Tag Archives: Japanese

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

Chawanmushi is not a dish you see on many menus at hip, seasonal Brooklyn restaurants. But Olmsted is not your typical hip, seasonl Brooklyn restaurant. It’s the best restaurant I visited all year and the fact that Chef Greg Baxtrom is reinterpreting this Japanese egg custard is a win for everyone involved (the Japanese, the Brooklynites, and the diners). A rotating roster of seasonal ingredients (like earthy truffles or maitake mushrooms) come mixed with charred onions and that delicate creamy egg custard. Price: $16
OLMSTED
659 Vanderbilt Avenue (between Park Place and Prospect Place),
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
(718) 0552-2610
olmstednyc.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

One of my favorite meals of last year was at the clandestine East Village sushi temple Kura. Well I was stoked this year when the Kura folks opened a secret room of udon. On a winter night, I can’t think of anything more restorative than the thick toothsome noodles in a warm, clear complex seaweed broth. Price: $15
RAKU
342 East 6th Street (between First and Second Avenue),
East Village
(212) 228-1324
rakunyc.com

I’m counting down the 100 best dishes I tasted in 2016…

I really felt like I stumbled upon the next great food find when I saw a modest special on the menu at Takashi. I’ve heard of ramen bowls and ramen burgers but this was the first ramen quesadilla I had seen. And it was great – also a riff on a Japanese okonomiyaki pancake, it was comprised of crisp ramen noodles packed with chewy beef tendon, bold shiso leaf, and aged manchego cheese. And instead of guacamole and salsa, it was topped with the usual okonomayaki garnishes: bonito flakes, Japanese mayo, and seaweed.
TAKASHI
456 Hudson Street (between Morton Street and Barrow Street)
West Village
(212) 414-2929
takashinyc.com

Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

MU RAMEN, 1209 Jackson Avenue (between 48th Avenue and 47th Road), Long Island City, Queens

Mu Ramen has been high on my list (perhaps at the top) of restaurants to try since they opened last year. What started as a secret pop-up in a bagel shop by a former Per Se chef turned into a serious ramen destination in Long Island City. For some reason, I could never get to the restaurant during dinner hours and stories of long lines kept me away.

Finally I found myself in Queens at the 5:00 opening hour and so I proudly walked into the swanky Japanese restaurant and made myself comfortable at the bar. But here’s where things get really ironic. After all this time, I didn’t even order the ramen!!!

(more…)


Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

NAKAMURA, 172 Delancey Street (between Clinton and Attorney Street), Lower East Side

I have been on somewhat of a ramen kick lately. And no, don’t worry, I’m not quite as poor as I was in college. The ramen I’m talking about has nothing to do with the packaged dried noodles with a strange salty meat seasoning.

This is real deal ramen. And as seems to be the case every winter, New York is being bombarded with Japanese ramen-yas all over the city. Since the weather has mostly been frigid the last few months and I’m just now getting over an unpleasant cold, I’ve consumed my fair share of ramen noodles in hot soup.

One of the newest and most-praised establishments also happened to be my favorite of late. Nakamura is the work of a revered Japanese ramen chef who most recently had a stint at Ramen Lab earlier this year. With Nakamura, in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge, he now has his first official New York restaurant. (more…)


Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

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Once upon a time I learned it was a Japanese tradition to eat soba noodles on New Year’s Eve. It’s considered good luck and symbolizes the year passing. I always make sure to get my soba fix in between my cocktails on the last night of the year.

I also felt like keeping the custom alive a few days into the New Year and so we hit up Soba Totto, a cozy Japanese bar specializing in both cold and hot preparations of the buckwheat noodles.

This is a sister restaurant to Yakitori Totto, therefore skewers of grilled meat is naturally in their DNA. So after our bowls of sea urchin soba and an appetizer of housemade tofu, we decided to get a sample of one of their more rare yakitori. (more…)


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