Saturday, March 24, 2007

Cafe Anonymous

Just a thought: It's really unfortunate that a certain manager at a french-moraccan cafe tried to fondle A.Duh (I mean, really, who wouldn't try..but still!) It was really nice to get hooked up with endless sangria and free eats just for being a girl. Aside from the manager's inexcusable behavior, that place has a bad omen on it right now...last time we were there things didnt go so as planned between the dinner conversation and the guy I met on the bathroom line . But maybe the spring will renew it...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Shrimp Pizza Update (2.0)

In December of 2006, I learned that I can’t date guys who don’t like girls who eat shrimp. (or maybe its that I can't date really really Jewish guys..ha) But I guess the reason for the guy who went from obsessed to avoidance was never made clear; but it pretty much made my top funny story of 2006. So when shrimp pizza guy texted me in January of 2007, I avoided his apologies. (And seriously, a text? wow, dude, you have no balls..) But then I got too curious and decided to probe. I knew I wouldn’t get anywhere by texting him back and there was no way in hell I was calling him; so a few days later I IMed him. He apologized again for being rude and tried to make small talk with me. (once again, u kidding? what a weirdo!) I kept trying to find out why he went cold turkey in a nonchalant way. By the second time when he made some weird excuse about not knowing or how he’s just an “interesting guy” I felt defeated and said ciao! If I wasn’t going to get down the bottom of the shrimp pizza story there was no point in me wasting my time. He was obviously just contacting me cause he was bored and lonely, but I was definitely not going to placate. So I thought what’s done is done. About a week ago though, I got a random text from none other than the shrimp pizza guy himself merely stating, “hi”. Umm, okay? You are a bigger loser than I thought. Obviously, I didn’t respond. I don't really know what the moral of the story is...but lay your cards out on the table? It’s more attractive that way (unless you're really drunk and just giving to0 much my date at the white dove ala february). They will be the desperate losers trying to spark up communication again. And if you enjoy shrimp than by all means eat a juicy cocktail of it!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fresh Sushi: The Unfishy fish

Ask 10 people where the best sushi is and you will probably get 10 different answers. If in your inquiries, you get an answer more than twice, it might just be some really good sushi. There are a few places in New York I hear over and over. Some are the trendy places that people like to name drop just to seem like they are 'in the know,' some are places that people just don't know any better not to name, and others I hear over and over...well, because they have the freshest and tastiest fish (some of these places come along with really large price tags- think Masa). One such place that I've begun to hear repeatedly is Sushi Seki, an unassuming little sushi restaurant in the upper east side. From the outside, a passerby would see a sign, a door, and mostly shaded windows, but step inside and there are people waiting for their tables wall to wall with reservations. The atmosphere itself is nothing special; simple tables with white linens and sparse walls, but I guess thats not the draw of the place.

When L-Dawg and I decided to go for a healthy dinner to catch up, the first thing that came to mind was sushi; as fish is one of the healthiest things a person can eat...and then because I know L-Dawg loves food just as much as I do, I thought about Sushi Seki. When we got to SS, there were people hudled around the small countertop referred to as "the bar" as they waited for their tables. I politely asked the hostess for our reservation and she told me "five minutes.." Okay, this didn't seem too bad. But it was so hot inside, L-Dawg and I decided to wait outside. When 15 minutes passed by and we still hadn't been contacted for our table, we decided to check back in. The hostess said, "They are just finishing their last roll..." I thought it was funny to determine the length of time a table would remain seated based on how many pieces of sushi they had left on their plates. In any case, we waited until our table was ready and 30 minutes later when we were brought to our seats we realized just how small th restaurant really was. Our table was one of two lined up along the wall of a narrow hallway that opened up into the "main dining room," which was probably a total of 8 tables. No wonder why there was a wait with reservations!

When we were seated, L-Dawg and I were ready to get down to business. We searched the menu for the Omakase; both of us were feeling adventurous and safe in a place that was rated so well for fresh fish. We queried the server for the difference between the Omakase and the speciality platter; she recommended the speciality platter as it all came out at once rather than piece by piece in the Omakase. We complied with our server's suggestion and started out with a salad each.

The salads were standard and good and the ginger dressing had an original hint of onion. When our speciality platter arrived, L-Dawg and I both had wide eyes. The waitress explained each piece on the menu and we decided to try each piece at the same time...its more fun that way. We started with the Alaskan King Salmon. While I'm not much of a raw salmon type girl, I must say it was great. Not fishy at all, fresh and delic with a bit of soy sauce. L Dawg and I kind of laughed each time we dipped a piece into the soy sauce because while our server said the soy sauce was unnecessary to the flavors of the fish, for some reason everytime we dipped in soy, it added a little somethin somethin.

From the salmon we moved onto the crab piece and onto the toro and so on and so on. Each piece was really good: tuna with tofu sauce, yellow tail with jalepeno, scallop sauteed in butter, spicy tuna, etc. I can't say I hated any of them. We even ordered some additional pieces so we can taste the eel, which seriously was sooo good. I took a bite of LDawgs and was forced by the laws of nature alone to get a piece for myself. It was good eel, the type that melts in your mouth. Like BUTTAH. I have to say, there have been times in my life where I've eaten sushi and felt a sense of well... a gag reflex. You know what I'm talking about! LDawg confirmed this feeling as well. Something just doesn't feel right and my throat is telling me so by closing up. I've felt this way about eel at least 2 out of the 4 times I've eaten it, which doesn't give eel a very good ratio in my mind...but this experience cleaned the slate for eel for me. Way to go eel..your back on my good side.

In any case, L Dawg and I pretty much cleaned house; we felt adventurous in the sushi department, enjoyed all the new pieces we had (even the benito--apparently a standard Japanese fish), and felt satiated after the meal (according to LDawg). Everything tasted fresh; nothing fishy; like a little bearded Japanese fisherman had made some great catches for the day.

To break it down...There is absolutely nothing new or innovative about sushi seki. There is nothing enticing about the atmosphere. Nothing fancy. But if you want really good traditional sushi and sashimi, this is your freshest bet. PS Make a reservation...even if you have to wait an extra half hour, I saw walk-ins turned away!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

La coocaracha..lalalala

I'm sure this post is going to stir up some controversy...but it had to be done. Sorry guys...

While my friends will stand by this little Mexican joint on 14th street with all their hearts and might...and let me add that one particular friend frequents this place so much she kisses the lead singer of the mariachi band hello- I, for one, would prefer to go to restaurants where you can not see a cockroach climb up the wall. This happened one particular cinco de mayo while the tables were packed to the
max, the air was thick with heat, and I could hear the girl from the back table screaming, "Ew, cockroach!" as the heebee jeebies climbed up my spine giving me sick anxiety, with any sudden movement causing me to flinch. I sat my legs criss crossed on my chair. I'm a little scared of those nasty things.

Before the cockroach incident, I wasn't all that opposed to Tequila's. I mean the food isn't great, but it's cheap sloppy Mexican in an authentic environment. The food is fine and won't break your wallet and the Sangria is actually pretty good at 18 bucks a pitcher. Mostly Mexicans frequent the place and you can find couples dancing on the dancefloor (if that's what you call it).

At this point, I refuse to go there. Somehow though, my friends are able to swindle me on special occasions like AmanDUH's Bday or when they gang up against me and I feel forced to go. I oblige for these times, but not happily. To see the Mariachi band waltz over to the table singing "Felice Cumplianos" and place a large sombrero on AmanDUH's head and snap a polaroid is kind of worth it though. Last night was one of those times, however, when they ganged up on me and said we're going for Sangria to pregame. I wouldn't say I was forced into it, but I was a very unhappy camper when 2 hours later we were still sitting at the colorful tables and watching our waiter flirt with a group of Mexican girls rather than bring over our overdue check.

Wild Ging and AmanDUH joked we were going to come here for my Birthday and I went into extreme pout mode. When we learned Cinco de Mayo was my birthday weekend, we found ourselves in a huge conflict of interest.

All I can say is that I will be posting about my birthday dinner, but you best believe the description won't include cockroach infested Mexican joints like Tequila's,even if they do give you a sombrero and a song on your special day!! Sorry guys, not even for the love of guacamole...

My friends enjoying the band

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Best Of...

New York Magazine always puts out really great "Best Of" Issues. Take a peak at this week's issue: Some highlights include their favorite burgers and the best brunch-( One of which is Freeman's reviewed on 3 course discourse for dinner!) Def worth reading some recommends...oh and obviously "the best of issue" doesn't end with food and drink. Some other notables are IBOP, a fav of me and my friends for private kareoke parties in Little Korea...and The Dove as a first date bar, where I've gone for a first date before but oddly enough never had a second date...haha.

Monday, March 5, 2007

The One Two Punch

They often say that you must go to a restaurant a few times before you can truly know if it's good or not. I must add to this by saying that you must also go on an 'off night' as well as an 'on' night. With the restaurant Punch, it wasn't until I went on a Friday night that I really learned of the restaurant's character and I can probably define the entire experience as weird. I had been there twice previous, once on a random Monday at around 9 and another time during a holiday weekend with a large rowdy group. Both of those experiences had been fine. Pretty good food, service that was okay but all around decent. When I returned on a Friday night, however, it was a totally different playing field. The host literally made me feel awkward. I think I've actually repressed some of the small talk he shared with me but let's just say I kind of wanted to stab myself in the eye. Our server, while admittedly a newbie, would awkwardly stare as he talked wide-eyed. When I asked him how the rigatoni was he replied, "I don't know ...hold on I'll get someone whose had it." Not exactly the response I was looking for and then when the strange host/manager arrived at the table to describe the bolognese as "moist because it's made with duck fat", I was severely put off. Way to describe the dish and make it sound appetizing. There's only so many times that you can smile and nod and try to pretend that you don't feel weird about what just happened or what was said. I think I'll go with the scallops. The pinot by the glass was pretty bad which I was surprised about since Punch is affiliated with the wine bar upstairs; the food was standard as usual and would've been a hell of a lot more enjoyable had I not been aching to get out of the restaurant to avoid any more strange situations. When the bill finally arrived there was added items on the bill that had not been eaten. I don't deem this as a big mistake, but the fact that this forced me to interact with our awkward waiter and the host again heightened my anxiety to get the hell out. When we finally left, I couldn't have been happier--now I know that the third times not always a charm.