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Koa Restaurant - Chinese Restaurant (Wakiya)

So Wakiya's trying again after failing miserably last time?

I guess he has newfound fame from the Iron Chef relaunch.

Is Saburi still around? I think that was one of his disciples.

Mar 22, 2015
fooder in Manhattan

Wells' EMP review

See, as a staunch advocate of EMP and a hater of Pete Wells and his soapbox, I loved this review.

To me, the review felt like he had planned to pen a negative piece with his preconceived notions and was brow-beaten into maintaining 4 stars by EMP's food and earnestness "to bring delight to the table".

Mar 19, 2015
fooder in Manhattan

Takesushi Sunnyside: The Best Value for High Quality Seafood at a Cheap Price

I haven't been back for dinner in a while, but this doesn't surprise me. I've stopped by for lunch a couple of times, and the prices have definitely gone up, while I haven't noticed anything special when it came to the fish.

Sad, and disappointing, but this happens in the restaurant business all the time.

Mar 11, 2015
fooder in Outer Boroughs

Japanese restaurant for large group

EN Japanese brasserie has a bunch of large group set menus.

Feb 19, 2015
fooder in Manhattan

Most expensive chicken in NYC?

Was at Louro last night and had the truffle roasted chicken for 2. Absolutely delicious, beautifully cooked, and great incorporation of the truffles. But at $90 the value proposition isn't as good as other stuff on the menu.

Is this the most expensive single chicken in NYC right now? The chicken at the NoMad hotel is $82 and the chicken and crepes at Dirty French is $72. The fried chicken at Momofuku is more than one bird.

A couple of other killer dishes included a sashimi/crudo preparation with a tahini-like sauce and a lovely squid ink garganelli.

Jan 14, 2015
fooder in Manhattan

Bouley Lunch Tasting Menu Review: Best Fine Dining Deal in NYC

The friend that I went there with for this meal recently went again (without me :-( ) and said it was just as good if not better than the last time.

Jan 09, 2015
fooder in Manhattan

2014 Omakase Odyssey

My guess is the majority of those Japanese customers are on company expense accounts.

I think the sourcing was expensive back when he was the only one doing it (Kurumazushi's been around 30+ years), but not sure if the prices are as justified now. Seven years ago a friend and I had dinner omakase there and ended up with a bill of $960 for food alone. But his neck/collar toro was haunting.

Uezu-san is very aware of his prices. I was there for lunch one time and mentioned how the last time I was there was dinner many years ago. He gave a small chuckle and said, "Hah, yes, very expensive," with a knowing nod.

Jan 02, 2015
fooder in Manhattan

Le Bernardin - what to order?

Have you been before? There are a few items that are more "signature" items that you may want to try just to see what the fuss is about. It doesn't necessarily mean that those dishes are better. Ones that comes to mind are the tuna + foie and the crispy black bass, which has probably been on the menu since France.

In terms of the current menu (I'd actually been meaning to write up my last visit a few months ago but never got around to it), my recommendations are the truffled langoustine from the barely touched and the escolar + kobe beef for the entree. I don't think it's even close. If you don't mind rich, luxurious dishes, those two stand out.

Here are a couple more tips:
The prix fixe is far superior to the tasting menu. The tasting menu doesn't actually highlight anything. My feeling is they took the stuff that was easiest to portion out to smaller portions. All the choices should be available on the prix fixe (and if not you can substitute)

You can actually get two from the barely touched if nothing from the almost raw appeals to you. That's usually the case for me.

In addition to dessert, you can order their ice cream flavors a la carte. Last time we had a scoop of 'canele' (yes, the French pastry imagined as an ice cream flavor) and it was ridiculously good. If I do get around to writing up Le Bernardin it would focus on that.

Jan 02, 2015
fooder in Manhattan

What bygone food fad do you still enjoy? [NYC]

Reading some of the comments, I'd be happy to add NYC to the title and if someone wants to start a new thread in general topics by all means. I can't seem to just edit the post however...

