Monday, January 31, 2011

Le Bain

 at the top of Standard Hotel, lies the surreal bar with an indoor jacuzzi and disco ball on top, Le Bain bar.
I wanted to go here for quite a while so was pleased with the heart shaped flotation devices and part time models wearing swanky yacht outfits, as if they always do.  Yea right!
Mojitos are what my friend Suzie calls, "a drink that can easily be good but when made bad, just horrible", so from her perspective, this is a great place, but from mine, $12 per drink is not really my budget.  
The view was outstanding though! Evenings spent gazing at Hudson river from above isn't bad I must say...

the "Biergarten" on the ground level is more of my scene (if I had to choose a scene in this hipster gone rich hotel).  I mean, it had beer....DUH.


 There's not so many things I like more than Gyukaku-happy hour.
Plainly put, it's so cheap!
I went to Gyukaku during the seasonal happy hour specials a lot because I thought they were such great deals, and kept asking everyone around me to come with me.  That resulted in everyone going on different days of the week so I've been to both midtown&east village locations, SO MANY TIMES with so many different groups lol
this time I went to EV gyukaku and had the salmon volcano for the first time (sorry, I took the picture after biting off half of it) but it was good!!  I experimented by putting it on the grill, rice down of course, but that didn't make too much of a difference so I wont recommend doing that...
The other day I was talking to my coworker who also loves Gyukaku happy hour, and we noticed that although we both have been there so many times, we have only been there when it's not happy hour, like twice only!  Ahh the yumness and the great feeling of getting a good deal - priceless (JK, totally a bargain!)
ps. for my Japanese friends, JK in the States means "just kidding", not 女子高生


there is this secret little bar I adore called "Bohemian".
this is a picture of one of their drinks the very skilled and charming bartender makes.  Cute ya?
It's in Manhattan, I'll give you that much, but the location and contact info is a secret♥
Another hint I'll give you is that the space was the place Basquiat died.  
aka. his last studio.
According to the brilliant movie of his life, "The Radiant Child" made mainly with interviews of him and people close to him, it was, when he and Andy Warhol had this amazing connection and admiration towards each other as artists, yet failed to hold a successful collaborative art exhibit together.  Poor young Basquiat was crushed by the fact that he could not live up to the expectations he had for himself and what he thought Warhol had for him, and spent the last few years of his life in despair.  Sad cus he's such an interesting and beautiful artist.  
Anywayzz, this is where he died, and thats my favorite bar in NY.
It is owned and run by a Japanese company, of course.
One more hint, the bar is very close to one of the only Indian Contemporary art galleries in NY (picture from the latest group exhibit...sorry if you don't like the work I chose)
I'm telling you, this gallery used to be the best in the field.

In Tokyo, there's speakeasies everywhere!
It's in a random apartment occupying one of the rooms, or the basement of some office building that you just cannot find on your own. 
this is a picture I took at one of the speakeasies-ish places in Roppongi, called "Roku Nana".
It's on the rooftop of a vacant apartment building, done by Yasumichi Morita, and, just stunning.
Flashy, yet nicely done.
I wish they had more places like this in NY...


If you are in Japan during the winter, you want to try Oden & hot sake.
It's one of the staples of "what you want to eat when it's cold outside". 
I took a pack of frozen Oden-set and pre-cooked daikon radish and konnyaku to my friend's place, and the gourmet host added sea food! which made the whole thing so much more flavorful. was SO GOOD!!
I have to post a view of the table before the Oden came though...the osashimi and beef carpaccio were amazing!!!

Another great way to have oden would be at a small yatai outdoor...
there will be a grumpy old man behind the serving area who specializes in oden, been-doing-this-for-30years!-type, and you will dash into the yatai, grab a seat, and know exactly what to order.  You will then chit chat with the person(prob a middle aged/old guy) sitting next to you, which is UNHEARD OF in Japanese culture (we don't just start talking to strangers. no, not even when we are in the elevator alone), get a quick drink and a bite and head home a little warmer and jollier than before.
At least that's how I imagine it to be...had to add my imagination to my experience for the ideal Oden situation.
My friends tell me how I am an Oyaji in disguise, and I must admit that I am somewhat of an Oyaji-gal (a girl who likes what middle aged man/old guys like, hot springs, yakitori etcetc...) but mind you I don't look too Oyaji-ish ;-)

Another reason why people categorize me as an Oyajigal is because my favorite place to go to is a Izakaya called Hagi.  Frankly, nothing too great about it, but I'm just used to going there.
I order the same stuff all the time; Edamame, Karaage with daikon oroshi, Mentaiko fried rice/Takana rice along with a pitcher of beer. 
It can't go wrong!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Eggs, the taste of freedom

The other day, the idiots that are Kings county court selected me as a juror to serve on a case starting yesterday.  
After a looooooooooong process of waiting bored out of my mind, they finally settled out of court and now I AM FREE FOR 8 YEARS of jury duty!!!!!!
This happened on Friday afternoon, so I called up my freelance friend for lunch at Shimizu where he bragged about how good the Omurice he had there was...
It was good, but with this amazing feeling of freedom, probably Anything I eat is good lol
It's always good to have lunch with beer outside on a weekday anyways!!! 
It feels so special :D  I was all smiles throughout lunch.

