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Ran Japanese Restaurant in Forest Hills

Well, now I don't know what to expect. Seems to either be amazingly good or horribly wrong.

I'll give it a try if I'm in the nieghborhood.

Jan 08, 2008
antanukai in Outer Boroughs

Fantastic Big Flat Lamb Noodle Soup in Flushing, 41-28 Main

What type of noodles are in that Lamb soup dish? Extra wide Ho Fun? Wheat/rice/bean starch?

Thanks!

Jan 07, 2008
antanukai in Outer Boroughs

No longer chow-worthy: Cafe Saigon, Poughkeepsie

Made it upstate to Cafe Saigon in Poughkeepsie the other night. It is located near Vassar College, in the same neighborhood as Miss Saigon and Tokyo Express... I thought the food was simply poor. How long ago did anyone else go? I feel that, judging by the articles on the wall, that this place used to be good a few years ago but later lost any sense of quality:

First of all, the lemonade (if you can call it that) had no sweetness and no lemon flavor - just some lemon pulp floating around. The glass of water with lemon I was given beforehand was comparable in taste. The calamari salad was ok, considering it was just lettuce, squid and some dressing.

Good lemony flavor in the sour shrimp soup, although it was lukewarm and only had 1 small shrimp in it, along with a few tiny shreds of cabbage. But that's where things got worse...

The Happy Pancake, thin and crispy like an eggroll shell, consisted of 3 shrimp and a little bit of fake crab. Nothing worth ordering again.

They don't have pho anymore... the guy said one could "get a big bowl of it anywhere," and they don't have the stuff to make it, so they stopped making it "a long time ago." He suggested the Bun Bo Hue (spicy beef soup) instead. Not only did that soup come out lukewarm, but the rice noodles were underdone (way underdone, like 30-second pasta underdone), and the broth tasted like a salty bullion cube plus some curry spice, and looked like a cloudy, yellow chicken stock. The beef that was in there, all 2 tablespoons of it, seemed out of a can of beef soup: tiny morsels of dry, flaky shredded meat with no flavor. Could the soup be from out of a can? There was really nothing else in it other than (literally) a couple slices of scallions and a few onion pieces.

I was thoroughly disappointed in most of the dishes, the fact that there was no pho, basically the 'restaurant' as a whole. We were the only ones there (a couple just left) and it still took 15-20 minutes to get out the un-lemonade, soon followed by warm-ish soup and uncooked noodles. I was almost ready to get up, leave and go to Miss Saigon down the street just for some decent hot soup. I mean, how do you mess up soup and noodles?! And what's a Vietnamese place that has pho on the menu but hasn't had it since "a long time ago?"

And I'm not just being picky - I was really hungry but couldn't force myself to eat more than several bites of each. I will not go there again.

Roadtrip '08 - pt. 2 [Pennsylvania to NJ]

Off topic slightly, but...

Made it upstate to Cafe Saigon in Poughkeepsie tonight... I thought the food was simply poor. How long ago did you go? I feel that, judging by the articles on the wall, that this place used to be good a few years ago but later lost any sense of quality:

First of all, the lemonade (if you can call it that) had no sweetness and no lemon flavor - just some lemon pulp floating around. The glass of water with lemon I was given beforehand was comparable in taste. The calamari salad was ok, considering it was just lettuce, squid and some dressing.

Good sour shrimp soup, although it was lukewarm and only had 1 small shrimp in it. But that's where things got worse...

The Happy Pancake, thin and crispy like an eggroll shell, consisted of 3 shrimp and a little bit of fake crab. Nothing worth ordering again.

