Thanks to reader Rita for the link!
Thanks to reader Rita for the link!
* Photo from summer 2007: Drool warning.
Up until a few years ago, Nakameguro was best known for the narrow, cherry tree-lined Meguro River, which bisects the neighborhood and draws tourists from all corners of Japan, particularly during the spring festival season. Then came the cafes, restaurants, bars and boutiques, most of which are low-key and laid-back, especially when compared with the hustle and bustle in nearby Shibuya.
Today, Nakameguro has gained a reputation as one of Tokyo’s hippest neighborhoods, a harmonious melding of old and new, urban and rustic.
“It’s a hub of celebrities, musicians, designers and comedians,” said Fraser Cooke, who moved to Nakameguro from London three years ago to work as Nike’s global-brand energy leader. “It’s tipped as a major hot spot in the design community, more foreigners live here than ever before, and there’s new restaurants popping up everywhere.”
One of those restaurants, Kijima (1-23-3 Aobadai Towa Building, 3F; 81-3-5720-7366), opened in May; specialties include a delicious shabu shabu salad (1,200 yen, $12.03 at 99.78 yen to the dollar) and kakuni (simmered pork belly; 1,000 yen), as well as nikujaga (beef, potato and onion stew; 1,200 yen), which is finished at your table by a kimono-clad waitress. Kijima’s sliding doors, black walls and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the cherry trees create a vibe that is both elegant and earthy.
Across the river, Higashiya (1-13-12 Aobadai; 81-3-5428-1717; www.higashiya.com) approaches sweets with the same pageantry and detail that Tiffany & Company brings to jewelry. Their exquisite mochi, balls of gelatinous rice filled with edamame paste (300 yen), are eaten not with chopsticks, but a smooth wooden knife that’s as sculptural as it is functional. Handmade ceramics and minimalist décor create an experience that induces calm and serenity, and hints at the ancient tradition of the Japanese tea ceremony.
The LED-streaming signage that ribbons the walls of Cow Books (1-14-11 Aobadai; 81-3-5459-1747; www.cowbooks.jp) is thoroughly modern (during a recent visit, it repeatedly displayed the phrase “Book Bless You”), but the rare, out-of-print and first editions that fill the shelves point more to the 1950s and ’60s. Specializing in the Beats, psychedelia, and writers like Richard Brautigan, the satirist author of “Trout Fishing in America,” the shop is a veritable shrine to Japan’s peculiar, nuanced fascination with Americana.
The owners of Madeleine (1-25-5, Aobadai; 81-090-3500-0560) make a mean latte (390 yen). But perhaps more intriguingly, they do so in the back seat of a cream-colored vintage Citroën — located a literal stone’s throw from Cow Books, just across the Meguro — and serve it out of the rear hatch, which has been converted into a sort of makeshift cafe counter. It’s this kind of resourcefulness that gives the neighborhood its creative, youthful energy.
“Nakameguro is like its own small village,” says Hideaki Ishii, the dreadlocked proprietor of Research (1-14-11, Cooperative House Aobadai 105; 81-3-5459-4699; www.sett.co.jp), a clothing boutique that changes not only its collection each season, but its name too.
“Everything we need is right here — supermarket, bars, restaurants, record store, Thursday night D.J.’s,” said Mr. Ishii. “It’s gotten so that the locals don’t even leave anymore.”
Really, anything other than turkey is better than turkey but this takes the cake: a 6.5 pounder.
A completely non-descript and normal looking young man and his wife are quietly eating lunch. The man says to her, "I am watching all these people around us and you know how in the East Village people may look strange on the outside but they're pretty normal on the inside? It's the opposite here. People appear normal but actually they're dysfunctional and yet overly confident."
Thanks to reader Amy Z, we now know of this lovely site which transports me to a cozy breakfast nook where I am wrapped in an old, soft blanket, classical or jazz music plays softly in the background and I sit down to enjoy the most important meal of the day, simply and serenely.
I love this combination of technology, cultural anthropology, Japan and food!
* Thanks to reader Amy for this great link!!
Reduce Your Risk
Consider this number: 10 million. That's how many cases of cancer are diagnosed worldwide each year. Now consider this number: 15 million. That's how many cases of cancer the World Health Organization estimates will be diagnosed in the year 2020 -- a 50 percent increase -- if we don't get our act together.
Most cancers don't develop overnight or out of nowhere. Cancer is largely predictable, the end result of a decades-long process, but just a few simple changes in your daily life can significantly reduce your risk. Here are 31 great tips.
1. Serve sauerkraut at your next picnic. A Finnish study found that the fermentation process involved in making sauerkraut produces several other cancer-fighting compounds, including ITCs, indoles, and sulforaphane. To reduce the sodium content, rinse canned or jarred sauerkraut before eating.
