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Top Chef Texas - Ep. #10 - 01/11/12 (Spoilers)

Yup, you were right that I would respond. :-)

You don't need to keep using Korean in conjunction with upbringing that is my issue. Yes, she is Korean and grew up with Korean parents, but her upbringing is hers and her family only. I understand that she alluded to her Korean upbringing, but so did Ed and they are nothing alike. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if her sisters are very different from her and at least one would have given Lindsay, Heather or Sara a piece of her mind. I know in my family my siblings and I are as different as can be. I would have punched Lindsay, Heather and Sara while another sibling would have used logic to reason with them. Same family, same upbringing, vastly different results.

Jan 12, 2012
lulumoolah in Food Media & News

Top Chef Texas - Ep. #10 - 01/11/12 (Spoilers)

As a Korean who grew up in a traditional Korean household, I don't see the correlation between that and being passive. Her issues are her issues and it's got nothing to do with staying at home for hours studying (and not playing team sports). I know plenty of aggressive, competitive Koreans who are nothing like Beverly. How do you explain Ed, who also is Korean and most likely grew up in a "stereotypical" Korean household? Is Ed the anomaly? Ed is the complete opposite of Beverly, so one would think that maybe it wasn't being brought up in a Korean household and it's really Beverly and not the fact that she's Asian.

Fyi, I was brought up to not take bs from anyone and to speak up by my old-school Korean parents.

Jan 12, 2012
lulumoolah in Food Media & News

Top Chef Texas - Ep. #10 - 01/11/12 (Spoilers)

Hey, just because you're Korean and never played team sports, doesn't necessarily mean that you are socially awkward and passive. I've met plenty of non-Asian people who are socially awkward and generally clueless. How do you explain their behavior? That they are of English stock and therefore socially awkward and passive since the English are "reserved" people.

Are you for real?

Jan 12, 2012
lulumoolah in Food Media & News

Anniversary Dinner

On second thought, pork chop comes to mind for Little Owl. My friend from the last visit enjoyed his fish - sorry, I don't remember which one it was, I just know he enjoyed everything he ate. I now sort of remember ordering something and I think it came with a mexican style corn salad or something like that. The protein I believe was good, but the side was okay.

Jan 11, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Anniversary Dinner

Actually, I've walked in twice, once we got very lucky and got a table quickly on like a Friday night and the other time I believe there was a wait, but we were fine about hanging out at another bar until we could get seated. The other two times I went, we made a reservation, partly because the people I went with didn't want to take a chance and risk waiting for a long time for a table. Given that it's your anniversary dinner, I don't know how you feel about getting there early and putting your name down for a table and then coming back for the meal. You may want to call Little Owl directly and ask them the best course of action for securing a walk-in table for that night. Also, there are places around where you could go and have a pre-dinner drink. I like the Blue Ribbon Downing St. bar and Wilfie & Nell when they are not packed and both are in the vicinity, though Downing is a bit farther. As for specific items, sorry, but my memory is crummy these days and I haven't been in about a year. However, I don't remember disliking anything enough to remember - generally, I will remember the bad before the good. I vaguely remember enjoying the meatballs. For some reason gnocchi comes to mind, but I may be confusing it with another place.

Have you also considered Casa? It's a Brazilian restaurant in the West Village and it's also on the small side, but I liked the ambience and the food. I went more recently so I can safely say that the cheese bread and feijoada were very good.

Jan 11, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Baking with Sugar Substitutes

Thanks so much for the article. I had always wondered how the sugar substitutes would hold up in baking, especially in baked sweets like cookies and cakes. I know now not to wonder and to avoid the substitutes at all cost if I can. The pictures were priceless and scary (and much appreciated).

Jan 11, 2012
lulumoolah in Features

It's my wife's 50th but she doesn't like Lamb's Brains

Il Giglio. Apparently, Il Giglio was owned by the wife of the owner of Il Mulino or something like that. There's a history between the two, though now they are owned by completely different people. Il Giglio was good and definitely more old school. My boyfriend loves Il Mulino and knew of the shared history between the two which is how we ended up there for a last minute dinner. The portions are on the large side, so be careful not to order too much.

If you want the old school Carroll Gardens type Italian-American fare, you might want to check out Marco Polo for the experience. The food was fair, some better than others (the fried mozzarella was great), but the experience was priceless. Where else will you have a waiter serenade you on an electric violin playing popular pop songs from the 60s, 70s and I think 80s. It was a fun night and the people were nice.

Another option is Sfoglia in the UES. It's not Italian American, but I do think the food is good.

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Venue for a casual, low-budget wedding party, any neighborhood?

Best of luck! I hope one of these works out for your reception. Here's another idea which I'm hearing more and more about - food trucks. In lieu of a restaurant or reception hall, some people are hiring food trucks. From what I've heard the prices are pretty good and you can hire more than one, so your guests can have more options and cuisine choices. The only problem is having a location for the food trucks to park and also having seating for your guests. I'm guessing that your wedding will be soon so it wouldn't be feasible to find an inexpensive outdoor location or park area to hold the reception and park the trucks. Anyway, congratulations and good luck on finding a perfect (and affordable) place for your reception!