Nov 19, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Chowhound lunch at Zabb Elee in Queens

Can't do lunch due to work and all...
I actually live a few blocks away and have never been in all these years... maybe I should do some takeout. Interested to know Manhattan CHers' thoughts (I think in general may be different from Queens/OB Chers).

Nov 07, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

What bygone food fad do you still enjoy? [NYC]

Really? It seems to me that there are still many creperies around. There's a tiny place in Elmhurst, Queens that sells bubble tea as well as crepes, which 1. seems like a natural combination 2. would take care of two of the food items mentioned so far in this thread.

Nov 03, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

What bygone food fad do you still enjoy? [NYC]

I'm thinking both dishes and places. For me, a fad is something that was popular, but not adopted widely enough for long enough to create a "history". So for me, lobster rolls have history from their New England roots, but the lobster pot pies that have sprung up in many NYC restaurants would be considered a fad.

Nov 03, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

What bygone food fad do you still enjoy? [NYC]

A couple of weeks ago, I went to try the ramen burger at Ramen.Co for lunch now that it's available in FiDi without having to wait in a long line. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! The ramen bun worked and the shoyu sauce was excellent. For the full review, please visit the blog: http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot...

Anyway, since NYC has so many food crazes and fads come and go, it got me wondering which ones people still enjoy once the lines and buzz have dissipated.

Oct 28, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Uni lover? Here are a couple of great selections

With this post, you win.

That hon maguro toro from caviar russe looks incredible. Usually when I get toro + osetra it's some sort of "tartare", which is fine, but not necessarily a texture I crave.

Oct 23, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Uni lover? Here are a couple of great selections

I'm glad my post has spawned so much uni food porn, but it seems that the ones that feature uni as the main ingredient tend to be simply prepared. There don't seem to be many balanced, composed dishes like the one at Louro.

Oct 22, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Uni lover? Here are a couple of great selections

As much as I try, I just can't get into raw abalone (the last two times at 15E). I don't enjoy the texture, finding it on the hard/tough side. Am I missing something?

Oct 22, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Uni lover? Here are a couple of great selections

As a HKer, I've only actually had mini abalone steamed (like fish), but that looks really good. I also prefer braised dry abalone, but the costs are prohibitive.

Speaking of abalone... since you (kosmose7) clearly have the means, I suggest brushing some abalone sauce (braising liquid) on grilled lobster or langoustine. One of the most glorious things I've ever had. And if you can add some sort of Japanese beef for a surf and turf it's even better.

Oct 21, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Uni lover? Here are a couple of great selections

A couple of weeks ago, I had the most uni I'd ever had in one sitting AND one of the best uni dishes I've ever had, all in one day! For a full recap of that glorious day's seafood, including a review of other dishes from Louro, please visit the blog: http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot...

Lunch - UNI-DON ($17 with miso soup) Takesushi, Sunnyside.
Yes, this is not in Manhattan. But a quick ride on the 7 actually makes this spot more convenient than many other "Manhattan" eateries. Also, $17 is on the high side for a lunch set, even by Manhattan standards. But just look at that bowl of uni! There was easily at least half a tray of uni on there!

While they sometimes get Santa Barbara uni which I generally prefer, Takesushi usually gets most of its uni from Maine. Maine uni tends to not be as sweet and creamy as the Santa Barbara version, but has an added depth of umami flavor. From my experience, the sushi chef has been honest with me regarding the quality of the day's uni, so make sure to ask! This was the most uni I've ever eaten in one sitting, and it was glorious!

This was an absolutely special dish that currently ranks among my favorites of 2014. I suggest getting everything in one bite to experience the great interaction of textures featuring the crispy sweetbreads, creamy uni, and soft, yet not mushy, squash. The earthiness of the squash provided a great base and brought together all the flavors of this unique rendition of surf and turf. Great uni dishes are not new to Louro, as last year's uni with pork belly was also excellent in combining flavors and textures. This dish, however, featured layering, balancing, and interplay that was far superior, in my mind, to that already excellent dish.

