Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I'll give it this much - it certainly is an interesting space but more akin to a restaurant that businessmen and tourists and wanna-be's would gravitate to and unfortunately mistakenly believe that it is a good dining experience in NYC. However, as my wife said, in a city where you can have the best of everything, why would anyone come here?
Indeed, why would they? Although we did not have a reservation, we were promptly seated at a large table under the stipulation that we would be done in an hour and a half, which was fine by us. We tried some of the fried dumplings which were adequate but were brought out disturbingly quickly (think simple re-heating of pre-made dumplings) and could have easily come out of the freezer section of Trader Joe's. My wife order a couple rolls of sushi but they too were quite ordinary and I had the Kung Pao Chicken which wasn't even as good as mid-tier Asian fare from Big Bowl.
The only saving grace was dessert - a giant Fortune Cookie filled with white and dark chocolate mousse. However, we waited nearly 15 minutes to place our dessert order. We held our end of the bargain up, but they didn't in terms of ensuring speedy service. Also, we noticed some of the hosts urging a couple men seated close by to take their entrees (they had held off because they were waiting for a friend). Again, restaurants should make their guests feel welcome, not seat them quickly and then try to rush them through their meal so that they can usher in the next round of guests.
Lastly, as we walked out of the loud and packed Tao, it was interesting to see how people had filled the place (from corporate outings to shady men in suits with dolled-up dames) and how it was a bit of a "scene" - but I was left with very ordinary food, high prices and bad service as my memories. Good thing it was a free meal thanks to those gift cards.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
The concept is simple: find NYC freaks who want to dance, get naked and have the chance to win some money. Once again proving that people will do anything to be on TV, it's an absolute trainwreck...and by that I mean, it's awesome television. Why didn't I think of this? People from all walks of life (young, old, fat, thin, pretty, ugly - alright they're mostly ugly here), pick their favorite videos and dance in front of the green screen. Meanwhile, they intersperse the dancing with comments from the "contestants" as well as the "host". Of course, they stop it before anyone really gets nude, but in a brilliant move to direct people to the Fuse website, say that you can view "everything" online.
And, in another brilliant move, they just signed former child star and Crystal-meth addict Jodie Sweetin to host this thing. In a word, awesome.
Afterwards, we checked out O'Connors for some $3.50 beers! Good Jukebox there - they had CDs from some personal favorites - The Smiths, Elliott Smith, The Shins, and The New Pornographers...
Saturday, June 24, 2006
I opted for Octopus as my appetizer and ended with the Duck filled Mezzulene. All the food was top notch and service was attentive but not overwhelming. All in all, a great place that will be sure to have us back.
The night before we had some drinks with friends and ended up catching dinner at Sushi Samba in Union Square. We had a couple rolls, shrimp tempura and an empanada. It all hit the spot but we did not opt for (and are craving for) a roll that we saw the chefs prepare for other patrons - one with tuna, caviar, and foie gras - can you say, decadent?
Wednesday night, we were unsuccessful in our attempt to find curtains for our living room, but did end up having a tasty dinner at Macy's Cellar Bar and Grill, which reminds us of InField's back in Chicago at Marshall Field's. Unfortunately, as we headed home, my wife became the victim of an attack - a PIGEON ATTACK! Yes, hair, shirt, pants, and hand were struck by the vile poop of a pigeon. How's that for a New York experience?
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Otherwise it was your standard NYC street fair fare - Mozzarepas - actually, come to think of it, I didn't see the Mozzarepas there today. Okay, but the rest was standard - amidst booths and tables filled with local businesses and organizations, there were the "sushi pillows", tables selling sweat socks and Bruce Ratner trying to win the hearts and minds of Brooklynites with a Nets table (situated closer to South Slope) that handed out Nets tchotchkes and Ratner propaganda - though I did get to meet former Net Albert King who apparently is in many of the Nets Top 10 all-time records.
Walking back up 5th it looked like there was a little Brazilian celebration going on at MeKong Restaurant - which is Vietnamese so that's odd. But hey, who doesn't like to celebrate a World Cup victory?
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Photo courtesy of DrunkAthlete.com
Spent some time walking around The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, then finally checked out the Brooklyn Museum, which is right next door to BBG. It's a nice museum - some of my favorites included Georgia O' Keefe's Brooklyn Bridge and Stuart Davis's Mellow Pad.
What I didn't like was an Untitled piece by Ad Reinhardt which essentially looked like a black painting. Yet it took 6 years. It reminded me of Smell The Glove by Spinal Tap. I mean, how much more black could the painting be? And how is that considered art?
Another thought I had as we surveyed the extensive Egyptian artifacts was how amazing it was that these ancient peoples who were equipped with the most primitive tools could create such incredible and exquisite works of art that would stand the test of time. I mean, nowadays, people are too lazy to learn how to use PowerPoint on their own, which takes no painstaking chiseling or carving (point, click people, point and click).
Afterwards, we headed to The Brooklyn Public Library where I picked up some books that were waiting for me and then we made our way through the Green Market at Grand Army Plaza.
One of my nephews had magical memories of the store when he was there years ago but it was nowhere near magical when we got there. First of all, it was completely overshadowed by the glistening new Apple Store. Next, there was one lone soldier standing guard. And once we entered - no music, not a lot of employees helping out, few products, sparse decoration, etc. It was a fascinating case study of how businesses can go awry but sort of depressing to see a once heralded children's toy store reduced to a mere shell of its once glorious self.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Bubby's is a huge place and by a huge I mean, ginormous. Afterwards, we spent some time at nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park where I snapped the picture to the right.
We said our goodbyes and then set off to check out a little bit of Brooklyn Heights, stopping at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for a scoop of Peach flavored ice cream and some people watching, including lots of wedding photo opps being taken with the scenic skyline in the background.
We then checked out the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which had terrific views of the skyline but wasn't quite what I expected. For some reason, I pictured it being closer to the water and having more grass than pavement.
Then it was back to the Slope, taking in the perfect weather, walking by the stoop sales and heading home after a long but fun afternoon.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Sunday, June 04, 2006
It's been about 4 months that we've been Brooklynites but no sushi place has captured our hearts quite like Nohana did.
Last weekend, we tried Geido on Flatbush Ave. It seemed promising at first, but the miso soup was too salty, the tempura string beans so-so, the gyoza alright and the sushi subpar.
Midweek, I found myself in the West Village for a co-workers' going away party at Sushi Samba. Sure, the food was tasty but there was too much going on and too much family style dining with our group that it wasn't the sushi experience I was necessarily seeking.
Last night, we tried Oshima on 7th Ave in Park Slope. The ambience was nice, service attentive, and the food quality - from the miso soup to the coconut shrimp tempura to the rolls - California, Tuna, and Papaya. Did we just find a new favorite mid-tier sushi place to call home?