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Where can I buy ground sumac in Manhattan?

Try Kalustyan's.

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Kalustyan's
123 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Recommendations for 40th Bday party

Maybe Essex restaurant or Stanton Social in the LES or Freemans. I'm guessing you want this for the evening on a weekend.

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Stanton Social
99 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

Freemans
Freeman Alley, New York, NY 10002

Essex
120 Essex Street, New York, NY 10002

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Venue for a casual, low-budget wedding party, any neighborhood?

This is the last suggestion. Hundred Acres in Soho. They have a garden room type area in the back of the restaurant which should more than accommodate your party.

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Hundred Acres
38 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Venue for a casual, low-budget wedding party, any neighborhood?

Sorry, but I'm back again. Another suggestion if you are willing to travel is Roberta's in Williamsburg/Bushwick. It's a trek but super close to the L stop at Morgan. Roberta's offers group prices. There is no separate room, but you can see if they can place you in the same area in the back part of the restaurant - it's sort of like Freemans with two areas. I recommend the pizzas.

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Venue for a casual, low-budget wedding party, any neighborhood?

If you're willing to go to Brooklyn, Clover Club might work. It's in the Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens area on Smith Street, near the F train. Clover Club has a back room which is nice for parties and small events. Surprisingly, Clover Club is open for lunch during the week. Again, given the day and time of your reception, they may be willing to work with you if the price is too high. In this case, it may be better to rent out the space, because it's not like the layout of Freeman's where it's almost two spaces.

Sorry, I feel like I should able to suggest more, but my memory isn't complying.

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Allergy Friendly Recs Needed - Midtown

Maybe Spotted Pig or any restaurants specializing in English, Italian, Spanish or American fare. Check out some of the steak houses like Keen. Also, there's a chance that the restaurants will accommodate a few of your allergies by substituting out like the cauliflower with another vegetable. You may just want to compile a list of places you want to eat at then check out the menu and call the restaurant beforehand and see how accommodating they can be. It may be better than ruling out places that seem to be unaccommodating.

For example, against my wishes, I recently had dinner with an unexpected and last minute guest (a friend of a friend) who was allergic to half the menu. Without any advance warning, the restaurant surprisingly accommodated all of her allergies (and she had some weird ones that I didn't think were possible). I give the restaurant a lot of credit for being so accommodating since this person turned out to be fussy as well. Based on this experience, I do believe most restaurants are willing to work with customers within reason, contrary to what you read about certain chefs and their beliefs about modifying and compromising their food vision.

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Keens
72 West 36th St., New York, NY 10018

Spotted Pig
314 W 11th St, New York, NY 10014

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Venue for a casual, low-budget wedding party, any neighborhood?

Maybe Freemans? I know Freemans has private rooms, but if you feel it'll be too expensive to rent out a room, you may see if they can place your party in the second bar area where you can monopolize the space. Given that you are planning this for a weekday afternoon, I think you should be able to do. Call and explain your situation. Good luck!

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Freemans
Freeman Alley, New York, NY 10002

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Anniversary Dinner

I think Little Owl is a close approximation of Hudson Clearwater, though it's not hidden and the space is small. However, it's very much a couple's place to me. Whenever I go, I always see couples clearly having a date night or enjoying a special occasion. I went last with a male friend who hadn't been and really wanted to go and it sort of felt odd, because I had the feeling I should be there with my boyfriend instead. That's me, though. Anyway, I've always enjoyed my meals there.

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Little Owl
90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Chinese grocery anywhere on Upper West Side?

No such luck. Sorry, the closest may be HMart in Koreatown on 32nd street. Even though it's Korean you may be able to find some of the stuff you're looking for there instead of having to trek all the way down to Chinatown.

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Han Ah Reum
25 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Classy place for drinks near WTC Path station

Would you be willing to go to Tribeca? It's not too far of a walk or a subway ride. There's the Brandy Library near the Citigroup headquarters, Another Room, the bar area of the Tribeca Grand hotel or the bar area of one of the restaurants in Tribeca.

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Brandy Library
25 N Moore St, New York, NY 10013

Church Bar
2 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY 10013

Anotheroom
249 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Anniversary Dinner

I know I may get shot down for not suggesting a fancier place, but have you been to Hudson Clearwater? I went recently for a non-romantic dinner - a college friend was in town for business - and thought the space would be nice for a romantic dinner, not formal but not overly casual. I personally liked the location which is sort of hidden.

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Hudson Clearwater
447 Hudson St, New York, NY 10014

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

One night in brooklyn?

Actually, I'm not a fan of Buttermilk Channel, though I do admit the fried chicken is pretty darn wonderful. I've been there a few times and the food is okay, but not worth the trek. Chestnut and Grocery are better and less of a walk. I prefer Prime Meats, though I admit I like their drinks, especially the punch - good stuff.