Oct 21, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Esquire's Best Burger in America/NYC

Speaking of Ozersky, looks like he's about to make more "best of" waves: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2014/10/1...

Oct 14, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Who won the chain restaurant AYCE wars this year? What theme will they battle over next year?

Last year, it seemed almost every well-known restaurant chain was offering some 3+ course meal for under $12.99. This year, they've all upped the ante with the all-you-can-eat wars. It's not like Olive Garden's never-ending pasta bowl is new, while Red Lobster's unlimited shrimp has also been around for years. But there are several newcomers this year, including Applebee's AYCE cross-cut ribs, TGIF's endless appetizers, and Outback Steakhouse's steak with unlimited shrimp.

I got around to trying the last one and had a pleasant experience. Full review with photos on my blog: http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot...

So who do you think put out the best AYCE product this year? Will we see another theme for chain restaurants to compete over next year? Or have they reached the zero lower bound in that they can't offer any deal better than AYCE? Who will emerge victorious in this race to the bottom? I haven't tried many of the other ones yet, but Outback currently has my vote.

Oct 14, 2014
fooder in Chains

Esquire's Best Burger in America/NYC

So a couple of months ago Josh Ozersky wrote an article for Esquire proclaiming the burger at Raoul's restaurant on Prince Street to be the best burger in America. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/food-for...

I finally got around to trying it as part of a classic American food bang-bang (with Prince Street Pizza) last week. As usual, for the review of the full bang-bang with all the photos, please visit the blog at: http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot...

)The burger arrived with a cone of fries and a dish of traditional French peppercorn sauce. The burger is only available at the bar, and the girls sitting next to us also came just for the burger. I don't know if the price has gone up since the article came out, but they continue to only make a limited number of them, regularly selling out within the first hour of the bar opening for dinner service.

The burger is greater than the sum of its parts, but the parts by themselves are pretty great too. The challah bun is robust, and the patty has a great crust and a nice sweetness to it. The mayonnaise, cheese, and watercress all add flavor, as opposed to iceberg lettuce mostly used for its crunch or processed American cheese mostly used because it melts well. I highly recommend opening up the burger and making sure that the cornichons are evenly spread. It is important to try to incorporate them into every bite as they balance out the richness of the burger and sauces, elevating the whole thing.

Do not underestimate the fries, as there are a lot of them. While I enjoyed dipping them in the peppercorn sauce, I think next time I'm going to ask for some ketchup to cut the richness. I preferred dipping the burger into the sauce instead and found it extremely satisfying.

It was a pretty great burger, but it's hard to call it the best. NYC just has so many great burgers in many different categories, including my favorite bar burger (JG Melon, Donovan's in Woodside), aged steak-like burger (NoMad bar, Minetta Tavern), fast-food style burger (Shake Shack), and diner burger (Corner Bistro, the one in LIC). I guess for its own category (bistro/restaurant burger), it's certainly the best that I've tried in NYC.

Oct 07, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Michelin New York 2015 results

Based on the menus, $40 will cover 2 small plates + dessert/wine at Louro. At Khe Yo (which I've never been to) $40 will cover 3 of their small plates (or 2 small plates + etc.)

Not sure about actual portions since I always enjoy the food at Louro so much I'd never spend so little there.

Other thoughts:
For the same type of high volume high end restaurant, I don't see how Marea is at the same level as Daniel. I don't mind dropping Daniel to a 2, although I don't agree with it, but I think if that's the case you have to drop Marea to a 1 (I'd compare it to Lincoln/Ai Fiori).

Another one that dropped off the list that people haven't mentioned is Danji. I've never been but a friend ate there recently and had a bad meal.

Sep 30, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Won't be returning to Per Se

I really think that Per Se is just past its prime, as I alluded to in my review from earlier in the year http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/968463 and to me this post just confirms that they know this and they are in the money-making survival stage of their existence. They just don't try as hard as they used to years ago.