2. Eat your fill of broccoli, but steam it rather than microwaving it. Broccoli is a cancer-preventing superfood, one you should eat frequently. But take note: A Spanish study found that microwaving broccoli destroys 97 percent of the vegetable's cancer-protective flavonoids. So steam it, eat it raw as a snack, or add it to soups and salads.
3. Toast some Brazil nuts and sprinkle over your salad. They're a rich form of selenium, a trace mineral that convinces cancer cells to commit suicide and helps cells repair their DNA. A Harvard study of more than 1,000 men with prostate cancer found those with the highest blood levels of selenium were 48 percent less likely to develop advanced disease over 13 years than men with the lowest levels. And a dramatic five-year study conducted at Cornell University and the University of Arizona showed that 200 micrograms of selenium daily -- the amount in two unshelled Brazil nuts -- resulted in 63 percent fewer prostate tumors, 58 percent fewer colorectal cancers, 46 percent fewer lung malignancies, and a 39 percent overall decrease in cancer deaths.
4. Pop a calcium supplement with vitamin D. A study out of Dartmouth Medical School suggests that the supplements reduce colon polyps (a risk factor for colon cancer) in people susceptible to the growths.
5. Add garlic to everything you eat. Garlic contains sulfur compounds that may stimulate the immune system's natural defenses against cancer, and may have the potential to reduce tumor growth. Studies suggest that garlic can reduce the incidence of stomach cancer by as much as a factor of 12!
6. Sauté two cloves of crushed garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then mix in a can of low-sodium, diced tomatoes. Stir gently until heated and serve over whole wheat pasta. We already mentioned the benefits of garlic. The lycopene in the tomatoes protects against colon, prostate, and bladder cancers; the olive oil helps your body absorb the lycopene; and the fiber-filled pasta reduces your risk of colon cancer. As for the benefits of all of these ingredients together: They taste great!
7. Every week, buy a cantaloupe at the grocery store and cut it up after you put away your groceries. Store it in a container and eat several pieces every morning. Cantaloupe is a great source of carotenoids, plant chemicals shown to significantly reduce the risk of lung cancer.
The Power of Antioxidants
8. Mix half a cup of blueberries into your morning cereal. Blueberries rank number one in terms of their antioxidant power. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which are unstable compounds that can damage cells and lead to diseases including cancer.
9. Learn to eat artichokes tonight. Artichokes are a great source of silymarin, an antioxidant that may help prevent skin cancer. To eat these delicious veggies, peel off the tough outer leaves on the bottom, slice the bottom, and cut off the spiky top. Then boil or steam until tender, about 30-45 minutes. Drain. Dip each leaf in a vinaigrette or garlic mayonnaise, then gently tear the fibrous covering off with your front teeth, working your way inward to the tender heart. Once there, gently scoop the bristles from the middle of the heart, dip in a little butter or lemon juice, and enjoy!
10. Coat barbecue food with a thick sauce. Grilling meat can create a variety of cancer-causing chemicals. But researchers from the American Institute for Cancer Research found that coating the meat with a thick marinade and thereby preventing direct contact with the charring flames reduced the amount of such chemicals created. Another tip: Precook your meat in the oven and then throw it on the grill to finish.
11. Every time you go to the bathroom, stop by the kitchen or water cooler for a glass of water. A major study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1996 found that men who drank six 8-ounce glasses of water every day slashed their risk of bladder cancer in half. Another study linked the amount of water women drank to their risk of colon cancer, with heavy water drinkers reducing their risk up to 45 percent.
12. Take up a tea habit. The healing powers of green tea have been valued in Asia for thousands of years. In the West, new research reveals that it protects against a variety of cancers as well as heart disease. Some scientists believe that a chemical in green tea called EGCG could be one of the most powerful anticancer compounds ever discovered.
13. Have a beer tonight. Beer protects against the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, known to cause ulcers and possibly linked to stomach cancer. But don't overdo it. Drinking more than one or two alcoholic drinks a day may increase your risk of mouth, throat, esophageal, liver, and breast cancer.
14. Throw some salmon on the grill tonight. Australian researchers studying Canadians (go figure) found those who ate four or more servings of fish per week were nearly one-third less likely to develop the blood cancers leukemia, myeloma, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Other studies show a link between eating fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and tuna, as well as shrimp and scallops) with a reduced risk of endometrial cancer in women. Ah, those amazing omega-3s at it again!
15. Take a multivitamin every morning. Many studies suggest getting the ideal levels of vitamins and minerals can improve your immune system function and help prevent a variety of cancers.
All Together Now
16. Get about 15 minutes of sunlight on your skin each day. You've heard of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D haven't you? Turns out we've been so good at heeding advice to slather on sun lotion and avoid the sun's rays that many of us aren't getting enough of this valuable nutrient. Researchers find that getting too little vitamin D may increase your risk of multiple cancers, including breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, and stomach, as well as osteoporosis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and high blood pressure.
