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3 days in Tokyo with non-rawfish-eater

Thanks Lucil. Guess I'll have to go to some ramen/udon/izakaya places with him, and try out Kanesaka, Daisan Harumi, and Sushi Bun on my own...Any solo diners out there in late March? ;)

Dec 18, 2009
sjeats in Japan

3 days in Tokyo with non-rawfish-eater

I love sushi, my hubby would not touch it. Which fabulous (even Michelin *) sushi establishment can accommodate the both of us?

On our last trip we went to Sushi Dai, and, after an hour wait, he had anago, unagi, and tamago as his meal. We got charged the same set price for 2 - kinda a waste, no?

Should I just venture out on my own? But I think certain restaurants would not take single diner (e.g., Aronia d T)?

Dec 17, 2009
sjeats in Japan

Top Chef - Las Vegas - Ep. #12 - 11/18/09 (Spoilers)

I ate at Volt last month and Bryan was so nice, funny, and approachable. People are way overcritical from what little they see on TV.

Nov 20, 2009
sjeats in Food Media & News

Top Chef - Las Vegas - Ep. #12 - 11/18/09 (Spoilers)

I think Kevin's playing the game well, being safe and all. I don't think it was fair of him to ask for advice from competitors in the same competition, and his win is not a clean one.

Bryan has such class for helping Kevin. He's really demonstrated his leadership skills and technically he's much better than Kevin. I'm definitely rooting for him to be TC. But, it's sad that the editing seems to be giving the title to Kevin though.

Nov 20, 2009
sjeats in Food Media & News

Top Chef Las Vegas Ep. 5 - 09/16/09 (Spoilers)

Or Ilan and his Spanish cuisine.

Sep 17, 2009
sjeats in Food Media & News

The Tale of an Epic, 6.5-Hour, 22-Course Meal at Providence

Look and sound phenomenal. This is on top of my to-dine list.

Sep 01, 2009
sjeats in Los Angeles Area

Need help culling choices for a foodies week in DC

Well, if drinking is an issue then certainly cab it. OP wasn't clear and I'd just assumed that if he was interested in minibar he would be interested in Table 21, especially as a visitor I wouldn't spend so much time just to go to Volt for lunch an hour outside of DC when there's plenty of great places in DC. So if OP was going for dinner, then MARC train wouldn't be running after certain hours, right?

I'm renting a car 1-way from downtown DC and driving up to MD the day before my flight, so I can have dinner at Volt, then driving to the hotel near the airport for the night and return the car at the airport the next day. With this option it's only $26 for the car. Maybe OP can stay near Volt for the night if drinking much, and then drive to the airport the next day sober.

NY for two weeks - help me cull my choices pls...

Sushi Yasuda - yes yes yes!

Chikalicious - overrated. I love desserts but I've had better ones for less $$$.

Jean George - fabulous lunch!

GC Oyster bar - haha, I fell for the same trap. It was the worst meal I had in NYC.

How about Le Bernadin - sublime seafood and desserts.

Jacques Torres - yes.

Totto - yes, but make rez or suffer long wait.

See my old NYC thread here:

Sep 01, 2009
sjeats in Manhattan

Help needed to cull choice for a foodies week in San Fran....!

TFL - absolutely, if you can get a rez. If not, there's Manresa or The Dining Room @ RC. In Yountville there's also Keller's other restaurant, Ad Hoc. Cyrus in Healdsburg gets raves too.

Yank Sing is good quality dim sum but so overpriced. Perhaps the $$$ can be used for a flight from AU to HK. ;)

Carnelian Room - blah. Gary Danko and Boulevard were good.

I like Kiss Seafood (Japanese). It's super tiny so call ahead.

If you want to try high-end sushi or kaiseki, there's Sushi Ran and Kaygetsu.

Gotchi in Cupertino has fantastic Japanese tapas style dishes.

If in Berkeley, then Chez Panisse is must.

Sep 01, 2009
sjeats in San Francisco Bay Area

Need help culling choices for a foodies week in DC

This is what I'm doing next month: the night before my flight out of DC, I rent a car 1-way downtown and go to VOLT for dinner, then stay a night near the airport. Next day, return the rental car and hop on my flight.

Roundtrip cab fare would be $$$ and MARC train would be hard to schedule to time the finish of your dinner. does not reserve Table 21 @ Volt - you'll need to call and book soon if that's what you're looking for, and it's only for dinner.

