Tanoshi (NYC)

Tanoshi offers one of the most affordable omakases in NYC, and it’s quite easy to make reservations online. I also love that it’s BYOB. For $99, you get 10 courses of amazing fresh fish, and you can add more if you want from their menu on the wall (which changes according to what’s in season).

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Cherry trout

Tanoshi

Amberjack with cherry blossom leaf

Tanoshi

Sardine

Tanoshi

Botan with uni (one of my faves)

Tanoshi

Blue fin toro

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

XXX (FAVE)

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Miso soup

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Additional courses that we ordered a-la-carte.

Tanoshi

Tanoshi

Salmon belly

Tanoshi

I had to get more of this!

Tanoshi

Yellowtail belly.

Tanoshi

Nakaochi

Tanoshi

Sea eel

Tanoshi

Crab brain

Tanoshi

 

Tanoshi
1372 York Ave
New York, NY 10021
b/t 73rd St & 74th St 
https://www.yelp.com/biz/tanoshi-sushi-sake-bar-new-york

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Sushi on Jones (NYC)

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Sushi on Jones 
Bowery Market
348 Bowery
New York, NY 10012

The timer starts. It counts down from 30 minutes. You have 12 courses of sushi presented to you individually and beautifully seasoned. Plus a hand roll for $12 extra. The omakase is only $50, quite a steal in New York City. Oh, and it’s outdoor seating only — 4 seats, for which you have to make reservations for (via text (917) 270-1815). Late for 2 minutes and you don’t get to eat.

We made sure we would be early — in fact, we were in the area an hour before. A few blocks away is Coffee Project, where the deconstructed latte lives.

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But I digress.

Back to the Bowery Market.

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This outdoor foodie paradise has quite a variety of eateries — tacos?

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The Butcher’s Daughter.

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Still waiting…

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There it is. The 4 coveted seats.

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Tea is $2.50 extra. And it’s Yogi tea. Felt a little jipped. No real matcha? Boo. But that’s not what we’re here for. Ready?

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One of the creamiest uni I’ve ever had.

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What you come here for. Uni on wagyu action.

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After the last course, the chef asked if we wanted anything else. We asked for the uni wagyu hand roll, of course!

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At the end of the meal, I wasn’t quite full yet, but the quality is definitely top notch. After the extra hand roll, tax and tips, it came out to be about $84 per person. Try it and let me know what you think.

5/20/15 Saikai (West Village, NY)

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Saikai Dining Bar, a self-proclaimed modern day izakaya. I just came here for the uni.

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Uni Toast. Similar to what I’ve had at Salt & Fat (Astoria, NY).

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Truffle Chawanmushi – egg custard with uni, ikura, kani and truffle sauce. You can really taste the truffle in this.

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Our waiter’s favorite — miso black cod. I loved it but my dining companion thought it was just okay.

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Smoked duck breast with foie gras. I loved lifting the glass off to reveal the smoky aroma.

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You are to combine the 3 together. The foie gras was not too overwhelming.

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Uni pasta. I liked the chewy texture of the Inaniwa udon. However, I still like Basta Pasta’s version better.

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The best part of the meal was dessert. I enjoyed both tremendously. Ginger creme brulee and ume shiso ice cream. Ume shiso?! I couldn’t imagine it, so I had to have it.

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It was quite interesting… and I still can’t figure out if I loved it or not. I think I did.

Overall, I enjoyed the meal and appreciate the modern twist. But many of the dishes have already been done (i.e. Salt & Fat, Basta Pasta, Dieci, etc) and I feel like I’m still waiting for something truly creative and tasty. I definitely see their potential to grow.

Easy to make reservations via Opentable.

Saikai 
24 Greenwich Ave
New York, NY 10011
(646) 838–5599

Nakazawa Dreams of Sushi (NYC)

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Located in the West Village of New York City, notorious for the online reservations that are next to impossible to obtain, Sushi Nakazawa has been on my radar since the well-known documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”.

To get a reservation, you must plan a month and a day in advance. Literally. You better be on your computer at 11:55PM the night before you make the reservation for 30 days later. They take reservations for the bar on OpenTable.

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There are only 10 seats at the bar, which is really where you want to be if you want to be served by Chef Nakazawa. $150 for 20 courses. Sake pairing optional — my dining companion chose the $40 sake pairing.

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Scallop

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There he is. Chef Daisuke Nakazawa, operating with precision and passion at the same time.

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Cuttlefish / shiso leaf
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Golden Eye Snapper 
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Fluke / Yuzu

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Mackerel three way
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Mackerel three way / Spanish / Horse / Saba

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Chef Nakazawa is playful, friendly and down-to-earth. He’ll try to accommodate all his guests and make them laugh. I truly enjoyed his presence.

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Sayonara Prawn / White Sturgeon Caviar

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Dungeness Crab

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With only a finger towel (for eating with your hands) and a bowl of ginger, your sushi is placed on this black slab. Simplistic. The focus is on the sushi.

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Yellowtail / Aged 7 days
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Bonito
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Bluefin Tuna Trio 

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Chef Nakazawa prepares the uni.

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Maine Uni
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Ikura

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After the hand roll, we had an option to get another serving of any course we had. We chose the scallop and uni. Keep in mind this costs extra.

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Freshly grated wasabi.

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Unagi / Tamago

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We finished off the meal with green tea and lychee sorbet.

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It was a great experience that spanned about 2+ hours. There were so many highlights throughout the meal and each course was exquisite. Although I am not a food connoisseur of any kind, I would say that was one of the best meals of my life. Note: There is only one bathroom.

Sushi Nakazawa
23 Commerce St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 924-2212

Miami Beach Eats: The Bazaar by José Andrés

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Continuing from the previous post, we crossed over to Miami Beach and took a stroll. We stumbled upon the Holocaust Memorial, which was breathtaking and at the same time a bit eerie at night.

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“The centerpiece of the Memorial is the Sculpture of Love and Anguish, an enormous bronze representation of an outstretched arm, rising from the earth and stretching toward the heavens. The entire sculpture area comprises vignettes of family members trying to help each other in a final act of love.”

It was a stunning and dramatic piece of sculpture.

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Next, we had a reservation at the Bazaar.

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Please excuse the dark pictures.

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This was a classy restaurant; I would recommend making reservations. The reason I came here was for the innovative “gastronomy” dishes. José Andrés is known for his creative fusion plates. On the menu, there is a new world section and an old world section (for the traditional tapas). We picked several dishes and shared.

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“Cubano” in honor of Cafe Versailles.

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Sea urchin and tempura shiso leaves. Whenever I see uni on the menu, I just have to order it. Apparently, we were the first ones to order this new dish. Chef was so excited he came out to ask us how it was. I liked it!

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Special of the day: Lamb that falls off the bones… so good.

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Cuban Coffee Rubbed Churrasco – highly recommended! There’s this foam on top and passion fruit on the bottom. The meat was tender and juicy. I loved this dish.

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Smoked Oysters: ice and smoke, apple mignonette. The foam was smoky!

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Bone Marrow with Caribbean white truffles, florida citrus, capers.

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Dessert was the best part!

Top: “mango bubble tea”- what a pleasant surprise! I loved this!!!
Bottom: “Pan Con Chocolate” – chocolate cream, cocoa crumble, brioche ice cream, and olive oil.

I loved the creativity that they showed throughout the meal.

Mu Ramen (Long Island City, NY)

Mu Ramen just opened up their brick-and-mortar restaurant in LIC last week, and I’ve been waiting for it since I missed out on its pop-up days last year. Long wait time, cramped space, but was it worth it? YES.

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Look at the noodle-y ceiling.

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They recommend no more than 4 people per seating. I would recommend going solo or with just one other person to really experience this place to the fullest. We sat at the bar, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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If you aren’t one of the 6 lucky ones who get seated at the bar, there is a huge communal seating arrangement in the middle of the restaurant with a view of some succulents growing at the center of the table.

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My view: what seemed like unlimited uni and ikura going into our first appetizer, the famed U&I.

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Uni, spicy maguro, ikura, sesame roasted nori on top of rice. Perfect combination to me. This is the type of dishes I dream about.

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Next, Tonkotsu 2.0: pork based soup topped with chashu pork jowl, kikurage, menma, sesame, and scallions. Also added (at extra charge): roasted corn — HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

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But wait! We also requested a sous vide egg (additional charge as well), which came after. The dude cracked the egg with one hand and it came out perfectly poached…

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The Mu Ramen. The pricier option at $18 (plus $2 for my nitamago, a seasoned soft boiled egg which I NEED in all of my ramen): oxtail and bone marrow based soup, brisket, half sour pickle, menma, cabbage and scallions. I LOVE this broth; so rich and so satisfying. Both of these ramen come with thin noodles, and I really wish there was an option to switch to the thicker kind.

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Our other appetizer was my least favorite: Tebasaki Gyoza. “Deep fried chicken wings stuffed with foie and brioche” sounds like a dream come true for me, but it tasted a little too bread-y for me.

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Inside of the foie wing.

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We watched them work their magic at the counter and secretly wished for more U&I.

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A bite of the pork — I also wish there was a bigger serving of this. I’d be happy with more meat and less noodles.

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I’m already making plans to come back. Cash only. No reservations. (UPDATE 12/11/14: they take reservations by phone now! Same day only, phone lines start at 3pm)

Mu Ramen
1209 Jackson Avenue,
LIC, NY 11101
info@muramennyc.com
Tel: 917.868.8903
Monday-Saturday 5:30pm-10:00pm