The best source? Exposure to UVB rays found in natural and artificial sunlight. About 15 minutes a day ought to do it. Avoid overexposure, of course. That can increase your risk for cancers of the skin. You can also get vitamin D in your calcium supplement if you choose a supplement that contains both.
17. Carry a shot glass in your beach bag. Then fill it with sunscreen and rub it all over your body. A shot glass holds about 1.5 ounces, which is how much sunscreen dermatologists estimate you need to protect yourself from the cancer-causing UV rays of the sun. Repeat every two hours.
18. Cut a kiwifruit in half, then scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Now eat! Kiwi is a little hand grenade of cancer-fighting antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and copper. You can also rub a couple of cut kiwifruit on a low-fat cut of meat as a tenderizer.
19. Use a condom and stick to one partner. The more sexual partners a woman has, the greater her risk of contracting human papillomavirus, or HPV, which causes cervical cancer. Having an unfaithful husband also increases her risk.
20. Cut out high-fat animal protein. A Yale study found that women who ate the most animal protein had a 70 percent higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, while those who ate diets high in saturated fat increased their risk 90 percent. So switch to low-fat or nonfat dairy, have poultry or fish instead of beef or pork, and use olive oil instead of butter.
21. Have your partner feed you grapes. They're great sources of resveratrol, the cancer-protecting compound found in wine, but don't have the alcohol of wine, which can increase the risk of breast cancer in women. Plus, the closeness such an activity engenders (we hope) strengthens your immune system.
22. Sprinkle scallions over your salad. A diet high in onions may reduce the risk of prostate cancer 50 percent. But the effects are strongest when they're eaten raw or lightly cooked. So try scallions, Vidalia onions, shallots, or chives for a milder taste.
23. Make a batch of fresh lemonade or limeade. A daily dose of citrus fruits may cut the risk of mouth, throat, and stomach cancers by half, Australian researchers found.
24. Take a 30-minute walk every evening after dinner. That's all it takes to reduce your breast cancer risk, according to a study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Turns out that moderate exercise reduces levels of estrogen, a hormone that contributes to breast cancer. When 170 overweight, couch potato women ages 50-75 did some form of moderate exercise for about three hours a week, levels of circulating estrogen dropped significantly after three months. After a year, those who lost at least 2 percent of their body fat had even greater decreases in estrogen. Another study linked four hours a week of walking or hiking with cutting the risk of pancreatic cancer in half. The benefits are probably related to improved insulin metabolism due to the exercise.
25. Buy organic foods. They're grown without added pesticides or hormones, both of which can cause cellular damage that may eventually lead to cancer.
26. Learn to love dandelions. Using commercial pesticides on your lawn may increase your risk of cancer, since most contain pesticides such as 2,4-D (linked to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) and MCPP (associated with soft-tissue cancers). Plus, pesticides used solely on lawns don't have to go through the same rigorous testing for long-term health effects as those used on food. And, as E/The Environmental Magazine noted in a 2004 article, no federal studies have assessed the safety of lawn-care chemicals in combination, the way most are sold.
27. Buy clothes that don't need to be dry-cleaned. Many dry cleaners still use a chemical called perc (perchloroethylene), found to cause kidney and liver damage and cancer in animals repeatedly exposed through inhalation. Buying clothes that don't require dry cleaning, or hand washing them yourself, can reduce your exposure to this chemical. If you must dry-clean your clothes, take them out of the plastic bag and air them outside or in another room before wearing.
28. Choose cucumbers over pickles, fresh salmon over lox. Studies find that smoked and pickled foods contain various carcinogens.
29. Switch from french fries and potato chips to mashed potatoes and pretzels. A potential cancer-causing compound called acrylamide forms as a result of the chemical changes that occur in foods when they're baked, fried, or roasted. Not surprisingly, many foods with the greatest amounts of acrylamide are also some of the worst-for-you foods, such as french fries, potato chips, and baked sweets. Although the results aren't final yet, Michael Jacobson, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, estimates acrylamide causes between 1,000 and 25,000 cancers per year. His agency has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to set limits on the amount of acrylamide foods can contain. The FDA is studying the issue.
30. Go for a spray-on tan. They're available in most tanning salons these days and, unlike tanning beds, there's no evidence that they increase your risk of skin cancer.
31. Call up your bowling pal and hit the lanes. A study from the State University of New York at Stony Brook found that men with high levels of stress and those with less satisfying contacts with friends and family members had higher levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in their blood, a marker for the development of prostate cancer.
* via BuzzFeed!
Yet the rating system has bred an attitude toward wine that ignores context, which is perhaps more important a consideration to the enjoyment of wine than anything else. The proverbial little red wine, so delicious in a Tuscan village with your sweetie, never tastes the same back home in New Jersey. Meanwhile, the big California cabernet, which you enjoyed so much with your work buddies at a steakhouse, ties tucked between buttons, doesn’t have that triumphant lift with a bowl of spaghetti.