Another rec for DC: I really enjoyed Zaytinya last year and went twice in one trip. It's also by chef Andres. Jaleo was a big disappointment.

How's my plan re: restaurants in Vancouver and Victoria

Thanks again for all the suggestions. We didn't get to every place I'll just summarize where we went.

Got to Richmond too early on a weekday and Shanghai River wasn't open yet, so we went to Kirin just across the street. Good dim sum, and the decor wasn't bad either. I think it's comparable to Koi Palace in the SF Bay Area, perhaps a little cheaper.

Loved the tuna tacones at Red Fish Blue Fish! The fish and chips were good too. Brasserie L'ecole was a cozy little restaurant, and we enjoyed the food. Very fresh oysters. Mo:le had fresh ingredients, but it was just so so for me. The portions were pretty big, and 5 of us shared 3 orders. Didn't get to have the afternoon tea.

Went to Vij's on a Friday night and was told the wait was 1.5 hours. Too bad, so we left and had a great dinner at Kingyo. We only had a 10 minute wait and parked right outside the restaurant on a Friday night! The tuna carpaccio was very tasty. We had some raw amaebi and fried prawns, but not sure if those were the bc spotted prawns.

After coming back from the cruise, we headed over to Kirin and had dim sum. Not all the items we had at the Richmond location were available, and the decor seems a bit older. The food was pretty good too. Went to Tojo's for dinner, and, while the food was good, I wasn't wowed. IMHO there are many more sushi places in L.A. that cost less and had better food. The service was pretty good and I liked the "mature" waitress dressed in kimono.

Our last day was a Sunday and I should've known better than to try to go to Shanghai River or Kirin at lunch time without a reservation. Went to both and was told the wait was at least 1 hour. My group didn't want to drive again so we walked across Kirin to Empire Seafood for dim sum. The wait was only 10 minutes, and I soon knew why - the food was below average and the service non-existent. At one point the waitress tossed a fork and a knife onto the table. I don't recall the waitstaff speaking a word except for asking us what tea we'd like initially. The dim sum paled in comparison, obviously, to our lunch at Kirin just a week before. All the "dumplings" seemed to have the same fillings and tasted the same. (What can I say, it was hard to travel in a group with so many opinions and tired bodies so I wasn't surprised how our trip would end...haha)

Overall we've tasted some good eats in our neighbor country. There's so much more to explore and next time I shall visit some other great restaurants and even wait for Vij's. ;)

Jul 07, 2009
sjeats in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

How's my plan re: restaurants in Vancouver and Victoria

Thanks! I'll squeeze the soft serve in before the tacones. ;)

May just have to try spot prawns next trip...timing is an issue and while I'd love to try Vij's, don't think our family will stand to wait an hour plus on a Friday night.

How's the weather? It's looking a bit wet from the report! :-\

Jun 24, 2009
sjeats in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

best place to buy raw organic whole chicken?

Didn't you find them at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's?

Jun 22, 2009
sjeats in San Francisco Bay Area

How's my plan re: restaurants in Vancouver and Victoria

Thanks everyone! I hope to eat as planned. ;) Still searching for places with BC spot prawns...

Jun 21, 2009
sjeats in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

How's my plan re: restaurants in Vancouver and Victoria

Thanks fmed. Since we'll be driving from downtown to the airport, would love to hear about great restaurants in these areas.

Re: Mui - I was thinking of something cafe style, any good Hong Kong style cafes? Or, are there many places that serve spot prawns at lunch?

Jun 19, 2009
sjeats in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

How's my plan re: restaurants in Vancouver and Victoria

A group of us will visit these fair cities next week from SF. Staying near Canada Place. We have about 2 days pre-cruise and 1.5 day post-cruise. Staying near Canada Place. While I'd love to hit the "must eat" places, our older family members are not as crazy as us and traveling longer time for good eats are probably out of the question. We'll have a car but since we want to hit certain sights, it'll be much better if the good restaurants are somewhat on the way. I've planned this trip as if certain family members will never be back here again so would like to see the most and eat the best - under certain budget. Some of us aren't too dressy so nothing too upscale too. Mostly we like seafood, Chinese and Japanese, unless there's some really good food of other types.

