Eating my way through NYC – Day 2

The first day in NYC was pretty rainy, but the weather looked up the next few days! Day 2 also consisted a LOT of eating! Some cool things we saw – Toy Tokyo with a ton of cool toys and trinkets. Got some funko pop dolls. It also happened to be the Halloween Dog Parade at the Thompskins Square Park so we stopped by to check all the dogs in their cute costumes. We also walked part of the Highline before it started raining! I hope you guys are ready for the photo food bomb.

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We started the morning at the Donut Plant in Lower Manhattan. This is the creme brulee donut! They were the ones to start this delicious fad.

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The inside of the donut.

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We also got the peanut butter with huckleberry jam donut. This one definitely hit the spot! It has a delicious crunch.. I’d say it was jammin. 😉 They definitely pack it plenty throughout the donut although it may not seem like it.

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For brunch, we went to this Vegetarian restaurant called Dirt Candy. I haven’t had much vegetarian food but this was pretty delicious! This is my friend’s layered omelette with a mint cilantro radish filling and whipped goat cheese plus potatoes.

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Cabbage sandwich – stir fried broccoli, grilled pea vines, with mint and romaine plus potatoes. This was great and not too heavy feeling with all of the veggies.

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Cabbage sandwich – fried tofu with avocado and kimchi plus greens salad. This sandwich was definitely heavier feeling, but I think I liked it better than the greens. This had more complex flavors that was comforting.

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After walking around Highline Park, we meandered to check out the Todd English Food Hall. We got some decadent, sweet crepe cakes from Lady M Boutique. This is the vanilla crepe cake. Whoa yum – so light and airy.

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This was the caramel chocolate cake. Of course indulging in some desserts before dinner 😉

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Dinner was at the infamous Momofuku Noodle Bar! Starters consisted of chicken wings….

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…and these delicious shrimp buns! Definitely not what I expected but quite tasty! I love a good Sriracha mayo sauce.

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We decided to try the momofuku ramen even though we had already had ramen the previous night. Hahah we had to try. The pork shoulder is definitely something else. Wow.

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We also got the ginger scallion noodles. These are cold noodles with pickled shiitake, cucumber, and nori. Mix it up all together and you’ve got yourself a fabulous concoction. To be honest I realllly enjoyed these and this might have been even better than the ramen.

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Okay we walked a bit more and got some late night eats at Baohaus created by Eddie Huang (Fresh Off the Boat!). I was pretty full but I couldn’t stop. Taro fries with more Sriracha mayo and a couple of pork belly baos. That’s what I call a night capper.

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Jk, this is the night capper. Got some milk soft serve ice cream with cereal toppings. What a filling day indeed. I was pretty bloated and on the verge of a food coma but I had to fit this one in. We also came by before we left to cop some cookies ^__^

A day in Portland

I recently went to visit some friends in Portland and tried to consume as much deliciousness as possible. Thought I’d share my food adventures with ya’ll. The layout of this post will be slightly different than my previous as I’ll just give a brief overview of each place instead of something in depth. Enjoy!

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Breakfast stop at Blue Star Donuts: I’ve been here a couple of times and it’s definitely my choice of donuts > Voodoo! Sadly, the bacon maple was out 🙁 I’ll be back for it next time. This is the apple fritter! Delicious with huge chunks of apple. They have several locations scattered around Portland. Luckily we went on a Thursday morning and there was no line! Expect a wait if you go during a weekend.

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Thirst quench at Tea Bar: Not your average bubble tea place. Definitely feeling the hipster vibe with a clean, modern space. There is a ton of natural light from large windows which gives it a perfect atmosphere for getting work done.We sat at the bar where we could watch the barista make drinks. Left –> Right: vanilla rose milk tea, ginger lemon tea toddy, and the honey matcha. My vanilla rose was quite more vanilla tasting than rose. 16 ounces for $5 seems a little pricey although if you sit in, you get to drink it in this really cute logo mason jar. The ginger lemon toddy is blasting with ginger flavor to ensure cure of any sore throat you may have. The matcha was quite interesting. The barista even had a bamboo whisk for mixing the match powder. It has a VERY strong flavor of matcha! You’ve been warned! Overall, a cute place to do some work in a quiet and aesthetically pleasing cafe.

