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Baltimore Ramen

I wonder if the location is a good spot for it as I remember Five Guys across the street from the potential Toki space closed after several years of being there.

Baltimore certainly needs more competition. Thanks for the heads up!

Baltimore Ramen

Thanks for the heads up on Dooby's, and looking forward to trying them out.

I find Ten Ten Ramen to be quite good if you order well; their spicy tonkotsu is likely the best of the lot and competes well with Toki. Other food items on their menu are not as successful. Here's a thread on this place: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/973167

There's newish place Ejji Ramen in Belvedere market that has bit of Malaysian twist - three choices of different sambals to add to the ramen, along with satays (not so good) and roti canai (good). Their ramen itself leaves some room for improvement, but certainly unique offering. They also serve Laksa with ramen noodle which was decent tho not sure why they would use ramen noodles for this when they already have rice noodle available. I really like their concept, but find some inconsistencies in execution.

Good crudo in Manhattan other than Esca?

Any experience at Isola?

Jan 16, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

Good crudo in Manhattan other than Esca?

Yes, of course. Didn't realize silencespeak's reply date, but I hope it helps others who find this thread in the future.

Jan 16, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

Good crudo in Manhattan other than Esca?

It appears this place is closed. Thanks though.

Jan 16, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

Good crudo in Manhattan other than Esca?

Thanks thegforceny and Ttrockwood. Looking forward to trying them out.

Jan 16, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

Where to eat for Cassoulet Week

Any winners from the Cassoulet week participants?
Which ones continues to serve this beyond this special week?

Jan 15, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

Good crudo in Manhattan other than Esca?

Any more recent findings on crudo front other than Esca or Marea?

I do enjoy crudos at Esca but find their pastas usually far too salty for my palate - sea urchin pasta in particular as it's difficult to taste the urchin with this much seasoning, bit better is their Spaghetti Neri tho still pretty salty. Their linguini w/ clams and pancetta in particular is baffling as it comes with a strong warning from the waitstaff that most people find this very very salty and have trouble eating it. I never tried this dish as I find their un-warned ones still too salty to comfortably finish the whole plate.

Jan 15, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

Azumi: quite disappointing first impression

Thanks for your recs, hon. I will give them a try.

Azumi: quite disappointing first impression

I have not tried Sushi Hana on Falls Rd. probably because of pretty awful sushi experiences at the one on York Rd. Are these two that different?

" I think the best you can expect in Baltimore is quality fish with a limited."

You are probably right, but I wonder why. IMHO I have yet to see real quality let alone the variety in Baltimore. Even a mid-tier place like Izakaya Seki in DC will shine very brightly amongst Baltimore's Japanese scene.

Aux Merveilleux de Fred – Heavenly Meringue Pastries

+1 thanks Zaza.

Jan 11, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan
1

Amoo's in Mclean: From the Folks who Left Rose Kabob

This place looks great! Thanks for putting this place on our map.

korean bbq

Shinchon (Ellicott City): Clean and updated decor with best quality meat in town. Food items other than the bbq are generally not very well done (I find this to be true in most Korean places in Baltimore unfortunately). Most expensive among the three you mention. Open till 11pm.

Honey Pig (Ellicott City): Younger crowd, bit of watering hole, less quality meat, but a fun environment. I especially like that they serve aged kimchi (mook eun ji, usually year old but can be up to 5) and marinated bean sprouts to be bbq'ed along with the pork belly (cook both items well through till they char in pork fat for best flavor). Less expensive. Open 24/7.

Jong Kak (North Charles): Go here for "return to the 70s" and the only wood lump coal grill in town. Mix of students and older group, mostly Koreans. Not as clean and their banchan leaves much to be desired, but they do other Korean items bit better along with some Chinese-Korean menu. A family run place with friendly staff. Open till 4am. (this place will add extra 30 minutes to your drive west)

They all have pork belly on their menu and as long as you order 2 portions of meat or more you should be able to grill your own meat on the table. If you are somewhat new to Korean bbq, I think Shinchon is the best bet. But if you are looking for a particular experience as described above, I think the other two can also work.

Macarons (French cookie) available in DC?

Thanks for this info and the link!

Azumi: quite disappointing first impression

" I am curious about Azumi but will give it some time, sounds like it needs to get it together."

The design and concept at Azumi is clearly tailored for expense-account meals and out-of-town hotel guests IMO; at these price (for mediocre quality) and menu concept it will be hard to build a local following. I wish I'm wrong, but I don't think time will make much difference.