Please see if I'm heading the right direction? Big thanks! :)

Day 1 - in YVR/Richmond briefly: brunch @ Shanghai River for XLB, ferry to Victoria, if we have time may be sneak some snacks from Red Fish Blue Fish, Beacon Hill park, dinner rez @ Brasserie L'ecole

Day 2 - Breakfast @ Mo:le, drive to Butchart Gardens, lunch @ tea place within, ferry to Vancouver, dinner @ Kingyo

Day 3 - we could eat on the ship if checked in early, OR, brunch @ Kirin

Day 4 - visit Granville island, lunch @ Sun Sui Wah on Main St.<--- is this supposed to be THE best dim sum...better than Koi Palace in SF area? Stanley Park, Capilano Suspension Bridge, grab some Thomas Haas chocolates, dinner rez @ Tojo's, maybe Harbor Centre Lookout.

Day 5 - flight at 5p - get to YVR by 3p? Lunch - grab some Japadog? Mui's Garden? More dim sum?

Anyway I can squeeze in some spot prawns somewhere? What else should I buy or eat? ;)

Jun 19, 2009
sjeats in B.C. (inc. Vancouver)

London: Leung's Legend - no please no!

Visited at the end of June.

Oyster pancake - what a joke. I've had this countless times growing up in Taiwan and at least 5 times when visiting Taipei last year. This was not supposed to be: a) lack of gooey cornstarch, b) lack of small white napa cabbage, c) containing satay sauce. It was supposed to come with a red sweet and hot sauce, it did not.

Shu mai - not sure what the obsession with satay sauce was, but this was the first I've had it sprinkled on shu mai. Just tasted fatty.

Beef noodle soup - the noodles lacked texture, just mushy. There was a lot of beef FAT, which was not welcomed. The soup had some flavor but was salty.

We were ordering a few items to start, but after these we decided to stop ordering.

Don't get your hopes up for decent Taiwanese food, sorry to say.

Jul 11, 2008
sjeats in U.K./Ireland

Visiting and eating for 1 week in NYC - what not to miss?

I'm back from our fabulous trip from NYC! We managed to get to most of the places but due to time constraints didn't get to all.

Our best meal was at Le Bernardin - the flavors were subtle and the food delicate, and the service was superb. The desserts were amazing!

In the order of how much we liked the places:

Le Bernardin: sublime
Sushi Yasuda: heavenly
Bouley: excellent; so nice, they gave tea cakes as parting gifts.
Jean George: great
Telepan: interesting
Lupa: good pasta
Yakitori Totto
Bouqueria: fun place
Perry St.: could do without - okay food, cold service, out of the way location.

Ice Cream places:

L'Arte del Gelato - THE BEST! So creamy and rich that I had another cone after I finished the first. A little bit too sweet for me but I could live with it.

Ciao Bella - pales in comparison to L'Arte.

Otto - olive oil gelato was interesting, a little salty and sweet at the same time. But not good enough to go back for.

Il Lab - good, but still not as creamy and rich as L'Arte's.

Chinatown Ice Cream Factory - hit and miss depending on the flavor. I would go back for the black sesame - it was delicious and creamy.

Loved the Jacque Torres chocolates, and Maison du Chocolat was great as well.

Most horrible places we went to:
Joe's Shanghai - the nastiest and ugliest soup dumplings I ever had!

Oyster Bar at Grand Central - bland fish, what was that oyster panroast?! (I know we were warned, but this was our last day and were near Grand Central so we tried this place.)

So many more places to visit - I can't wait to go back!

Sep 09, 2007
sjeats in Manhattan

Visiting and eating for 1 week in NYC - what not to miss?

Thanks again all!

For female tourists running around the city sightseeing, what's the minimum dress code to adhere for Jean Georges and Le Bernardin? Are there other places on this list that have more formal dress code? Not sure if we'll have time to stop by the hotel to change everyday.

Aug 21, 2007
sjeats in Manhattan

Visiting and eating for 1 week in NYC - what not to miss?

Thanks kathryn! I will definitely have to see where I can squeeze in WD-50! I'll stop by Kee's when we're in the area; also Mariebelle's.

I try to avoid lines and that's why Balthazar and Shake Shack are not on my list...

May just replace Tabla with Devi. Is Devi's lunch prix-fixe year round? I can replace Wu Liang Ye with Momofuku Ssam Bar.

Patisserie Cloud is new to me...I'll look into this. Have to see where Donut Plant can fit in. We'll skip the Dogs, since my friend doesn't eat beef. We'll check out Brooklyn Ice Cream when we cross the bridge.

I'm trying to avoid taking the cab and use the subway - more $$ for food! ;)

Aug 19, 2007
sjeats in Manhattan

Visiting and eating for 1 week in NYC - what not to miss?