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Lunch at Mama Chow’s: Located in busy downtown Portland, this food cart is only open weekdays during lunch. Lucky for those who work nearby!

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Simple menu

img_3880Lollipop wings (top left and bottom right): These were very juicy, tender, and crisp wings. I loved that these were very easy to eat and you get 5 of them in your bowl!
Chicken dumplings (top right and bottom left): These came with a spicy dipping sauce that went well with this protein. They do not skimp on the meat inside!
These were over a bed of bok choy and garlic noodles. This was probably my favorite thing I had that day. The portions are also HUGE. I couldn’t even finish. I was stuffed but I kept eating the garlic noodles… they are quite addicting. I loved that they had bok choy as their veggie as it added to the Asian flavors. Overall a very tasty dish and I can’t wait to come back for more.

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Food coma prevention at Stumptown Coffee: I know we have this in Seattle, but I rarely visit the cafe. We just happened to be near Stumptown so we decided to stop by after some arcade games at Wunderland. I got the nitro cold brew. It’s so clean and smooth tasting! It looks like it could be milk inside.. cool illusion with the gas. Yum and it gives such a caffeine kick.

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Dinner at Kim Jong Grillin: We ate at another food truck for dinner. They’ve got a permanent station on Division Street with a nice cover and lunch tables in case in rains. I got the bibimbap bowl with kalbi. I really wanted to like this place but the dressing/sauce over the salad was wayyy to spicy for me. The short ribs were also a little too salty. Despite that, I really like the japchae/rice mix that they used. The rice was even crispy! Our food took a while because of online/phone orders that were put it. They give a large portion of food that I failed to finish. I think if they refined these things, it would make the dish that much better! They were also generous with the kalbi serving.

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Dessert at Salt and Straw: Ohhhh the infamous Salt and Straw! You know there is always a line if you go after dinner. You can’t skip that for sure. They’re known for their wacky and wild flavors and combinations that somehow work and end up tasting AMAZING. Seasonal as well as staple flavors. My friend got the olive oil in a vanilla base flavor that tasted like butter. I got the pear and bleu cheese (with chunks of both) also in a vanilla base that was so delicious! This combination worked well and my stomach was smiling. We got kid scoops which is why they look tiny in these huge waffle cones. It might look small but it was very filling!

Promise I’m back! Featuring Sushi Kashiba

Sorry for the realllly long hiatus! I’m happy to say that I’ve finally graduated from pharmacy school and am officially a licensed pharmacist! 🙂 Now I can afford to pay for more delicious outings and adventures. To start off this great come back with a bang… I’ll share my anniversary dinner at Sushi Kashiba. The owner of Sushi Kashiba, Shiro is an apprentice of Jiro, a world renowned sushi chef in Japan (owns Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 3 Michelin starred sushi restaurant and in the documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi). This restaurant is located next to Pike’s Place Market in downtown Seattle. Only open for dinner (5-10pm). They do take reservations, however the sushi bar is first come first serve. The bar consists of 14 seats, however the first 6 seats is where Shiro serves his guests. We arrived around 4:20 pm on Sunday and there were already 3 people waiting in line. Yessss! We’ll get to be served by Shiro (if he’s working that day). About 15 minutes before opening, another person joins the first guy in line. My bf says to me “hey.. isn’t that guy in Jiro Dreams of Sushi? It’s the guy I just read an article about! The tamago guy!” Lo and behold it sure was! Daisuke Nakazawa! He was trained by Jiro AND Shiro! He now has his own restaurant in NYC… and turns out he was only sitting 3 seats away from us.. *gasp*

Sorry for that super long winded intro but onto the next!

Atmosphere: The restaurant has a very modern feel that is spotless. As I mentioned above, there are 14 seats at the sushi bar and several tables in the restaurant. It’s very well lit, clean, with a nice overlooking view of Pike’s Place.

Pricing: We did omakase, essentially leaving it up to the chef to choose for us. There is no set price and is really dependent on how much you eat. You can let the chef know when you’re about 80% full and they will serve you their final piece. We went the whole 9 yards and finished the entire course which ended up to be about $125/pp.

Service: There were plenty of servers perusing the restaurant to refill your water even at about half empty. The real service is provided by the sushi chefs. What really made our dining experience special was our interactions with Shiro. He provided context behind the fish and even cracked some hilarious jokes himself!