So true!!! Context is everything and thank god for it because that's how a not so good bottle of wine is delicious when imbibed in the company of good friends!
We dined at Momofuku Ko last night to celebrate our 3-year wedding anniversary (actual date is 7/7 but trying to get a Momofuku Ko reservation on a specific date is impossible so...) and it was pretty amazing. The dishes were delectably tasty (David Chang seems to have cornered the market on this culinary skill). My favorites were the fluke in buttermilk and poppy seeds, the split pea soup with crawfish and mushroom, the soft-boiled egg with caviar and chips and the short ribs. While the wine pairing was worth doing once and certainly fun - we made it more fun by ordering two levels of the wine pairing and asked not to be told which level we were getting so Jonah and I played the taste-test game! - I have to say it was too much booze for me. Next time, I would love to share a bottle of wine or sake instead. What also made the experience phenomenal was watching David Chang in action: It's crystal clear that he is having the time of his life doing what he loves and being adored for it. So cool to see people glowing in their spotlight. Also, a typical New York restaurant thing happened. The couple sitting next to us told us that two women had posted on craiglist saying they had a Ko reservation for four for that night and were looking for two men to join them and that those interested could send along their photos. Of course we eagerly anticipated watching this group walk in and scrutinizing their dinner partner choices but alas they must have arrived after we left. The guy who told us this also reluctantly admitted that he had tried for over four months to get his reservation. Lastly, I was tickled to find that David Chang was pretty shy upon being asked which parts of Japan he liked most. He timidly responded that he loved Tokyo but not Osaka and the Kansai region. Hoped for more (in my efforts to have us become BFF) but I suppose the chef's gotta cook!
P.S. Taking photos wasn't allowed which is why there are not photos.
This article perfectly captures Japan and tickles my belly!
* Thanks to Annie Maxwell for spreading the knowledge!!
From our visit to California in December '07:
* They've ditched us in NYC for a year while they do their sabbatical year at Stanford.
There's the little squirt:
And now here's the massive guy thanks to a tactic we've also employed in other parts of the world!
Never mess with the Japanese and food!!
“Japanese food was created here, and only Japanese know it,” Mr. Kadowaki said in an interview. “How can a bunch of foreigners show up and tell us what is good or bad?”
We had a wonderful night in LA with the Sekoff family. We watched Zach perform at the Roxy as part of the original School of Rock then we were treated to some of the freshest, most delicious sushi I have ever eaten at the serenely minimal restaurant Nishimura. I highly recommend this place and hanging out with my new BFFs the Sekoffs!
Tokyo is truly home to the yummiest food on the entire planet - and not just Japanese food but every other type of food as well - AND from cheap to fancy and everything in between, you can't go wrong!! There are several reasons why this is the case - read ahead!
A national passion speaks volumes about a country’s collective psyche. Consider the English love of soccer, India’s of cricket, Australia’s mania for just about any sport, and Italy’s and France’s worship of food, wine and fashion.
But on all things gastronomic, perhaps no country is as passionate – and exacting – as Japan, where tea-making is a semi-religious ritual, pastry chefs can gain rock star status, and people will queue for hours to buy courgette-flavoured macaroons or the first special mushrooms of the season.
Michelin Guides revealed half of that story to the world this week when they awarded more of their famed stars to Tokyo restaurants (an unprecedented 191) than they have bestowed on any other city (including, mon Dieu, Paris) with the launch of their first guide outside Europe and America: the Michelin Guide Tokyo 2008.
But there is more to Japan’s food obsession than a huge array of top-quality restaurants. Consider a few facts:
More than one third of Japanese commercial television is devoted to food-related themes, from wacky eating competitions to earnest cooking programmes. On a per-capita basis, inner Tokyo (population 8.5m) boasts the highest concentration of eateries among the world’s major cities – just under 200,000, according to the Tokyo government, compared with about 20,000 restaurants for Paris and 23,000 for New York City. Japan now draws more Michelin-starred chefs than any country apart from France. Continue reading...
With fellow Top Chef enthusiasts Kenny and Katherine (the group photo was simply too special to share) we tried out Top Chef Season One winner Harold Dieterle's restaurant in the West Village called Perilla. From the moment we sat down Katherine and I hounded our waitress, asking about Harold and if he was cooking in the kitchen that night and in fact he was! Just knowing that hot Harry was cooking for us and having such engaging conversation (Katherine couldn't get enough of my forensic psychology classes) took my mind off the food a bit but I remember it was good! Also, the restaurant's ambiance is nicely unpretentious and the music isn't so loud so you can actually enjoy conversation! Here's what we ate:
If this is making your mouth water just looking at the pics, imagine what it was like placed in front of me! So delicious and beautiful.
Thanks to Amy Wood (pictured on the right, Nectar on the left), we enjoyed a delicious feast at the always great Blue Ribbon Sushi! Thanks again Amy!
