One great thing about traveling is having an excuse to go to a nice restaurant. It’s like, “Hey, we’re in ___________ (enter vacation destination here), we should go to at least one nice restaurant while we’re here.” Basically, it’s just an excuse to overeat. Vacations and holidays are great in that way. I love having a free fat bastard pass. So when David and I were planning for Vegas, I suggested L’atelier de Joël Robuchon. Yes, I know there is an L’atelier in New York, but when are we ever going to go? When we’re at home in New York, it seems too extravagant to go somewhere fancy unless we have a reason. I should really plan a “staycation,” and just enjoy New York one of these days. Perhaps when it’s warmer…
L’atelier offers “counter service” in that you sit at the counter and watch your food being created right in front of you in the open kitchen. This is restaurant theater at it’s best. Robuchon was probably the first to popularize this trend in fine-dining restaurants. Now, everyone does it. I love this concept because it’s fun to watch the dynamics of a kitchen. David likes it because he wants to make sure no one does anything gross to his food. Oh ye of little faith. MORE »
My Vegas vacation didn’t start off well. I had to catch a 6:40pm flight on Thursday, which left me all day to leisurely pack and have a nice lunch before I left for the airport. Of course, things don’t usually go as planned. Long story short, there was a crisis at work, lunch was instant ramen, bag was packed in a mad rush, fight ensued when a hipster cut in front of me to steal my cab, hit major traffic, got to the airport late, and caused an embarrassing scene involving screaming, cursing, and counter-pounding when I was told I had to go stand-by on the next flight to Las Vegas. Sounds bad, but I guess it could have been worse. I think one thing that kept me from completely losing it at JFK was the sudden realization that there might be an In-N-Out Burger in Vegas. Yes, in times of stress I think of food. I looked online while waiting at the gate and voila!; there were three locations in Las Vegas listed on the internet. Score!
As I mentioned here before, I’m not crazy for hamburgers, but I’d been dying to try In-N-Out because of all the hype surrounding their burgers. Living on the east coast my whole life, I’ve always heard about the incredible deliciousness of In-N-Out from friends who traveled to La La Land for vacation. They claimed nothing compared, even Shake Shack. So as soon as I got to my hotel in Vegas, I told David’s sister Jasmine, who I had just awakened from a peaceful slumber, that I had to go to In-N-Out. Forget the fact it was 2am. I was finally within reach of the mythic burger of west coast lore. Jasmine though looked at me sleepily from her bed and laughed politely and went back to sleep. The burger had to wait. MORE »
I live about two blocks away from ‘inoteca, so I used to go quite often two years ago. But then I got distracted by all the shiny new restaurants opening up in NY, and I forgot about it. A shame, really, because the food at ‘inoteca is just delicious and perfect with a nice glass of wine (or in my case, a bottle). Fortunately, though, in the last two weeks, I got reacquainted with my old friend, and I’m glad I did.
The first time back, I met Ellie for a few glasses of wine at ‘inoteca. We happened to be standing outside of ‘inoteca when we were deciding where to go, and since she wanted to drink wine rather than beer, we ended up at ‘inoteca. The wine list, which is actually a thick book that lists a total of six hundred different wines, is bit daunting; so I always do the safest thing and ask the waiter what he recommends. I usually like a medium body red wine with fruit undertones, and Ellie prefers a more drier wine, so we ended up ordering the 2004 Concarosso, Poderi Foglia ($45) which was a combination of both. It started off fruity and ended on a dry tannin note. We loved it, especially Ellie who took the cork home so she could remember the name of the wine. This especially came in handy when I texted her at one in the morning to ask her if she remembered the name of the wine. Um, yeah, I have a problem, but luckily my friends seem to understand or at least tolerate my crazy behavior. MORE »
Two weeks ago I realized my hair was starting to look like Kim’s weave on Housewives of Atlanta, (OMG, wasn’t that show the best? All I have to say is ‘POW!,’ ‘WOW!’) so I stole away from the office to get a quick trim on 32nd street. Leaving the salon after my haircut, I realized I was late for a meeting, but still hadn’t had a bite to eat. Being a few doors down from Woorijip, I planned on running in and grabbing some kimbab (김밥, also called gim bap, kimbop, kimbob, etc… it’s all the same) before hopping back on the train. But, as fate or Woorijip management would have it, there was a ten dollar credit card minimum, and having spent the last few singles on a tip to the shampoo girl, I had no choice but to return back to the office with a growling stomach. I eventually ended up eating animal crackers from the vending machine in the office pantry. Not a nice lunch.
A few days later, David and I were heading to Flushing, where Ellie, Gil, and Julie were going to pick us up for a day trip to Mohegan Sun. Yipee! During the ride there, Ellie texted, “Did you guys eat?,” like a good friend of mine would ask. When I replied no, she texted back, “We’ll pick up some food on the way. Maybe gim bap.” Double Yipee!! A quick ride on the LIRR later, we were at Song’s Family (송가네). MORE »
Thanksgiving was last week, but as I mentioned, I’m swamped at work because of the holiday season and I’m behind on posting. Also, I went gambling again over the weekend — this time to Mohegan Sun — and after winning a little bit of money, I think my bad habit may now be irrevocably reinforced. In any case, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it’s the one day you get to eat like a fat bastard without any shame. Of course, being with loved ones is also great, but this is a food blog, so let’s talk food! MORE »