Food: warning – photo dump!
sny00132Seated at the bar facing Shiro smiling with Daisuke (in the blue jacket)

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The rest of the seats to our left.

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Seated right in front of Shiro!

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And we’re off! We ate right to left, but I’ll name in order from left to right.
Tuna galore: blue fin zuke (marinated), blue fin belly, blue fin, albacore. My favorite would have had to been the fatty belly that melted in my mouth 🙂

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Salmon trio: seared king salmon belly, king salmon onion, and sockeye salmon with lemon and sea salt. My favorite would have to be the salmon onion. Great flavors that also had a nice texture of firm and fat. The sockeye had a little bit too much wasabi and it went up my nose so much! Whoa!

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Amberjack kanpachi and hamachi (yellowtail). Kanpachi was my favorite of this duo. Bright flavors!

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Live spotted prawns there were definitely moving… Shiro said “sayonara time!” and killed these bad boys for our eating pleasure.

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5 minutes later… we have a tempura shrimp head and prawn nigiri. He told us we had to eat the whole head, even the legs. The texture was not too crunchy and crispy enough. The nigiri had an amazing texture!

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Seared scallop and geoduck. He said the geoduck can live to be 120 years old and said this one was 80 years old… Then said “jking I actually have no idea,” lol. I’ve never had geoduck so I’m not sure how to gauge it. The scallops were great and super tender. The geoduck was a little tougher/firm and even slightly crunchy.

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Negi toro hand roll! Shiro told us it’s not a French restaurant and to take huge bites.. (max 2 bites!) Delicious! Especially with the crispy seaweed.

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Sea bream, flounder fin, and flounder. The flounder fin was tasty and slightly seared. Shiro said you can only get about 8-9 pieces from one flounder fin.

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“Mackerel festival” is what Shiro called it. King mackerel from Florida, Norwegian mackerel, pickled herring from Alaska, and Spanish mackerel. My favorite was the Norwegian mackerel which actually had an herb underneath it to accentuate the flavor. My bf asked what kind of herb it was. Shiro responds “shiso leaf, Japanese marijuana, okay to use in Washington..” lolol

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King and snow crab. First time trying either of these sushi style and we ate the R to L.
“Man this snow is really good….” 10 seconds later. “Omg I think the King might be even better”
“Also I’m really full.. when does this end?!”

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Shiro: what’s octopus called in Japanese?
Us: tako!
Shiro: it’s tako time!
Tako on the left and squid on the right. Squid’s texture was much tougher, similar to the geoduck. The tako was quite tasty with the seaweed piece and firm yet melted in your mouth. The couple next to us is about to tap out (we continue to power through although struggling) and Shiro says the next one is eel and then tamago! They say okay okay let’s do it.

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One of my favorites is eel and this was prepared in such a unique way! Tempura eel with sesame seeds. Shiro calls it “pre-dessert.” Delicious and not at all spiny.

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Tamago! Okay I definitely couldn’t eat this in one bite. Sorry I had to split it. Nice sweet egg to finish on.

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Sushi Kashiba is located in the alley way to the right. Gorgeous night in Seattle!

Overall: Without a doubt, one of the best dining experiences in Seattle. I didn’t really know what to expect as Jiro seemed so stern and serious in his documentary. I read it’d take about 2 hours for the full omakase and it sure did. This is definitely an experience sitting at the sushi bar. If I did omakase at a table, the experience would have totallly been different.. even being served by another chef at seat #7 would have been different. Like I said, we were so lucky and the odds were in our favor for being served by Shiro near the great Daisuke! Get in line early! It’s so worth it 🙂

Sushi Kashiba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Super sick!

For our anniversary dinner (I know a lot of celebrating this month), my boyfriend and I went to Super Six located in Columbia City. I was really excited for this because the chefs of Marination Station were behind this excellent asian fusion creation. We went on the 2nd night it was open and there was about a half hour wait for the two of us. It definitely got packed as the night went on.

Atmosphere: The owners took over an automobile shop on Hudson. This spot has a ton of outdoor seating. There is quite limited seating indoors. Not sure how that’ll turn out when it gets colder. The restaurant’s core features a bar with several tables surrounding it. The bar is open seating if you could snag a seat.

Pricing: A little more pricy than Marination Station, but still has a great Hawaiian fusion element to the food. Small appetizers range from $5-12, larger entrees range $14-21.

