Location: 177 1st Ave.
Time: 12pm
People: RB, CK and myself

-Japan has its katsu Sando, the US has chicken cutlet, and now East Village has a Smorgasburg favorite, Schnitz, serving Israeli style schnitzel sandwiches.
-There are other schnitzel spots in NYC that specialize in German and Austrian style, often with thinly pounded pork and veal, but this may be the new beginning for the thicker, Israeli style sandwich trend.
-Schnitz serves these traditional sandwiches with generous amount of modern toppings and pretzel hero from Tom Cat Bakery. If you are low-carbing, order one "naked" without the bread, but it's tough to say no to a soft and chewy pretzel hero.
-"Grumpy Russian" ($9, Pork loin with greens, pickled cherries and gorgonzola spread) was an explosion of flavors, and the pickled cherries offered a very unique and pleasant note to the sandwich.
-Instead of a sandwich, I went with various delicious veggie sides: Schnitz Fries with beet tzaziki ($5, crispy sage, parsley, garlic butter, chili flakes and sea salt), Jicama-Fennel Slaw ($4), Roasted Head of Cauliflower ($5, with cumin seed oil and maldon sea salt), Brussel Sprouts ($4 with caramelized onion dijon and old bay).
-With beer and wine on tap and free wifi (and a spacious WC with lemon wall art is a major plus), what else can you possibly want? Your next meal should be at Schnitz.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Goa Taco

Location: 79 Delancey St.
Time: 3pm
People: RB, CK and myself

-After a strong debut at Smorgaburg in Park Slope, Goa Taco opened the modest pop-up serving paratha tacos in Lower East Side. This place needs to be permanent ASAP.
-The buttery paratha is folded over the modern, LES friendly fillings like slow roasted pork belly ($8), recado rojo lamb shoulder ($9), and organic tofu ($7).
-House made scotch bonnet hot sauce was so flavorful and spicy, RB had to buy a bottle.
-"Brunch" ($8, bacon-substitute with cheese, tomato, egg, basil aioli) was highly addictive and well seasoned. I will think of this taco for a very long time.
-There are just some two seater benches (about 10 seats total) at this narrow space. Consider yourself lucky if you get a seat. Hopefully they'll open a permanent location soon with more seating!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Skál 01-31-2015

Location: 37 Canal St.
Time: 2:30pm
People: RB, CK and myself

-One of my oldest friends lives in Iceland, and I have a pleasure of seeing her every March. To prepare our annual meeting, we visited Skal ("cheers" in Icelandic, pronounced as scowl, but I know she would correct me) on Canal Street in Chinatown. NYC's obsession with Nordic cuisine seems to continue.
-At this cheerful Icelandic, Nordic-themed spot, there are plenty of house cocktails and new American style menu without too many uniquely Icelandic specialties.
-Truffled Broccoli omelet ($14, with ssam jang potatoes and mixed greens) was excellent. The potatoes were crispy with a kick of spice.
-Berkshire Pork Belly Sandwich ($12, with ssam jang, black garlic and daikon) was flavorful and tender, and the bread was pleasantly crispy.
-Banana Pancakes ($14, vanilla bean and thyme foam, goat butter) were thicker than Icelandic pancakes, ponnukokur, but it was as round and large as I could recall.
-If you are in the area, definitely stop by for a drink!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Little Prince 12-31-2014

Location: 199 Prince St.
Time: 3pm
People: RB, CK and myself

-Little Prince is a quaint, cozy bistro with traditional French fare and modern flavors.
-The ambiance is relaxing with a great neighborhood feel. The service is excellent but not stuffy.
-French Onion Soup Burger ($18, gruyere, caramelized onion, dijon, hand-cut fries) tastes exactly as as would expect - in a very good way: A wonderful marriage of flavors.
-Spaghetti Squash ($8, aged cheddar, brown butter) is creamy and decadent.
-Perfect place for a romantic date!

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Bao 01-10-2015

Location: 13 St, Parks Pl.
Time: 12:30pm
People: RB, CK and myself

-The Bao on St. Marks is an outpost of another Chinese eatery, Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao in Flushing, both known for their xiao long bao, or the Shanghainese soup dumplings.
-Delectable dumplings come in different flavors. From classic varieties like pork and crab to more exciting wasabi spiked ($7.95-$9.95) and even chocolate dumplings ($6.95) are available. The thin, translucent skin creates a great texture.
-There are wide array of dishes that go beyond Shanghainese. Noodles, scallion pancakes, turnip puffs-- we accidentally ordered an unhealthy amount of beige food, but they were delicious nonetheless.
-The Bao may not be the best in the city, but for the convenience of its location, this is a must-visit.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Hanamizuki 01-02-2014

Location: 143 W 29th St.
Time: 12pm
People: RB, CK and myself

-Hanamizuki means dogwood flowers, and it's also the title of a popular Japanese song that inspired a film with the same name.
-This humble yet modern and beautiful place seems out of the place on gloomy 29th street.
-They specialize in rice balls--from traditional Japanese style to something more unique like "Italian" ($2.5, salami, black olive, caper and fresh pepper corn).
-There are four types of miso soup. If you are more culinarily adventurous, B.L.T. ($4 bacon, lettuce, tomato and black pepper) gives you the new meaning of miso soup.
-Lunch Combo is a great deal. At $10.50, you can have two rice balls of your choice, miso soup, sozai (souzai, appetiziers/side dishes) and Japanese pickles.
-For dessert, excellent Japanese chiffon roll cake, cookies, and black sesame creme brulee are available. La Colombe coffee and Paromi tea are served here too.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

RB's Bento on NHK!

RB has been making bento for CK and I since the beginning of the school year. Yes, every single day. His adorable "Kyaraben" has been featured on NHK's Worker's Lunch ("Salameshi"in Japanese)! Congrats RB, and thank you Salameshi!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Birds and Bubbles 12-27-2014

Location: 100B Forsyth St.
Time: 1pm
People: RB, CK and myself

-City Grit's Sarah Simmons' newest Southern-style restaurant, Birds and Bubbles pairs up fried chicken and Champagne, as the restaurant name depicts.
-If you are not a fan of bubblies, do not worry, they have plenty of cocktails, wine and beer along with great coffee by Counter Culture.
-In a narrow maze-like setting, the place remains posh with a mixture of Lower East Side un-fussy vibe.
-Fashion girls can have their drinks of choice, Champagne, while nibbling on egg dish from the brunch menu.
-Shakshuka ($13, poached eggs, san marzanos masala, feta, sally lunn toast) unfortunately had some egg shells in it but creamy and tasty nonetheless.
-Sugar biscuits, butter milk biscuits, and home made pop tart were all buttery and excellent.
-"Chicken Tender Basket" ($14, with Spicy Sorghum Mustard ) was crispy and plentiful, and the dipping sauce was a good compliment.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wilma Jean 12-20-2014

Location: 345 Smith St. BK
Time: 2:30pm
People: RB, CK and myself

-Fried chicken, tater tots, craft beer, and Southern hospitality, enough said.
-The owner also runs Nightingale9 and the former occupant, Seersucker.
-Wilma Jean is more casual with communal tables and friendly service. The menu is far more simple compared to Seersucker.
-Brooklyn kale lovers, new veggies are in town. Salad Bowl of raw collard and roasted peanut ($7) is fresh and perfect for those who are tired of kale salad. Okra chips (4) has interesting addictive nature of texture and lingering flavors.
-Chicken Dinner ($14, half chicken, 1 side, coleslaw and roll) is incredibly crispy and moist. May very well be the best fried chicken in town.