Thank you all so much for your great suggestions and input!

doctorj - I'll look into Tabla - it doesn't look like the average Indian food. Pearl Oyster Bar's food looks great! Boqueria sound like what I'm looking for too.

lanadai - I'm not that into tofu...but I'll check out Kyotofu.

idia - come join us! ;) I love Japanese food so I thought we could check out the great places that so many people recommend. I know Babbo'll be tough to get in but just thought I'd try.

gerrymander - I eat Indian food probably once a year. The spices just don't agree with me. Can two share a prix fixe dessert or must it be one per person?

RGR - I can do dessert probably anytime of the day! :) I'll check out Chickalicious.

kobetobiko - (do you like fish eggs on your kobe beef? :p) I would try to get in to Totto, but we're arriving on a Sat. so I hope there isn't much wait. I would very much like to try Tia Pol. There are so many choices for lunch but I can only decide on one a day! I've been to Fleur de Sel before. Day 5 we're going to Central Park so I thought I'd just keep it uptown, but I'll check out Cafe Boulud. Chose Wu Liang Ye because we haven't had Chinese planned yet and it's in midtown (we have a show to catch that night). Dessert tasting sounds fantastic! Would we have to order 2 for 2 people or can we share? We can't eat THAT much dessert (even if we tried).

FoodWine - Aww..I have such high expectations for LB! I'm definitely looking into GT!

DesperateChefsWives - I'll skip the Oyster Bar and just visit Grand Central Station. As you may see, I love gelato, so I must try that Olive Oil flavor!

It's a bit challenging to plan the different places since we have show tickets for 3 nights and also have to consider the time traveling uptown/downtown and sightseeing in between the great food we'll have! :D

We're going in the first week of September, so I think by then Rest. Week is over?

What do you think about these changes - is this better:

Day 2 (Sun.) dinner - replace Crispo with Boqueria or Degustation,
Day 4 dessert - add Chikalicious
Day 5 lunch - replace DB&D with Cafe Boulud,
Day 6 dinner - can replace Sakagura with Pearl Oyster Bar. Have a show this night though...will it be too rushed? How long does it take on the subway from West Village to midtown?
Day 7 dinner - replace Lure with Tabla
Day 7.5 (Sat.) lunch - Gramercy Tavern (although I don't see reservation available on OpenTable - do walk-in?).

Will Perry St. be very different from Jean Georges? I could replace a lunch with EMP. Is Telepan and Sakagura good or is there something else more remarkable?

Aug 18, 2007
sjeats in Manhattan

Visiting and eating for 1 week in NYC - what not to miss?

I'm looking for suggestions for where not to miss and/or where I can skip. I've visited NYC before, but my friend has not. She doesn't eat beef, and gears towards low-cholesterol food if possible. As for budget, it all depends on whether I think it's worth it...not over $100/pp usually. After weeks of research, here are the places I have in mind:

Day 1
(no rez.) dinner - Hatsuhana or Yakitori Totto

Day 2
lunch rez. - Telepan
dessert - La Maison du Chocolate and/or Minamoto Desserts
dessert - L'Arte Del Gelato
dinner rez. - Crispo, thinking of maybe switching to Tia Pol or Casa Mono

Day 3
breakfast - Clinton St. Bakery
dessert - Jacque Torres Choc. Haven
lunch rez. - Bouley
dessert - Il Lab Gelato, and/or Madeleine for macarons
dinner rez. - Lupa, thinking of walk-in at Babbo
dessert - olive oil gelato at Otto

Day 4
breakfast - Daniel's bagels
lunch rez. - Perry St.
dessert - Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and/or Ceci Cela
dinner rez. - Sushi Yasuda at the bar

Day 5
breakfast - Ess-A-Bagel
lunch rez. - Davidburke & Donatella
dinner - Wu Liang Ye

Day 6
breakfast - Bouchon
lunch rez. - Le Bernardin
dessert - Ciao Bella gelato
dinner - Sakagura

Day 7
breakfast - H&H bagels
lunch rez. - Jean Georges
dinner - maybe Lure Fishbar or Robert Passon

Day 7.5
breakfast - ??
lunch - Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station

I'm open to replace or add or delete some choices, and I'm sure I can add in a few more dessert places to see! :) How does this look and is there anywhere else I should consider?

(I've considered and opted to leave out due to prices, value: EMP, Veritas, Aquavit, Balthazar, Daniel, craft, Robuchon...)


Aug 17, 2007
sjeats in Manhattan