What about Al Di La?

Also, I don't know about Saul. Even though the food is mostly well made, especially the seafood dishes, I feel like the restaurant tries to cover too much of a range - from Asian-style dishes (think soy sauce) to very Mediterranean/Italian dishes (gnocchi and beautifully poached fish). My friends and I were surprised and dumbfounded by the weird range, especially for an established restaurant. We felt like Saul was in the middle of a personality disorder. However if you do go, you have to get the baked alaska for dessert.

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Chestnut
271 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Saul
140 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Al Di La
248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215

The Grocery
288 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Buttermilk Channel
524 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Outer Boroughs

Where to buy boneless lamb shoulder?

Second the Staubitz suggestion if you are in downtown Brooklyn area or you can call and ask. Whenever I've needed a particular cut of meat or a particular request, Staubitz always came through. The butchers behind the counter are pretty nice, too.

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

A little help Seoul searching, please

Sorry, but my advice may be of little help but have you checked the food blogs and contacted those bloggers directly for suggestions? A few bloggers... Jennifer Flinn of Fatman Seoul, Daniel Gray of Seoul Eats, and Joe McPherson of ZenKimchi. Here's something I found which you may have already seen... http://www.seoulfood.org/

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

nyc with 11 year old boy who is glued to the food channel

Perhaps Basta Pasta which is Italian done with a sort of Japanese influence or Boqueria for tapas. I've known people to take their kids to Basta Pasta. I did see kids once at Boqueria (though I think it's due to the fact I tend to go late) but I recommend going earlier in the day or evening as it can get pretty packed.

Also, one of the Momofuku restaurants and Chikalicious or Momofuku Milk Bar for dessert. Actually, I think the Momofuku Milk Bar would be fun food-wise for him - the breakfast flavors as dessert.

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Momofuku Ssam Bar
207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

Boqueria
53 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

Basta Pasta
37 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

ChikaLicious
203 E 10th St, New York, NY 10003

Momofuku Milk Bar
251 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003

Jan 10, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

New Year Resolution: Solo dining!

I do think it's great. For me and my friends, sometimes the only time we can meet is for dinner or drinks. At times we have had to wait weeks or months for a few us to be available to check out a particular restaurant. I've gotten to the point where I'm willing to go alone if I'm in the mood for a particular meal. Also, I'm hoping to travel solo later this year so I will have to get used to eating alone, especially at a fine dining establishment. I don't want to limit myself to street food, outdoor stalls, food trucks, bistros, bars or the bar area of a restaurant.

Jan 07, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

New Year Resolution: Solo dining!

I think it's great that you have had great experiences dining solo here. I don't think it's that unusual that people are so self-conscious. To be honest, I don't know how I would feel about dining alone at high-end restaurant alone, partly because I've never been in that position and partly due to the fact that I want to share the experience with like-minded friends. When I plan to travel solo later this year, I will definitely try solo dining at a restaurant I wouldn't have considered eating at a table alone.

Jan 07, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Blue Crabs @ C-town fish market

Hmm... I do know it's illegal for recreational fishers to go crabbing at this time of the year, but I know for professionals there are different guidelines. I just don't know if they are allowed limited crabbing even at this time of year.

Jan 07, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

New Year Resolution: Solo dining!

I've lived in the EV, Midtown, UES, downtown Brooklyn, etc. I've hit the gamut in terms of neighborhoods with lots of singles or lots of families or a good mix of the two. Actually, this is a conversation I've had with friends here in the city who tend to work crazy hours and the consensus is they would feel uncomfortable dining alone at a table and would avoid that situation if possible.

Kudos for you who feel comfortable and enjoy dining alone here in NY and think the culture here supports solo dining at a table. It's news to me and to many of my friends who tend to eat most of their meals out because of their work/social situation.

Jan 07, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

Astor Place recommendations for tonight

Perhaps Prune, Chinatown Brasserie or Hecho en Dumbo, but that depends on what you mean about super casual.

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Chinatown Brasserie
380 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012

Prune
54 E 1st St, New York, NY 10003

Hecho en Dumbo
354 Bowery, New York, NY 10012

Jan 07, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

New Year Resolution: Solo dining!

Unless you speak Japanese - kidding. Actually, I've been to more than one restaurant where the sushi chef was surprised and delighted to chat with my Italian American friend in her perfect Japanese. As for me, I tend to leave them alone because I imagine it's not easy to converse and handle a knife simultaneously. And I don't want to slow them down or be the cause of a nasty cut.

Jan 06, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan

New Year Resolution: Solo dining!

I would have to say I don't think a restaurant would decline you if you decide to dine solo at a table or make you feel uncomfortable. However in terms of the dining culture and perceptions, I don't think it's as widely accepted or part of the fabric.

I've known people to take clients and colleagues out for dinner on the weekend here so they wouldn't have to dine alone.

Jan 06, 2012
lulumoolah in Manhattan