Answer: A gift from a scallop!
A few notes:
1) Thank god for Jonah who is skilled at and loves to cook because it means you can still throw a dinner party even when you selfishly but necessarily opt out because of midterms.
2) My one regret: I forgot to photograph the chanteurelle mushroom crostinis, garlic tomato salad and cucumber-mint-feta salad he made and the strawberry shortcake I love from Ceci Cela bakery!
3) It's obvious from these photos that Sparky is a wonderful dinner party presence!
4) Don't know what to cook for a dinner party? Themes can be helpful and fun! Ours was an outdoor, summer Parisian dinner. Raw seafood, meat and cheese. All pure, fresh yummy food.
5) Michael Jackson's Thriller creeped into our dinner party.
6) We had a Pinot Noir taste test and we all agreed that Cameron's mom's Bernardus Pinot Noir was the winner!
7) It is great fun to bring together friends who've never met who you think would get along.
8) Thanks to Shani and Fenkel for taking some mighty special photos - they are mixed in below!
* En route to eating adventure in Queens!
The food was delicious and I'm counting the days until we go back to the strangely named Jackson Diner! Plus, they were so baby friendly it was not only sweet but effective!
* Thanks to Andy for the Jackson Diner suggestion and to Mark & Tam for driving!!
I love getting down to this little guy in a head of lettuce. I always set him on the counter to hang out a while and check out his surroundings while I admire his cuteness and introduce him to whoever is around...imagine my delight upon finding that Wee Tiny have given him his deserved tribute!
P.S. I have yet to encounter a shaved ice vendor who isn't visibly a little peeved at my request for extra strawberry syrup.
* On the Yurikamome.
* Soba in Kyoto, udon in Tokyo
* Thanks again to David Fenkel and Shani Ankori for a fun night!
Yay for JP!!
* At an izakaya called Hokkaido in Shibuya.
Loved these until I found out they were Alligator Sausages. Then, all I could imagine was that I was taking a bite out of an alligator's side. Still pretty yummy - just more weighty of a bite/thought:
My favorite were these Jambalaya Won Tons - delicious sauce:
Shrimp Po' Boy:
The cutest thing in the restaurant:
Chicken Po' Boy:
* NoNo Kitchen in Park Slope!
While in Japan last month my mom made the most delicious salad and then taught me how to make it. This was very exciting for me because I don't usually like salads but I realized that I actually do like salads as long as they are Japanese flavored salads! I made it for dinner the other night (I have a little ways to go to get it totally right) with a side of zaru soba and it was delicious and nutritious!!
Had a great get-together at Josies (aka Mark & Tams)...thanks again guys!!
* Jyangara Ramen in Harajuku/Meiji-Jingumae
* Thanks again to Nikon for their fantastically generous gift-loan of the D 80 - comes in especially hands at times like during teppanyaki dinner!
* At the grocery store down the street from our apt in Sakuragaoka.
* Thanks to Alex for a deliciously fun evening last week!
If he's titillated you, you can read more about him here.
Missing Jonah and our fun, colorful breakfasts together!
Two of my many banana designs I like to present to Jonah as part of breakfast party-time!
* At the yummy Chevy's in Battery Park City.
* For more of the Huitrerie Regis dinner click here!
* At the highly recommended Huitrerie Regis restaurant!
* In the Marais.
* Eaten to Jonah's delight on our first night.
Our dining experience last night at Wd~50 was well, quite an experience. We went all out and indulged in the tasting menu although opted out of the wine pairing. Let's just say that towards the end of the evening we equated this type of food, molecular gastronomy, to new media art: An honorable exercise in innovation, some of it's delicious and awe-inspiring and some of it fails miserably. An absolutely worthwhile experience for the curious and adventurous - you are guaranteed a memorable time!
Here it is in chronological order with dishes listed as they appear on menu.
Nice earthy, textured placemats and wooden tables to off-set the less than natural food preparation:
A toast to the curious!
Hamachi, fried corn, lime pickle, grapefruit - delicious:
Shrimp and tarragon macaroons - these were divine and incredibly fun to eat (think cheese puffs):
Foie gras in the round - hated the watercress dollops but otherwise really interesting rice crispies version of foie gras that enabled me to enjoy foie gras - the cacao balls were an incredible pairing that worked magnificently:
"I'm now a yuppie. Not sure how I feel about that..."