 In addition to that, I just love eggs.....
This is from a Japanese chef's website.  
What, a GORGEOUS, omelet!!!
I just want this chef to make this in front of me, over and over again.
He makes it look way too easy!
It is amazing! its at the level of magical!!!

and so is this; Steam Scramble Eggs on one of my favorite food sites,;
I have to go there.  I have to see them make this, and I HAVE TO EAT THIS!!!!
I cannot wait!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


as we all know, I am an avid user of this Japanese recipe site, .
I have an account under the handle name "cookpadding" and one of my biggest hits happens to be a Natto recipe
I pity the fool who cannot eat Natto, but then again, I also understand how it can be intense cus it smells and its sticky and just, wont, let, go~~nevereverネバネバ~~
I love it though.
A lot of people in Ibaraki, famous for their Natto, eat their Natto on rice with raw egg.
My recipe takes it one step further by microwaving the Natto with the egg.
Very simple; mix Natto & egg
→microwave 30 sec & mix
→repeat till its as firm as you want it to be.
Try it! I promise it wont hurt ;)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mac & Cheese - I will never grow up.

One of the best things about growing up is that you get to make decisions on your own.
You can choose anything and everything; friends, part of your family (spouses), where to go, and the most important part "what to eat".
You can eat ANYTHING you want for lunch. 
M&C is like, as good as it gets for lunch-yummm
I heard the kid in me go yuppieeee!!! when I bought a box of mac & cheese with the intention to cook it and bring it to lunch.  I dont care what my coworkers think, I was so excited about lunch that I went to the microwave at 12 sharp. 
I added Parmesan cheese and black pepper, but yea yea I know, dress it up all you want but its still good ol' Mac & Cheese!

El Faro

El Faro has such amazing Paella...I think about it and can cry cus I dont see it in front of me now.
That and Sangria=Heaven!!!
Oh and the garlic clams♥ yummy yummy mooo!!

1 Coffee with a bear please.

Its snowing, again, in NY, for the 2 millionth time this winter....
When I got to the office, my poor hat had chunks of snow/ice stuck to it.
In the morning, my coffee vendor is like a god send.
I cannot start a single day without coffee; "small coffee with milk and one Equal please"
If I'm lucky, sometimes, I get the cute lids....
They didnt have to do it, but I love how the people who made this were like, "might as well put a bear on it!".


BaoHaus @137 Rivington Street (near Norfolk), NY, NY 10002
the Baos were good, all munchy and yummy with funny names (eg Chairman Bao).
Owner, Eddie Huang has a funny blog too.

Architects will feel at home cus they're familiar with Bauhaus.
They will totally take pictures and post them on facebook going "eating at BaoHaus! :)"
Gotta love those dorks.

Beer; cutness of logo crucial

went to the New Museum opening for George Condo yesterday.
With a bunch of pretentious attendees enjoying the scene - me being one of them, I went to the bar and got a beer.  I posted the picture of the exhibit instead of the beer because the beer wasn't really cute.  Exhibit was great, just what you expect for the New Museum to do but they somehow never end up doing; hipster enough while utilising the space well.  It did remind me of the James Ensor at MoMA though, in a good way.

I like Brooklyn Brewery's logo.  Much cuter.
apparently BK Brewery's logo is designed by Milton Glaser who also designed the iconic I♥NY logo.
A friend who attended the opening with me told me that.
Feel free to use this knowledge for trivia questions!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cup cakes! just like a hipster gallery opening...

back in the day when hipsters were around, cupcake shops were opening left and right.
it's nice to know that some are still around, and actually venture out of their store!
I go to gallery openings a lot, but nowadays, they barely even have drinks, left alone FOOD!
It was a pleasant surprise to see cupcakes served at a cute opening in Brooklyn.
They were good too! Lavender creammmmm♥
venue; Invisible Dog
cupcakes; New York Cake Co.


sorry for the fuzzy image, its a result of dark lighting and iPhone3G.
this is Nukazuke that my friend made from veggies he got at an organic market.
It is, by far, the cutest Nukazuke I've ever seen in my life!!!
& 'twas yummy as well!

Kuma sasa tea

the cute girl who got free stuff at Kirakuya got all corners covered,
so she gave me this healthy tea to drink the next morning in case of a hangover!
Who does that, really. 
Kuma=Bear, Sasa=a type of bambooish thingy
And it was great!!


I just love this picture so much.
It reminds me of this great night out at Kirakuya in K-town.
Nothing like going to a bar with a cute girl who gets us SO MUCH free stuff lol
Naraman being one of the drinks of my choice for the night.
fun fun fun!


there's 2 things I love about Gahm Mi Oak restaurant in K town;
A. its open 24/7, B. seolleongtang (←not sure of spelling)
After a night of drinking, its good to know a place you can count on to be open and to nourish you.


After eating astronomical amounts of insanely good food,
my stomach gave up (predicatble and understandable).
This is when I opt for "the detox soup".
The recipe on cookpad that I used was by まいよち;
It's amazing that stewing veggies for hours can make it so sweet and yummy!
and, it works.

day 2, still eating well...

Jan 2nd, eating a lot at friend's place.
It was osechi, but the significance was the fish.
When offered as is, no one touched it (we lazzy-).
BUT once it was cooked into rice, dear goodness did it go fast!!!
The rice absorbed the flavor of the salt grilled fish perfectly.

another treat was this; egg yolk preserved in Miso & Shoyu!
A creation by the other guest, M子, 4days in the making!!
The yolk gets firm and becomes something completely different.
Its a salty delight that begs for Sake. 
I'm up to a lucky start this year, for sure!!!

2011, day 1

had traditonal osechi ryouri (お節料理) at N family's.
They, mean, business.

New year, new things....a food blog.

It's the year of the bunny rabbit, so this is my first post; Usapyon toast(bunny toast)
The face has melted cheese surrounded by mayo with a tomato ketchup face & ♥ on the side.