I've had much better sushi experience with Pabu even with their clubby scene as at least there I could get a good quality sushi at the counter seat over a conversation with the chef re what was good for the day.

Epic omakase experience at Jado Sushi

Any details on how the sea cucumber is pickled? I enjoy them very much but I've only had them raw. Thanks for the great close-up pics.

Jan 09, 2015
Kurtis in Manhattan

Azumi: quite disappointing first impression

I will give another try at Matsuri as it's been years since I've been there. From what I remember they had somewhat limited fish items.

Azumi: quite disappointing first impression

Forgot to add the cost. It was $180 including tax, without tip or drinks.

Azumi: quite disappointing first impression

I never been, but as I tend to favor "small and intimate" settings and traditional style for Japanese it has not made my list; Peruvian-Japanese fusion was exciting perhaps 2-3 decades ago but what remains these days is a poor visual replica without substance IMO (I've tried them in my visits to Lima going back couple of decades and as recent as 6 months ago, and find this trend parallel what we see here).

I'm not very faithful? to mid-tier Japanese restaurants in NYC as there are quite of bit of changes and new openings. However, this recent trip I ate at Hasaki and Kanoyama which are returned trips; at their price I think they serve a good quality sushi (and the variety at Kanoyama); if Baltimore has a mid-tier sushi shop like these I would eat there weekly.

More often I tend to visit Izakaya, Robataya, or even Kaiseki places and have sushi along with other cooked items. In these category I like Sakagura, Aburiya Kinnosuke,Blue Ribbon Izakaya, and Izakaya Seki in DC (bit weak on Izakaya items but usually very good sashimi). For upper-tier, it's been quite consistently 15 East, Ichimura, Ushiwakamaru and more recently added Nakazawa. For various uni preparation Soto has no competition in NYC and accoringly one pays price for this.

Azumi: quite disappointing first impression

Anticipated opening of this purported (per the developers) high-end Japanese restaurant was met with many disappointments. I can be a bit of purist when it comes to sushi though, and sushi is what I mostly tried on this visit.

Here's the list of what I tried:

SASHIMI (one piece to an order): Oh-toro, Chu-toro, Hamachi, Kampachi (ordered two pieces each, and they were out of Saba on Friday which was the day we visited)

NIGIRI (one piece to an order): Hirami

MAKI(6 pieces to an order): Kappa, and Kampyo maki

Seaweed and cucumber salad

Madai crudo

Sautéed Mushrooms

Age Dashi Tofu

Hudson Valley Foie Gras

Side of Satsumaimo Puree

Dessert: Yuzu

The sashimi cuts were unique in that they were quite large but too thin ly sliced (5-6mm) making it floppy; I ended up folding them in half (easily done as thin and large as it was) to hold it with chopstick in order to dip it in soy sauce (oddly they brought out sake glasses for the soy sauce and replaced it with more appropriate dishware when requested). The knife skills here weren't clean or exacting, and rice was cold for both maki and nigiri as well as dry and not seasoned as it should. Quality of the fish themselves were what disappointed me the most as I had substantially better quality sashimi in a mid-tier Japanese in LES Manhattan previous weekend and at Izakaya Seki in DC the weekend before (for about half the price for oh-toro at both places, and their price for this is higher than the top-tier joints in NYC). With unseasoned, cold and dry rice, maki rolls didn't work well as it became a bit of laborious chewing experience. Overall I found their sushi quite sub-par, and to compare, quite a bit below mid-tier sushi joints in NYC which is where I most frequently eat sushi.

Some mixed result with their other items too: The crudo had uncomfortably dominating acidity not dissimilar to peruvian ceviche making it difficult to taste the fish. Their sautéed mushrooms and satsumaimo (sweet potatoes) puree were heavily buttered, deep-fried cubes of tofu in good dashi lacked crusty bites, and overwhelmingly strong red wine soy reduction overpowered the foie gras which was seared perfectly and was very good quality. The yuzu dessert had some technical flaws; the gelatin was so heavily set in the panna cotta/custard-ish part of the dessert rendering it unpleasantly rubbery, and small sugar sculpture decoration could only be broken with two hand after several determined swing at it with a spoon.

