It’s been awhile since stumbling upon a neighborhood gem has been a mode of restaurant discovery. But now that the city is reopening, physically walking through neighborhood blocks and finding something interesting that is newly opened is more relevant. Case in point is my recent dinner at Sushi Ikumi, a small sushi restaurant that could not be more nondescript. I walked past the simple dark blue awning multiple times, not knowing a restaurant was there, and the absence of visible letter signage didn’t help, until that one day I happened to pay closer attention and saw diners through the window. I made dinner reservations soon after, and had an excellent chef’s tasting omakase. I went to Nakazawa a month earlier, which was also excellent, but Sushi Ikumi’s omakase surpassed that experience.Read More
There’s something called the rule of thirds in photography that serves as a guide for taking a visually interesting and balanced picture. It’s also the name of a Japanese restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and while I’m not quite clear on why it was named Rule of Thirds, it is very clear to me that this is a visually beautiful restaurant where things like presentation and balance are carefully adhered to.Read More
Biting into a tender and marbled piece of Japanese wagyu beef is one of the greatest pleasures of a meat lover’s life. Meat like this comes at a high premium, though, and it’s not like you can just roll up to a Whole Foods and buy several pounds of it. There are plenty of restaurants in New York City that offer wagyu beef dishes, but if you’re lucky enough to be downtown, you can stop by the butcher Japan Premium Beef in Noho, which specializes almost exclusively in Japanese and American wagyu.
Our meal at Llama San initially felt like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Little annoyances started to pile up and threaten our dinner. We sat down and the banquette wasn’t quite comfortable. We asked for a wine recommendation, and the sommelier picked something from Greece, which was not that exciting to us. The wine was then served in cups, as opposed to wine glasses. We all know that the wine glass makes a difference, right? That’s how Zalto makes its money. And when we looked at the neighboring table, somehow they were given wine glasses and we weren’t. So then we felt paranoid, that maybe our economical choice of Greek wine wasn’t worthy of a wine glass, so then we demanded that they switch our glasses, only to learn that these cups were how Peruvians traditionally drank their house wines.Read More
You won’t get a table at Nami Nori on your first try. Waiting in line early before the restaurant opens doesn’t guarantee this either. My first attempt at Nami Nori resulted in a host quoting me an hour and 45 minute wait time, leading me to defect to Jeju Noodle Bar. Of course, I made the mistake of rolling in at a prime dinner hour of 7 pm, so I figured if I came before the restaurant opened, I would definitely have a shot.Read More