That being said, I'm actually curious that the reservationist replied that "the table is meant for a MINIMUM of 2 people". I don't remember how all the tables are set up in the dining room, but could it be that this wasn't a small two-top, but perhaps a 4-top sized table that they were just okay with taking only two people because of the off-peak hour, but just couldn't make the $ work for 1 person?

Sep 30, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Michelin New York 2015 results

I wonder how much of Daniel's demotion had to do with the NYT demotion.

Michelin NY is just so inconsistent year to year, especially in the lower 1 star tier. I remember years with a good number of ethnic eateries, and then years where none of the restaurants were casual in any way.

Are we doing Bib Gourmand rants in this thread too? I didn't see a separate Bib Gourmand thread. I don't know how Louro is still not at least a Bib Gourmand.

Sep 30, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Fogo de Chao: A Meat Journey

Agree with you on lack of obscure cuts. Heart (chicken or beef) is one of my favorite cuts at a churrascaria and I haven't been able to find any.

It's been a while, so I can't say I remember Plataforma in much detail (or particularly fondly). From what I remember, I do think the salad bar at Plataforma has a larger selection, although I think the quality of the stuff at Fogo de Chao is very good. The salt thing is definitely an issue for me, so I don't know how much it affects my view of the quality of meat.

The ambiance is also a factor for me. I liked the spacious, classy feel of Fogo much more, and I felt that the gaucho servers themselves were more attentive to which cut and doneness I wanted. Now, that may not be what matters to you given you're taking them out for a holiday party. The hustle and bustle and the live music of Plataforma might be better for you. As one Yelper put it, Fogo is more like a date place and Plataforma is more like a Vegas buffet.

Speaking of Yelp, from a cursory glance at their reviews for Plataforma, it seems that most of the reviewers who actually had previous churrascaria experience tended to rate it lower.

Sep 17, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Fogo de Chao: A Meat Journey

When I was on low carb last year, I went through most of the skewers at Yakitori Totto http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/901965 This year I decided to go with a more wallet-friendly option, and went to the newly opened Fogo de Chao.

For the full review with all the photos, please visit http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot...

The best churrascaria rodizio has finally come to NYC! Let's go on an epic meat journey!

Sep 16, 2014
fooder in Manhattan

Looks like El Sitio in Woodside is done?

None of that for me while I waited for my kitchen order of crispy pata.

More details on the place:
Name is Baby Grill. There is now tax on everything.
They have more specials which are more in line with regular restaurant offerings, and priced accordingly. Tuna collar is $11 while crispy pata (made to order) is $12.

Sep 12, 2014
fooder in Outer Boroughs

Looks like El Sitio in Woodside is done?

Yes, I've already gotten food from the new Filipino place twice. The food is quite good, and great value at 3+rice+soda for $7.50. Eat-in is cafeteria style with food on plate/trays (not the disposable type), but I usually get stuff to go. Service is spotty, but at that price, whatever.

Sep 10, 2014
fooder in Outer Boroughs

Looks like El Sitio in Woodside is done?

Walked past yesterday and saw two Asian guys gutting the restaurant. No sign saying under renovations or anything along those lines. It's a shame that another long-time NYC establishment is gone. This marks the second big loss for the neighborhood this year along with Chonghap Market (that huge Korean market)

Sep 05, 2014
fooder in Outer Boroughs

The NoMad Bar: Stunning Gastropub/Cocktail Bar Hybrid (long review, most of menu)

I had to repost this as CH changed some of their posting guidelines. For the full review with all the dishes and photos, please visit the blog at: http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot...

Wanted to share my thoughts on many of the dishes I've had at the new NoMad bar. In fact, with multiple visits covering over two-thirds of the menu, this may be one of the most thorough reviews of the NoMad bar you'll come across. (assuming they haven't made a big seasonal menu change) I'm going to focus this post on the dishes that I think were most surprisingly good or disappointing.

My overall impression is that they've succeeded in creating a more accessible sister establishment to EMP and the NoMad restaurant, acting as both a cocktail bar with their huge selection of house cocktails and a gastropub with excellent beer and food selection.