Based on this experience I am unlikely to be a regular here, and I think it will be hard for me to return here even with the craving for sushi when unable to travel. Certainly their omakase is tempting, and to be fair I should try their sushi sitting at the counter seat. All this may be bit unfair a judgment as the Chef Eiji Takase's style and strength may lies in composed fusiony raw dishes as well as cooked fish items (he comes from the line of Sushi Samba NYC - a Japanese-Peruvian fusion, Shibuya in LV's MGM Grand where his next door neighbors were Joel Rubochon, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril, and Hakkasan, and Japonais in Chicago- a Morimoto empire). So will Azumi match that of his former kitchens? As they are not and won't be in my wish list for places to visit I wouldn't know. But I'm afraid my hopes for a source of good quality sushi in Baltimore I was hoping Azumi to be seems a mismatch.

Pazo's southern Italian makeover

chef, what menu items do you find not quite fitting there (a genuine question)? As for the small plates, I think this is more a trend/style having many "bite size" plates these days.

I returned here over the weekend, and found some inconsistencies; overall much more salty than my previous experience, and some wood-fire grilled items lacking the wood-fire flavor they had. I did have very very well executed pan-roasted half chicken - excellent quality chicken, perfectly crisp skin with juicy meat underneath - but again bit too salty for my taste. Their pastas continues to satisfy.

Cinghale or Pazo

While both are run by the same executive chef and same owner, I have enjoyed my two recent visits to Pazo much more than at Cinghiale. Last time I had pasta at Cinghiale was when I have asked the chef to make a pasta he enjoys/loves after sending back a very poor pasta I received. Both have good wine list which are very well priced though Pazo's is more condensed in comparison. Cinghiale does have good appetizers usually and their charcuterie/cheese options are very good. Unfortunately both are somewhat mediocre modern Italian restaurants when compared to similar in NYC or Philly, imo, but probably the best in town.

Pazo's southern Italian makeover

I hesitated to visit here since the change 9 months ago as I am not a fan of Cinghiale (same executive chef, same owner), but my recent visits here and having tasted about half of what is on their menu (and more than half of their wbtg offers) I am likely to keep coming here at least for a while to continue to try other things. This is mostly due to their pastas which is house-made as it is in Cinghiale, but I find their composition and execution substantially better, and that of Cinghiale nearly always disappointing. I also appreciated that the taste of wood-fired grill indeed come through nicely in several of their dishes, and their effort to create Neapolitan pizzas following DOC guildelines which for the most part works. Looking forward to returning here again in near future.

very quick ramen near MoMA

Menkui Tei should be a 5 min walk from MoMA, and makes decent ramen. I like their charhan better when done right, and gyoza is also decent.

Dec 02, 2014
Kurtis in Manhattan
1

Asiate or somewhere else?

...or even a regular meal imo as I think form is outweighed by substance in many aspect of dining here.

I would vote for Jean George (yes, food is substantially better, by far imo) where I find their lunch deal very reasonable for what you pay; $48 gets you an amuse bouche, two entrees that are always beautifully executed, great bread service, and petit four. With rest of the money in your budget, you can order extra plates, order several half-pour wbtg, or have dessert tasting which I find one of the best in town. This may not be fitting for your occasion, but we always ask for alcove seating against the wall which lends to an intimate meal with great views of the room and the windows.

I love the view of the central park, but always have enjoyed walking in it more especially after a meal at JG. You can always visit the lobby lounge for a drink/tea at the Mandarin Oriental (I believe it is on the same floor as Asiate) before or after the meal with equally stunning view of CP (you can make OpenTable reservation), and I find this much more enjoyable.

Dec 02, 2014
Kurtis in Manhattan

Le Cinq's 17 hr lamb shoulder

Thanks Ptipois for the home version of mechoui.

Nov 25, 2014
Kurtis in France

Crane & Turtle

Any experience here? It seems a good place to try innovative and modern Japanese/French plates.

http://craneandturtledc.com/

The Post Review:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifesty...

Le Cinq's 17 hr lamb shoulder

My pictures don't show a nice char on the lamb, but mostly the inner meat was what sent this to another level; as I wrote, I think souphi's guess on sous vide is likely the result of this very juicy, tender, and subtle but deeply penetrating coriander seed perfumed lamb.

Nov 24, 2014
Kurtis in France

Le Cinq's 17 hr lamb shoulder

That's an interesting way of roasting. I thought mechoui is spit-roasting. Is this some variation of it? Doesn't it dry out the meat?

Nov 24, 2014
Kurtis in France

Le Cinq's 17 hr lamb shoulder

I've thought about getting one at one point, but more and more I enjoy pan-seared/oven roast versions of most things. But for that lamb I just might...

Nov 24, 2014
Kurtis in France