Sweetbreads, cabbage-kaffir, water chestnuts - pretty good although I am not entirely comfortable with sweetbreads, the greatest euphemism of cuisine:
Beef tongue, fried mayo, tomato molasses - the tongue resembled a cow tongue too much for me to enjoy it - otherwise the tomato molasses and fried mayo were good:
Miso soup, sesame "noodles":
This Japanese-inspired dish was greatly appreciated, yummy and fun:
Surf clam, watermelon, garlic chive, fermented black bean - this was mediocre:
Lamb belly, black chickpea, cherried cucumber - the lamb belly which was basically bacon was very good but otherwise the dish was only alright:
Argan oil horchata, cantaloupe, carob - was delicious:
Fried butterscotch pudding, mango taro, smoked macadamia - this was disgusting - the fried butterscotch tasted like hotdogs:
Soft chocolate, avocado, licorice, lime - was remarkable:
"Cool" black currant jelly - pretty cool:
The chef Wylie Dufresne himself:
The satiated foursome:
The minute I saw these and held these I was in love. It was as if I were transported to the forest where I joined my gnome friends for a feast on a large wooden table laden with goblets of wine, these utensils and whatever food gnomes eat. Jonah says "seems like we would need to listen to Bjork while we eat." Amen, JP, amen. I highly encourage everyone to fall in love with your very own, special flatware.
After Top of the Rock fun, we knew we wanted to eat Korean bbq but didn't know how to pick one restaurant in K-Town so we used our trusty sidekicks which yielded good reviews telling us to go to Kang Suh. Other than service that would have been appropriate had we asked them to please leave us alone, it was totally delicious. Highly recommended!
Sometimes you're so hungry and happy eating that you end up with only three photos that scream, "afterthought!":
I cooked this one night last week when Jonah was out and was so proud because it was beautiful and delicious so I took these photos to show him the moment he stepped in the door - and I did! - and he was proud too.
Update: One of the owners of Ed's tells me, "They are live and are so right up until the time you order one." I suggested he amend their menu so that the word 'live' is all over it.
Other than the fact that we're pretty sure their lobsters aren't live lobsters and are therefore frozen lobsters, it was mediocre.
* At Soho Park on Lafayette & Prince.
You know when people say, "you can't order the same thing!"?? Well they're wrong.
Apparently the ladies next to us did the same thing with a different dish and drink so Paul's pointing and saying, "they're us."
Can you guess what this was?
Club soda and cranberry. Note to self: Next time, club soda with just a splash of cranberry.
This is how you pose for a photo when nothing else will work:
Do I see a guy who will begin a creative writing MFA program at the New School this fall??!! I do! Congrats Paulito!! Now you're gonna bring in the big buckeroos!!
It's ok to resort to the do you like seafood?/ to see food? level when all else fails:
* Thanks to my bro for the photo!
** To smell more click here.
Thanks for a great night, Cyrus, Caitlin, Eric and Leslie!!
* Photo by Zee from our bubble tea date the other day!
There is such a thing as cruelty-free carnivorism right?! As an animal lover sometimes I feel guilty for being a carnivore and other times, I feel like it's only natural...conflicted carnivorism??
I've never felt one way or the other about Wolfgang Puck until I read this article and now I'm a fan!
Wolfgang Puck, the Los Angeles chef whose culinary empire ranges from celebrity dinners at Spago to a line of canned soups, said yesterday that he would use eggs and meat only from animals raised under strict humane standards.
Some chefs refuse to serve foie gras because of force feeding of ducks.
With the announcement, Mr. Puck has joined a small group of top chefs around the country who refuse to serve foie gras, the fattened liver of ducks and geese. But Mr. Puck, working with the Humane Society of the United States, has taken his interest in animal welfare beyond ducks.
He has directed his three companies, which together fed more than 10 million people in 2006, to buy eggs only from chickens not confined to small cages. Veal and pork will come from farms where animals are not confined in crates, and poultry meat will be bought from farmers using animal welfare standards higher than those put forth by the nation’s largest chicken and turkey producers. Mr. Puck has also vowed to use only seafood whose harvest does not endanger the environment or deplete stocks.
“We decided about three months ago to be really much more socially responsible,” he said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. “We feel the quality of the food is better, and our conscience feels better."
Many chefs at high-end restaurants, some smaller food-service chains and grocery chains like Whole Foods have refused to buy meat and eggs unless animals are raised under certain conditions. In 2000, McDonald’s became the first American food company to impose minimum animal-welfare standards, like increasing cage size, on its egg producers. But Mr. Puck’s program goes much further than most corporate animal-welfare policies, and he is the flashiest culinary name yet to join with animal rights groups in the movement to change farming practices.
Mr. Puck’s ventures include 14 fine-dining restaurants mostly on the West Coast. The flagship is Spago in Los Angeles, which helped him become the nation’s first celebrity chef. He also runs more than 80 Gourmet Express restaurants, many of which are in airports, and sells frozen pizza, soups, kitchen cookware and cookbooks. Mr. Puck estimated his companies' value at $360 million.
Since 2002, at least one animal-rights activist group has tried to persuade Mr. Puck to stop using foie gras from ducks that are force fed extra amounts of grain to fatten their livers and veal from calves chained to small crates and fed a liquid diet to keep their flesh white and tender.