While there's little room for error at these prices, I feel that as an overall food and drink experience the NoMad bar trumps many other bars/restaurants/lounges in the city at comparable prices. I think this is one of those places where the more people you have and the more drinking they do the more fun it is.

Great/unexpected surprises:
)I wouldn't have thought to order this just looking at the menu, but this was absolutely delicious. The broccoli rabe didn't have an overpowering bitterness, and the classic anchovy and parmesan combo packed a nice clean umami punch.

These have proven to be so popular that they made their way onto the NoMad hotel's main restaurant menu despite starting out on the new bar menu. I found these to be remarkable in that the salinity hit me immediately upon the first bite, but the savoriness continued without any lingering feelings of saltiness. It was hard to reconcile the overwhelming savoriness with the lack of moisture-draining mouth feel that usually accompanies salty foods. Those sensitive to salt, however, would probably still consider this dish to be too salty.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this, given that it was essentially a hunk of cheese, after all. Everything went so well together, from the nutty, flavorful cheese, to the slight kick of the mustard sauce, to the excellent pickles, that I just wanted to keep eating it. The only thing missing was that there weren't enough pretzel chips, but my guess is that more would have been provided if I'd asked.

Brushing aside the pieces of toast placed on top revealed a treasure trove of clams in a tasty broth that reminded me of the stunning tomato and corn broth I had in an earlier version of Eleven Madison Park's clambake dish. This delicious essence of summer in a bowl is also one of the best values on the menu.

The fish had real flavor, unlike the bland pieces of protein that merely serve as vessels for sauce often found elsewhere. Some might consider that flavor to lean a bit onto the "fishy" or "muddy" side, but I loved it. The fennel and orange also worked well with the fish, providing a great balance of texture and flavor and making for a great bite.

A juicy, sizeable, 6-ounce burger cooked beautifully and full of aged beef flavor. I've ordered it every time I've been at the NoMad bar, and it's just as satisfying every time. Large enough to share, I consider the burger one of the best values on the menu. Also of note is that every group of people I've brought to the NoMad bar has remarked on not just how good the burger was, but also how much they liked the accompanying pickle.

Disappointing/poor value:
These were more like small empanadas than beignets, and did not really stand out in any way. At these prices, just that alone was enough to elicit disappointment, but expecting hot fried goodness made it much, much worse.

The flavors were fresh, clean, and tasty. However, there just wasn't enough shrimp to justify the price.

The desserts as a whole were simple and tasty, and I liked the whimsical (and portable) idea of the candy bar. But for a few dollars more, I'd much rather have the desserts next door at the original NoMad restaurant, which I find much more complex and satisfying.

Other notable dishes:
The pot pie arrived at the table accompanied by a skewer of foie gras and a quenelle of truffle mousse/butter. The server then broke open the pot pie, mixed in the foie and truffle, and the smell was heavenly. Inside the pot pie were pieces of chicken, aromatic vegetables, potatoes, and morels. The puff pastry was buttery and flaky, and was terrific dipped into the absolutely delicious stew. It wasn't mind-blowing, but it was very rich and luscious while still evoking the comfort of a more traditional chicken pot pie. At $36, this is the most expensive item on the food menu, but still a great value in my mind when you consider the ingredients. Foie and truffle aside, morels are not cheap!

This is essentially the same hot dog as the Humm dog served at PDT, but with real truffles. It's delicious, but the value proposition here solely depends on how much you like truffles and how much truffle you happen to get. Both times I've had it the truffle smell was evident as soon as it hit the table.

For two weeks a while back they offered their version of Seattle's famous Canlis salad. It was a nice salad, but I didn't quite get the hype as the only thing that really ended up standing out was the mint.

You know, if you order both the burger and the hot dog from the menu, all the ingredients are there to make your own upgraded Shake Shack 10th Anniversary Humm Burger! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/978957

Sep 02, 2014
fooder in Manhattan