We’ve been regulars at a local ramen place - Ramen California - for some time however recently they changed management and menus. The results are not encouraging, and it was enough to motivate me to join Yelp and write my first review.
Awesome Italian restaurant in NYC. Review of sister restaurant in NYTimes here. We had a great lunch under a glass roof during a summer rain in the city - great food and service. Go try this restaurant if in New York’s midtown area.
Evidently Stage is quite the fixture in NYC. I went with some co-workers and ordered one of the many sandwiches named after a celebrity who supposedly came up with the recipe. I can’t remember the recipe I ordered but I got an open-faced sandwiches with about two pounds of meat on it. AWESOME! It was actually too much for me to eat and I’m 6’2” 215lb, so that’s saying something. If near Times Square you gotta try Stage.
This place is evidently a historical fixture in the financial district and the Wall Street crowd (website). The food is good, the wine list is extensive and the service very friendly. For beef fans like me you can get a filet mignon larger than the 8oz portion if you ask.
Javier’s has a nice (and popular — what recession?!) bar and good food, with a strong offering of seafood dishes. They have bathroom attendants (which I’ve never been fond of) but I won’t hold it against them.
If you ever decide recreate the “Sideways” wine tasting experience you should include Los Olivos Cafe in your plans as it was host to one of the dining scenes in the movie. While Kathy and I weren’t trying to recreate the pathway of that movie (which I actually found to be irritating when I watched it a few years ago) we were staying right next door at Fess Parker’s inn and decided to walk over and check it out. The food was great and they have a little area to sit outside which, frankly, was better than the somewhat noisy interior. The wine list is huge as you’d expect and the menu has several selections using local - and it appears sustainably farmed - selections on their menu. Definitely worth a visit.
Some of the fussy reviews I saw on Yelp and Tripadvisor (and some of the conversations I overheard while at the cafe) make me wonder if an unfortunate second legacy of the Sideways movie has people coming up to California’s coastal wine country with a rod so far up their…um, “palate”… that they make the experience a whole lot more pretentious than it needs to be. I think these folks are a relatively small percentage but its humorous to watch them as they go. It’s food and wine guys: eat, drink and be happy.
Kathy and I just came back from a restaurant we’ve been meaning to try: Il Chianti in Lomita, CA. Located not far from where we live, Il Chianti is a place that we’ve driven by repeatedly. We thought it was Italian but it’s actually Italian / Japanese fusion and its wonderful. They sport an excellent wine list and a menu that makes you think quite a bit before ordering because there are so many choices.
They have a location in West Tokyo as well. The menu is organized in classic Italian format, but all the descriptions are in kanji - with english translations as a secondary line of text. Beautiful decorations inside.
Tonight we had:
- 2006 Arcano Chianti Colli Senesi organic dry red wine (fabulous)
- Ceasar salad (good)
- Tuna tartare (best part of our meal; this was a huge cake of Tartare, covered in onions and some kind of fish eggs that was served with sliced Italian soft bread pre-moistened with olive oil)
- Onion soup (basically a French Onion soup; this was done very well)
- Midnight Spaghetti (served almost udon style with tons of sauce and noodles/mushrooms floating in it)
And we didn’t even scratch the surface. We’ll need to return to try other things.
Recommended by my business partner this nondescript little sushi spot off of El Camino Real in south Palo Alto has it going on when it comes to great sushi. If they have it be sure to get the Fire Sake which is salmon sushi lightly seared with a blowtorch yielding a zebra-like striped coloring and a slightly different taste. I plan on returning to this place; these guys know their sushi!
Excellent seafood if near Times Square in NYC. Ambiance is typical W, and the Sea Bass roll is worth trying out. Check out the Blue Fin online. They have a very extensive (although not cheap) wine list.
I’m not going to write about every Burger King I get stuck at while travelling, but I hadn’t been in the Detroit airport since they renovated it and while I had a couple hours to kill there I decided to try their onsite Japanese restaurant.
I tentatively walked in - my preconception was, “how good can an airport sushi bar be” - but I have to say it was quite respectable. Not an exceptional japanese restaurant like a Nobu or anything but hey, if you’re in Detroit and you like sushi and would like a drink then get rid of the preconception that good sushi doesn’t exist in the midwest and give this place a try. Miso soup was good, as was the sushi and they have a full line of Japanese beverages. What more could a travelling sushi addict ask for?
Had a business lunch at Abigails - great asian (or, I think, asian-fusion) cuisine. Their Pad Thai was a little veggie-heavy and out of character from what I’m used to, but that could just be due to my ignorance of Thai food in general.