The group, Farm Sanctuary, protested in front of Spago and started a Web site called wolfgangpuckcruelty.org, which has since been taken down. Mr. Puck dismissed those efforts and said he decided to make the change as a result of a few trips to large-scale farms, discussions with the Humane Society and a desire to mark his 25 years in the business with something more significant than the kinds of big parties he is used to holding for the Oscars.
“I have been telling people we have to stand for something for the next 25 years,” he said. “It’s time for us to make a statement and a time for us to see how we treat what we eat.”
Mr. Puck said prices would increase only a few percentage points on some items.
As many as 98 percent of eggs come from chickens kept in banks of small cages to facilitate mass production, said Diane Storey, a spokeswoman for United Egg, which represents most major egg producers. She and Richard Lobb, a spokesman for the National Chicken Council, which represents major producers of chickens for meat, said their groups had science-based animal welfare certification programs that used humane and ethical guidelines.
“We applaud the fact that he sells a whole lot of chickens,” Mr. Lobb said. “But we think our program is very progressive and he should look at ours before he goes off with the Humane Society.”
* YokuMoku, a pastry institution and tres chic cafe, Omotesando.
* Restaurant in Mark City building, Shibuya
It was a typical Harner-Yoshida reunion - over delicious food!
En route in the nicest, cleanest cabs in the world!
How cute are Keiko and my oniichan (Yasushi)!? My lurking Ojichan too!
My obachan and mom out of focus but only literally (don't know exactly what this means but it feels right)!
Now that we're here...group photo!!
Let's start with some abalone shall we? Japanese tip/wives tale for pregnant ladies: if you are expecting a daughter and you eat lots of abalone, your daughter's complexion will be beautiful:
Me and obachan! (I can't figure out the weird shadow cast over my face):
And now for the shrimp. Cook it up, Chef! Cook. it. up!!
Oh poor shrimps:
Jonah, pregnant and incredibly cute Keiko and Oniichan:
Ojichan (The OG), Edward and Pops:
Oh the steak:
Was so soft, flavorful and mouth-watering:
It's hard to describe:
But easy to taste and to recall tasting::
Voila - in little bit-sized pieces which if I could have all my food that way I would!
On our way out we spotted the raw goods:
Jonah's very patient with my photo-taking:
* Let me now state for the record that according to my palette, Japanese steak is the best steak in the world.
In case you were wondering what an Abo is...
Japanese strawberry shortcake is in a league of its own (I would argue pastries regardless of where they originated from are best in Japan - they know how to take stuff from elsewhere and make it better!):
Vending machine corn soup - I kid you not:
We made the brilliant decision last Saturday evening to check out the Momofuku Ssam Bar which recently received a great write-up in New York Magazine. It included this great photo of the unapologetically carnivorous chef David Chang:
We got there at 7:15 and the place was packed - mind you it was Saturday night in NYC (we thought it was highly unlikely we'd be able to be seated but figured it was worth a shot) and were told it was a 45 minute wait. We put our name down and walked down a block to a wine bar, had a glass of wine and 30 minutes later returned. We waited 5 minutes and then were seated - a surprisingly pain free experience! Plus, the vibe was fantastic - the excitement as a result of the NY mag coverage was palpable:
The restaurant is primarily a long counter with a few tables behind the counter:
We were seated at a great spot at the counter, in front of the bright, open and bustling kitchen:
And look who we saw hard at work:
The famous (infamous to vegetarians) chef David Chang himself!
I was slightly worried because contrary to everyone else in NYC I am unimpressed with the Momofuku Noodle Bar. I am a noodle connoisseur and can bore you to death with the subtleties of every kind of noodle dish and let me tell you - that ramen is bland and fatty - not yummy. Nonetheless we ordered full speed ahead!
First came the oysters for Jonah which he, before devouring, made me taste one and it was the first and only oyster I've ever enjoyed. Jonah popped it in my mouth and said, "close your eyes and imagine you're in the sea" and that's all it took. I could hear the Little Mermaid soundtrack and I was an octopus, dancing and singing and having fun with my ocean friends. That's how it has to be for me ~under the sea~ !
Then came the brussel sprouts and squid salad which were both so flavorful and tasty! These two adjectives are a thread in this meal - nothing bland here!
The Korean burritos which this restaurant started out serving exclusively were truly delicious;
This is what it looks like to eat a korean burrito with hoochie nails:
Here's a ham eating a korean burrito:
The pork sausage wraps were also to die for:
And finally for dessert, the mochi ice cream was not great but was good. The salted apples were interesting and quite good.
Super duper contented and delighted...we'll definitely be back!!
To show you that I care: 10 Top Foods To Help You Fight High Cholesterol.
Close to 107 million U.S. adults have cholesterol levels of 200 mg/dL or higher, a level that the American Heart Association says increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. At least 12 million of these people are taking statin drugs to lower their cholesterol levels, but there are more natural options out there.
