Monday, May 30, 2011

LOVE for San Francisco

Just got back to humid New York after a whirlwind 4-day trip to SF where we reunited with family, attended my cousin's beautiful wedding, played with the most adorable babies, saw old friends, and ate and ate and ate. Here are a few snapshots; I'll be posting more in detail later on this week.

Missing San Francisco very much. Good night.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

San Francisco, Here I come!

And... I'm off to San Francisco, my hometown and one of my favorite cities in the world. I'm there for my cousin's wedding, but I am definitely trying to squeeze in too many meals into this short trip-- In n Out (healthy fast food...), Swan Oyster Depot (omg the smoked salmon), Hog Island Oyster Co. ($1 oysters, anyone?), 5A5 Steakhouse (happy hour!), R&G Lounge (perfect rehearsal dinner spot for foodies), Tartine (you need to go here right now if you haven't tried their bread pudding), and many more. Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to satiate all of these cravings because of both time and clothing restraints (although thankfully I chose a rather stretchy dress for the wedding), but I will try my best!

Beautiful Palace of Fine Arts, where my sister and I used to feed bread to the ducks and where a pigeon once sat on my sister's head.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thin Crust Heaven at Michael Angelo's Pizzeria

There are great places to eat if you're willing to venture out of Manhattan. Michael Angelo's Pizzeria is such a cozy little neighborhood restaurant with amazing thin crust pizza.
There was only one other table with guests while we ate dinner, but a never-ending flow of people came in to pick up pizzas throughout the hour we were there.

Portobello mushrooms sauteed with asparagus and red bell peppers $11.95. A simple appetizer with a little too much balsamic vinegar.

Small margherita pizza $12.75. Really fresh mozzarella and thin, crunchy crust.

There's a nice patio in the back that will be great for the summertime. Definitely coming back here.

29-11 23rd Ave
Astoria, NY 11105
Phone number: (718)932-2096


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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Happy Weekend!

I took this picture a few summers ago when my friend and I were eating our way through Europe. I thought it was quite fitting since it was just announced that a Laduree is opening in the Upper East Side this July. Very exciting!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gwyneth Paltrow's Fried Zucchini Spaghetti

My sister and I have recently gotten really into making more interesting dishes for dinner. Following an obsession with Tracy Anderson, Gwyneth Paltrow's personal trainer who apparently re-shaped Gwyneth's butt and keeps her toned and very good looking, my sister bought Gwyneth's cookbook My Father's Daughter.

Reading the introduction and little anecdotes make me wish I grew up cooking and bonding with my father in the kitchen too, but alas, the only time my dad steps foot in the kitchen is when he's rummaging through the fridge for chocolate or asking when dinner will be ready.
Of the recipes we've tried, one of our favorites is the fried zucchini spaghetti. It calls for very few ingredients, is relatively quick, and absolutely delicious.

3/4 pound (3/4 box) spaghetti
3 zucchini, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour (we actually used wheat flour and that was fine too)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pasta water, to thin
Freshly ground black pepper
Handful fresh basil leaves (approx. 5 leafy stems)

Boil the spaghetti in salted water until just al dente. Meanwhile, toss the zucchini with the flour. Heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over high heat and add a single layer of zucchini. Stir and flip occasionally until well browned and a little crispy (around 4 minutes). Place zucchini on a plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all zucchini is cooked.
Whisk cheese with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the pasta water until creamy. Drain the spaghetti and add to the Parmesan mixture. Toss together, season with salt and pepper, and fold in two-thirds of the fried zucchini and the basil.
Serve with zucchini on top and some grated Parmesan.

Serves 4. Preparation time: around half an hour.

Cookbook photo from Eater

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Holiday Envy

My best friends spent last weekend in Phuket, Thailand, and I am so very envious...

They chilled,

took pictures,

had LAKSA,

ate my favorite dessert of mango and sticky rice,

got pampered,

and stood thisclose to durian (aka the king of fruits).

Le sigh.

Photos taken from Jing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Taste Good Malaysian Cuisine

Gotta love Asian restaurant names... I found this place on Yelp after a long day of building Ikea furniture (specifically this, in case you were wondering). Although all I really did was supervise, watching others do manual labor manages to make me feel productive and exhausted. Therefore I felt like we all deserved a great meal.

Roti Canai (crispy Indian pancake) with chicken curry sauce $2.75. So fresh! When I tore off a piece of the roti it was still moist inside.

Singapore Laksa $6.50. I miss the shopping mall food courts in Singapore so much. I'm glad I finally found a place in New York to fulfill laksa cravings, though. This wasn't as spicy as it looks and was so flavorful.