They don't have pho anymore... the guy said one could "get a big bowl of it anywhere," and they don't have the stuff to make it, so they stopped making it "a long time ago." He suggested the Bun Bo Hue (spicy beef soup) instead. Not only did that soup come out lukewarm, but the rice noodles were underdone (way underdone, like 30-second pasta underdone), and the broth tasted like a salty bullion cube plus some curry spice, and looked like a cloudy, yellow chicken stock. The beef that was in there, all 2 tablespoons of it, seemed out of a can of beef soup: tiny morsels of dry, flaky shredded meat with no flavor. Could the soup be from out of a can? There was really nothing else in it other than (literally) a couple slices of scallions and a few onion pieces.

I was thoroughly disappointed in most of the dishes, the fact that there was no pho, basically the 'restaurant' as a whole. We were the only ones there (a couple just left) and it still took 15-20 minutes to get out the un-lemonade, soon followed by warm-ish soup and uncooked noodles. I was almost ready to get up, leave and go to Miss Saigon down the street just for some decent hot soup. I mean, how do you mess up soup and noodles?! And what's a Vietnamese place that has pho on the menu but hasn't had it since "a long time ago."

And I'm not just being picky - I was really hungry but couldn't force myself to eat more than several bites of each. I will not go there again.

Jan 06, 2008
antanukai in Mid-Atlantic

ikizukuri

And how does Kanoyama's Wagyu sashimi compare to the beef at Urasawa?

Dec 23, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

ikizukuri

Thanks for the tip -- I'll look into it. Anyone have any leads?

Dec 23, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

Gyu Sashi and Over the Bridge Noodles

Kanoyama has Wagyu sashimi as a daily special, so I'll give that a try.

Dec 23, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

Gyu Sashi and Over the Bridge Noodles

Mandarin Express. Not sure of the quality of the dish, but at least they have it.

Dec 23, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

ikizukuri

Seems like Kanoyama would be the best bet. Possibly Jewel Bako if I can't find what I'm looking for.

Thanks!

Dec 22, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

Gyu Sashi and Over the Bridge Noodles

I've been doing some searching, and that statement sounds exactly right, except for this one place in the DC area which I plan on visiting while passing through.

I wonder... why there is not a larger selection of Yunnan food places in NY?

Dec 22, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

Yunnan cuisine

Fair enough. Can't wait to check it out.

Yunnan cuisine

What are the best places in the area to find Yunnan food, namely some good guo qiao mian [crossing bridge noodles]?

What do you think of the Mandarin Express version of it? Is there a better place to go?

Thanks!

Gyu Sashi and Over the Bridge Noodles

Yep, I've heard about the Yunnan place, which I plan going to soon. Perhaps I'll check with the other boards.

Dec 22, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

ikizukuri

I was contemplating going to Lan for some shabu shabu, but I'll try the beef sashimi if I do end up going. Maybe both.

Dec 21, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

ikizukuri

Yet another reason to hit up Kanoyama. Excellent.

Dec 21, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

ikizukuri

Mmm, I do enjoy geoduck. Live shrimps too!

Never had raw lobster before, must try that - where should I go in Chinatown?

kobetobiko, have you found a place with good beef sashimi yet? I noticed you were looking for some earlier. I have a recent post asking about that.

Dec 21, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

ikizukuri

Do any of the better sushi joints in Manhattan ever have this?

Dec 21, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

Gyu Sashi and Over the Bridge Noodles

Best place anywhere in the city to order gyu sashi [raw beef sashimi]? Preferably Kobe or other well-marbled cut of fatty beef. None of that lean beef carpaccio that is so common.

For example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hgd/9941...

Also looking for 'Over the Bridge Noodles' [Or is it 'Crossing' the Bridge?]. Where can I find a place in the city that serves this best, or even serves it at all?

Heaven: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waitn2fl...

Thanks!

Dec 21, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

Roadtrip '08 - Tampa to NYC

Other than Yasuda, I've been debating which other places to attend.

Kanoyama is very likely -- did you see their daily specials!? Such variety. I'll go 'a la carte' there or possibly even omakase.

Shimizu, 15 East, et al: How much of a different experience will I have?
After Yasuda and his amazing work, as well as Kanoyama's large variety of rare and otherwise uncommon choices, what could these other places possibly offer me that cannot be found somewhere else? I'd like to have a memorable experience at each of the places I go to, but just exactly how do I choose from the remaining top 10 or so? ie Which place has the best *blank* that I should not pass up?

Dec 17, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

Roadtrip '08 - pt. 1 [Georgia to Virginia]

Authentic Mexican is always welcome. What else would you recommend to order from there?

Yes, I seem to already have several excellent Vietnamese places to choose from in the DC area. I have an equal amount to choose from the southern Philly area as well. Can't wait!

I will most certainly get some Ethiopian food. I've never run across any anywhere else.

Thanks johnb.

Roadtrip '08 - pt. 1 [Georgia to Virginia]

Brilliant. Thank you so much for the heads up.

Noodle soup with half a roast duck? Mmm, must get myself some of that.

Roadtrip '08 - pt. 1 [Georgia to Virginia]

Ok, I'll add Van Loi 2 to my map.

It's sad, I've never once come across sawtooth with my pho here in Tampa. Don't even get me started on the broth...

I'm still planning on making some pho from scratch for the holidays. I have the great write-ups by Carb Lover to go by.

Roadtrip '08 - pt. 1 [Georgia to Virginia]

Thanks. :)

Roadtrip '08 - pt. 2 [Pennsylvania to NJ]

I think Atlantic City may be a little too out of the way. I may hit it up on the way back if I have time, though.

Dec 15, 2007
antanukai in Mid-Atlantic

Roadtrip '08 - pt. 2 [Pennsylvania to NJ]

Pho Eden is definitely a stop I'll be making. Thanks!

Dec 15, 2007
antanukai in Mid-Atlantic

Roadtrip '08 - Tampa to NYC

Well, my trip isn't just about sushi. But it certainly is a large part of the equation.

Yes. Maximizing sushi enjoyment has always been considered a long-term goal of mine. :)

Upon further thinking, I may throw in one or two more omakases during my stay - perhaps keeping each under $100 or so. Suggestions? I suppose I should make some reservations - how soon in advance? I was hesitant to make extra commitments as I may decide to head upstate, do something or go somewhere spontaneously... I feel vacations are enjoyed best without commitments.

*** Does chef Yasuda only work Saturdays? I did some reading and somehow got that impression. Funny, cause I asked for a reservation in front of chef Yasuda, and I was given Tuesday evening. Anybody?

Thanks again.

Dec 15, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

Roadtrip '08 - pt. 2 [Pennsylvania to NJ]

Thank you both. I will definitely try to make it to Poughkeepsie again.

Cafe do Laos and the Bistro San Miguel sound right up my alley. I'll check out the nearby pho, too. Thanks!

Dec 15, 2007
antanukai in Mid-Atlantic

Roadtrip '08 - pt. 1 [Georgia to Virginia]

Perfect. That is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you mikeh!

Roadtrip '08 - Tampa to NYC

No, no, no. I fully intend to eat more sushi than I've ever eaten before at Yasuda. I've got an hour and a half to enjoy his work and make this visit worth every penny. That will be my splurge. And that will be my only reservation.

For the rest of my stay, I don't think I'll have it in me [or my wallet] to eat large amounts of sushi each day. At any other place, I'll get what looks good or is recommended by the chef, and I'll eat a 'normal' quantity of food. It definitely would not be nice for one to reserve a seat and not eat much at all, and I certainly wouldn't do that. So no reservations, no Masa, no [extended] omakases, no triple-figure bills.

Dec 15, 2007
antanukai in Manhattan

Commercial pickled vegetable brands as good as homemade?

I'll second the Real Pickles, which are only second to homemade pickles. Also, Bubbies makes some good kosher dill pickles. Bubbies.com

I've made my own sauerkraut and kimchi on several occasions -- so far nothing commercial compares.

Dec 14, 2007
antanukai in General Topics