According to the American Heart Association, "You can reduce cholesterol in your blood by eating healthful foods, losing weight if you need to and exercising." What follows is a listing of the most potent foods to add to your diet if you want to fight high cholesterol and drive your levels down using your diet as a primary tool.
1. Shitake Mushrooms
The active component in shitake mushrooms--eritadenine--has been found to lower cholesterol levels in animal studies. The more eritadenine the animals received, the more their cholesterol levels dropped.
A study in the April 2004 issue of Circulation found that when walnuts were substituted for about one-third of the calories supplied by olives and other monounsaturated fats in the Mediterranean diet, total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol were reduced. Walnuts contain the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to be excellent for the heart.
3. Uncooked Soy
A new study found that eating two servings of soy protein a day can lower cholesterol by up to 9 percent--but it must be uncooked to have benefit. "Soy protein increases the activity of low-density lipoprotein receptors primarily on the liver that clears it from the body. Eating soy protein increases the activity of these enzymes that break down the cholesterol," said study author James Anderson, a scientist at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.
Good soy sources would be edamame or soy nuts. "Soy-fortified muffins, cereals or nutritional bars in which the soy protein was baked at high temperatures do not provide the benefit," Anderson said.
Researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture have identified an antioxidant in blueberries called pterostilbene (it's similar to resveratrol, the antioxidant found in grapes and red wine). This compound has effectively lowered cholesterol levels in animal studies.
This fish is a particularly good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower LDL cholesterol while raising the good (HDL) kind.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that eating garlic regularly reduces LDL cholesterol and raises HDL levels.
Avocados are rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat known to help lower cholesterol. In fact, one study found that people with moderately high cholesterol levels who ate a diet high in avocados for one week had significant drops in total and LDL cholesterol levels, and an 11 percent increase in the good HDL cholesterol.
8. Black Beans
Black beans and other legumes are high in dietary fiber, which is an excellent cholesterol fighter.
Rich in both pectin and fiber, along with powerful antioxidants, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, apples help lower bad cholesterol while raising the good kind.
10. Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Family Heart Study, participants who ate four or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day had significantly lower levels of LDL cholesterol than those who ate fewer servings. Among the most powerful veggies are the dark green, leafy variety, such as spinach, kale, collard greens and Swiss chard.
Don't know if I've ever eaten a $200 melon but Japanese melons are hands down the best melons I've ever had. I'm certain this melon was delicious.
I didn't know much about Julia Child except that she's a cooking legend and that she's old. Reading this interview however showed me that we have some things in common!
There is nothing worse than grilled vegetables.
I'm awfully sorry for people who are taken in by all of today's dietary mumbo jumbo. They are not getting any enjoyment out of their food.
Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health.
You need to enjoy the good things in life, but you need not overindulge.
The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they're right if you love to be with them all the time.
The problem with the world right now is that we don't have any politicians like Roosevelt or Churchill to give us meaning and depth. We don't have anyone who's speaking for the great and the true and the noble. What we need now is a heroic type, someone who could rally the people to higher deeds. I don't know what's to become of us.
You must have discipline to have fun.
Drama is very important in life: You have to come on with a bang. You never want to go out with a whimper. Everything can have drama if it's done right. Even a pancake.
I don't believe in heaven. I think when we die we just go back to the great ball of energy that makes up the universe.
Hell only exists on earth, when you've made mistakes and you're paying for them.
* via Kottke.
This past Sunday was one of those perfect Sundays. Everything seemed on the up and up so I suggested to Jonah, "let's have a boozy lunch!" We headed to Otto where we've had fun memories of eating and drinking at and around the bar...on weekdays only. New York is of course almost entirely unmanageable on the weekends due to crowds, too many drunk people and crowds. Sunday at 3:30 at Otto almost counts as a weekday because it's such an off time - we successfully had a weekday-like experience.
There are few things more exciting then sitting at one of the window nooks by the bar, studying the menu in great anticipation:
An ad for Otto:
All done! Satiated...
This new camera is perfect because it doesn't capture life as it is, it captures life as a drunkard sees it!
* It's a bit of a splurge but highly recommended for special occasions!
Don't forget to pick me up some chicken feet, k?!...is how the saying goes...
* Shanghai, China 12.06
As I sit here, feeling sorry for myself because the weather has been sucking and all sources point to it continuing to suck, I also feel bad for my parents!!
Didn't realize andreaharner.com was capable of so much self-pitying and feeling bad, huh? Well, I am...
My parents live in the bustling city of Shanghai which is great except the fact that it's a part of CHINA means that they are at the mercy of the Chinese government that is BARELY mentioning...what was that life threatening disease going around, called? OH, RIGHT!! SARS!! So they have open plane tickets just in case and really hoping that "just in case" doesn't happen!
In the meantime, I'm thinking of this super cute and friendly Tofu Man I met in China one summer and hoping there's some voodoo shit in that tofu that'll squash this SARS madness: