Saturday, March 29

morimoto nyc

destructor and i braved a windy (and cold) saturday night to eat at morimoto. we arrived by cab in front of a large white-ish (?) building front, and were greeted with warm, shiny objects when we entered. everything was bright, polished, and pretty. the space was large - really large compared to that of all my dining experiences at new york restaurants.

the hostess politely told us that our table would be ready in just a few moments, so we went downstairs to the bar area to wait. i enjoyed a nice cold "morimotini". i can't remember if this was vodka or sake, but it was really good, with just a hint of cucumber. as we waited and eyed the scenesters at the bar (this was definitely a trendy place), destructor decided he would really rather wait for a sushi bar seat than a table. so we requested this, and at least two different servers came to check up on us every 10 minutes and were extremely polite in telling us the seats weren't ready yet. to kill time, we take individual trips to the bathrooms, which we'd heard were very high tech. not only was the decor beautiful, but the toilets were definitely japanese robots. i didn't experiment with any of the 10 buttons on the panel - this kind of stuff weirds me out. but the toilet seat was really nice and toasty.

finally, we were fetched and led up to the main floor to be seated at the sushi bar. the moment we sat down our server apologized profusely for the "long wait" (about 40 minutes), even though it was really our own doing since our table was ready moments after we had arrived but we insisted on the sushi bar (best view in the house). after she went away, the manager promptly came over and apologized as well and said he would send out something for us.

at this point i felt really really nice and spoiled. the service here was amazing. i've never experienced this in LA. in LA, if you wait an extra 30 minutes at pizzeria/osteria mozza despite having made a reservation, the restaurant could care less.

anyway, so they brought out a tuna pizza for us, which was basically tuna sashimi placed over a thin, crispy wafer-like object. it was okay, but not my favorite. we ordered other appetizers: kobe beef carpaccio, rock shrimp tempura, and sushi (boring! this last item destructor's choice: he wanted to "see how good the actual sushi was here"). my favorite was the kobe beef carpaccio. beef carpaccio has always weirded me out just a little bit - because i don't eat much beef...much less eat it completely raw. but this was amazing. we watched the chefs behind the counter prepare this over and over again (very popular dish, we were told by our server), pouring hot sesame oil over the plate. unfortunately it was topped with cilantro but luckily we were able to pick around it.

the rock shrimp tempura was good; but sadly, a little bit like eating orange chicken, only with shrimp.

i ordered some sort of sake to accompany my entree but i can't remember what it was. when the server said that one of the specials that night was blowfish, i had to order it ($50?? - expensive little fish!) where else am i going to try this without feeling dicey? it was served in 3 ways: sashimi for the main part, slivers for the skin (and some other part, probably. i wasn't paying attention to what she said, but it was a little crunchy/chewy), and fried with a yummy batter for the cheeks.

destructor got the "surf and turf", which came with kobe beef, and a creative hamachi with avocado and yuzu bowl. mmmmm! also, i have to say my favorite part of his dish were his potatoes. i can't help it since potatoes are my favorite food. they were infused with something like fennel - but maybe they also added crack to them because there was some kind of flavor i just couldn't put my finger on.

for dessert (yes! we saved room) we ordered the blood orange panna cotta. it came in a cute little miso soup dish: when you open it the inside of the lid holds the panna cotta and the bowl held a curious noodle-like substance that was orange flavored. the texture was a little strange - a little bit chewy/gelatinous, but you slurp it like a noodle. to be honest, it kind of looked like a brain. on top was mango sorbet. the panna cotta itself was to die for.

overall our meal was fantastic. the restaurant is beautiful and the ambience is great. when we first arrived i was a little skeptical because it seemed really trendy and sceney (and it is) - usually i equate this to sub-par food. but here, it was not the case. it was a great dining experience.

Sunday, March 16

shoes in new york

stay tuned. more food to come.

Tuesday, March 11

cupcakes and other evil dessert items

i have never been a dessert person. i just simply didn't care for it, really.

until now. i can't figure out why, but lately, i've had the strangest cravings for sweets. whenever i walk by beard papa on my way to nijiya, i devour a cream puff. i find myself buying random cookies: for example i grabbed 3 mini bags of various cookies (which cost $3 EACH!) while standing in line at beard papa. destructor has fallen into the same evil trap lately as well, buying things like panda shaped shortbread cookies on a whim.

so of course we eat dozens of cupcakes during our trip to new york this past weekend. why? whyyyy did i eat so many cupckes?

my favorite by far were the cupcakes from sugar sweet sunshine (label pictured above - obviously the photo was an afterthought post cupcake binge). not only was the frosting made with butter cream (which seems to be the default in nyc?), but there was an almond buttercream topping that is absolutely amazing.

the most memorable one out of this batch was the pistachio cupcake in the top right corner. this is one of the ones with almond butter cream. delicious!!

here is a close up of my beloved pistachio cupcake.

so what about magnolia? of course we went there. i keep hearing about it, so i had to go and find out for myself. at 10pm on a sunday, it probably wasn't busy by new york standards, but we still had to wait in line to pay for our goods, and people came in steadily as we waited.

yum. they were great, but again in my opinion, not as good as the sss cupcakes!

on a separate note, my friend b made some awesome pastries for valentine's day a few weeks ago. she made sampler boxes for all of her friends, and i was lucky enough to get one. she's awesome because i'm sure she stayed up all night making these, but still put them in a beautiful red box for everyone. the treats were so gorgeous and tasty i had to post them:

chocolate cupcakes, a pastry filled with chocolate (i tried to eat only half of this and save the other half for destructor, but i failed), and tiny little heard-shaped cream puffs! the best part was that the cream filling was almond flavored!

i want more! thanks b!