Service: Our waitress, Jasmine was really enthusiastic and did such a great job of being attentive to us. She has a lot of energy and represented the restaurant really well. She made great recommendations for us.

Food:
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Kalbi short ribs with scallion salad: nice flavor to the kalbi that wasn’t overpowering. The salad was a little too spicy for my liking but it was a nice touch to the dish.

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Kalbi pork belly musubi: whoaaaaaa this melts in your mouth like no other! I think they could put a little less rice and maybe a tad more sauce, but overall it was so delicious.

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Korean fried chicken with Char siu sauce. They have two other sauces – ono and spicy korean, but I was warned that the spicy was quite spicy so I tried this. You can try all three sauces for $24! This was $9.

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Pineapple Thai-Basil soda – great flavors! It came out a little late, but it was worth the wait. Nice punch with the acidic pineapple and you can really taste the basil, but it wasn’t too overpowering.

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Aloha fries – kalua pork, kimchi mayo, scallions, and fried egg. The kalua pork is a little too salty, but when you break the yolk and really eat it all together, the yolk smooths out the saltiness of the pork. I wish there was more of the kimchi mayo sauce because that was also superb.

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Lomi lomi tomato salad with fried Maui sweet onion and shiso. Nice bright tomatoes that was basically the definition of fresh. Can’t go wrong with yummy onion straws.

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We kind of went a little wild with the dessert. This is the lilikoi chiffon pie with haupia and tapioca. This fluffy dessert melted in my mouth and did not have a hint of heaviness. If this is what clouds tasted, this dessert would be it.

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With caramel drizzle!

IMG_3196Super six sundae – passion fruit caramel with red velvet. Blasting with flavor and sweetness. I would probably choose the pie over this. They also have masalada donuts that were quite tempting…

Overall: I think this is a great location for a new restaurant. I feel like Columbia City is really growing with business and life. There’s a huge PCC a couple blocks down and Salted Sea that has also recently opened. I think the chefs of Marination Station really made a smart move. The restaurant was definitely busy and constantly packed! Everything on the menu looked good and honestly I would try every single dish if I could. I’m happy they’re in the neighborhood. We also made a suggestion for to-go desserts!

Super Six Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

L-yay –> L-wee

Hi all! I’m so so sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve been a little busy with work, rotations, and catching up with friends to post but I finally managed to have some time to blog! This post will be a little bit different and feature a collection of places I visited over my trip to LA and Vegas. I hope you enjoy my quick snippets 🙂

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Snow Monster: Located in Santa Ana, this charming dessert place features a number of delectable items. Mango shave ice with mochi and strawberry, thai tea boba with tapioca in an enormous mason jar that you can pay to keep, and a fruity pebbles macaron with a scoop of taro ice cream in the middle. Cutest collection of desserts one could concoct.

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LACMA: Urban lighting! Free to look at, located right off the street.

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Brodard’s: Another place in Santa Ana to visit. These special spring rolls include lettuce, carrot, special grilled pork sausage, crunchy outer egg roll shell, cucumber, chives, rice paper, and special house sauce. These unique spring rolls are no where else to be found!

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Popbar at Anaheim Packing District: You’ve probably seen this all over Instagram. Left: strawberry gelato bar kit kat style. Right: Green tea gelato kit kat style. Delicious gelato that’s dipped in chocolate and toppings and made right in front of you. Expect a little bit of a line! This hipster building features other delicious foods with different backgrounds. You’re bound to find something you like here.

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Samurai burrito: There’s a lot going on in this picture. Featured up close and personal are the Samurai super nachos – deep fried wonton crisps topped with crab, salmon, tuna, eel, masago, green onions, furikake, and rooster sauce. VERY filling and definitely shareable between at least 4 people. In the background are a collection of different sushi burritos. The one that I got was the geisha (right most) – salmon, sliced green onion, cucumber, crab mix, and shibu-yu house mix.

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Shake Shack: Finally a Shake Shack on the West side! This is located at the New York New York Hotel. This is a picture of the shack stack. The deep fried portion is of a mushroom filled with American cheese. It’s quite delicious! They also have other burgers but this is by far my favorite. They’re also known for their custards. Lots of different things to try on the menu!

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the food highlights of my trip and if you get a chance, to visit them yourself! Have a lovely week everyone!