Salted Fish Chinese Broccoli $9.95. The vegetables were a little too hard; I don't think they were young enough. (Do people say that in English?)

Hainan Chicken (1/4 order) $5.25, Chicken Flavored Rice $1.50.

Such a delicious meal! Also, it's conveniently located right next to Hong Kong Supermarket and the E,M,R trains.

82-18 45th Avenue
Elmhurst, NY 11373
Phone number: (718)898-8001
*Cash only

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Taste Good on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Delicious Delicious Lobster at Fish

My sister was really craving oysters, and when we came to Fish in 2009, we loved the bluepoint special oyster deal of $8 for 6 oysters and a house wine or P.B.R. Since my cousin was in town from San Francisco, we decided it'd be a great time to check the place out once again. We got to the restaurant at 7:30pm on Friday night and waited an hour and a half before we were seated.

A nice surprise: the $8 oyster deal has not changed! The con: the oysters were so, so bland. It was like they had all been dunked in tap water until all flavor had been zapped out.

Fried Calamari with marinara sauce $13. Hot and freshly fried, but could have used more seasoning.

Lobster Feast (market price) $20, includes 2 sides. We chose fries and corn. My sister and I shared this, and halfway through, we ordered another lobster. Totally worth the hour-plus wait.

Our second lobster that we destroyed very quickly $14. After ordering the Lobster Feast, one can order another lobster without the sides for $14. This second one was substantially larger than the first.

280 Bleecker Street (between Jones Street & Commerce Street)
New York, NY 10014
Phone number: (212)727-2879


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Fish on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Weekend!

This weekend is off to a great start! My generous sister treated me to a fantastic dinner at Beauty & Essex, my new camera arrived today, and it was payday! Friday the 13th was very good indeed...

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Surprisingly Superb Dinner at Nuela

*Update: Closed as of June 2012.

To be honest, I didn't have high expectations for Nuela. I first noticed the restaurant back in January because it was on the list of participants for Restaurant Week. Since then, it's been in the back of my mind for restaurants I'd someday like to try but not necessarily one that I must put on the top of my google doc right away.
Last week I finally got around to trying it, and was so impressed, I'd definitely like to visit again in the near future!

Please excuse the blurriness of this picture.

Grilled corn with onions.

Charred Octopus Causa $14. Grilled octopus with onions and avocado on top of potato puree. The potatoes were quite bland because there was no butter added, but the octopus had a hint of spiciness, and together with the salty black olives, the combination worked well.

Arroz Con Pato $32. Roasted duck breast, confit thighs & gizzards seared foie gras, verde rice, soft duck egg. (This dish is meant for two people). First thoughts were: sounds like a strange combination, but my first bite? OMG, magnificent. Every piece in this dish was so well done that I could have closed my eyes and blindly poked my fork into the pan and been happy with whatever got picked up. The duck was slightly sweet and so tender, the chicken meat literally fell off the bone, and the foie gras was seared perfectly, with a touch of pink on the inside. I felt that the rice nicely tied everything together.

The only complaint:
The service was confusing at times. A male server took our orders, a lady then served us our food, the manager then came over when we were given the Arroz Con Pato, and he was kind enough to split it for us. Later, the bill was brought to us by someone we'd never seen. It was kind of frustrating because we never knew who to ask for help.

43 West 24th Street (between Broadway & Madison Avenue)
New York, NY 10010
Phone number: (212)929-1200


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Nuela on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Decent Pizza at Patsy's Pizzeria

My sister and I recently visited Patsy's Pizzeria after a long day of shopping. Since the weather was mild and pleasant, we sat right next to the open doors that led to the sidewalk seats.

Not a very interesting interior.

Fried zucchini and eggplant with garlic yogurt dipping sauce (placed in the tower of chips) $10.45. Delicious. Some of the chips were a bit too salty, but the yogurt sauce balanced it out. I wish the garlic flavor in the sauce was stronger though; the more overpowering, the better!

Small pizza with pepperoni $17.50. (Small pie: $15, large pie: $17, each topping is $2.50). The crust was more on the chewy side, which I'm not such a fan of, but I really liked that there were herbs scattered all over the pizza.

The two dishes were decent but nothing spectacular. I probably wouldn't visit again unless I was very hungry and happened to be nearby.

206 East 60th Street (between 2nd Avenue & 3rd Avenue)
New York, NY 10022
Phone number: (212)688-9707

Other locations:
61 West 74th Street

509 3rd Avenue

67 University Place

318 West 23rd Street

1312 2nd Avenue


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