Saturday, April 23, 2016
Monday, January 6, 2014
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Ramen. It's the new hot, "it" food. On Christmas Eve, whatelse would be the perfect meal?! Well, we figured, Asian food might be our only option, so Tiger Den it is! Actually, I was quite excited to try this new restaurant. There are no reservations, you get there, sign in on the list, taped on the outside of the door and then you get called in. We ended up seeing the owner outside, which I recognized her from Aka Sushi. She is one of the owners and we chatted a little outside. I told her I had read they researched by flying to San Francisco, NYC, China, etc. She confirmed and shared a lot about her experiences. She mentioned that it takes such a long time to cook the soups that they can only sell 300 bowls a day. They're only opened for evening service. She also mentioned that the effort to cook Ramen soup versus Pho soup takes such an exponentially longer time, but yet is only $0.05 cents more, she is not bitter, but she jokes about it. She's cool.
We finally get in, we are sat at the community table, which I didn't mind. You also get to see what other people are eating. We decided to go with the veggie starters. We got the cucumber, eggplant, mushroom medley, oh and the chicken skewers, which our server suggested as top choices. They were all really good. My favorite was the eggplant...I still think about it today, it was so good. The flavor and...it was just good. We both got the garlic black bean. This is the first time I have ever eaten ramen at a restaurant, so I'm not sure what to compare it to. But, compared to ramen from a package, well...it's definitely a higher quality. I thought the soup and the veggies in it tasted good. The pork was tender, but a little too fatty for me. But, there weren't other options. They all have the pork in the 4 different choices of ramen soups on the menu. I heard the spicy miso was really good too. The ramen is $8.00, not bad.
I would go back again. It's a bit of a drive for me, but for that eggplant and the other veggie starters would be worth a drive, but it definitely wouldn't be an often occurrence. It's definitely worth a try.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Nara is a new Korean and Japanese fusion restaurant in the West Ave shopping center off of Upper Kirby, in the old Katusya space. I have been very interested in making a visit since I first heard about it. But, you know wedding, honeymoon, and I completely forgot about it. Well, since we've settled in, Matt and I have decided to implement date night and this past Friday was our first. It was an automatic...Nara!
So, if you didn't know, I'm Korean. So, naturally, you would suspect I would be more critical of a Korean restaurant. But, I have every intention of being open minded, but still, I am influenced by my experience of Korean food. When you walk in, you can see the old Katsuya's presence, just a bit. There's still the large open spaces, sushi bar in the center, and bar to the right of the door. They have revamped and it does look great. I decide I do not want to do any sushi since I have had Uptown sushi's sushi. You know, since Nara is the same owner as Uptown Sushi, chef/owner Don Chang. We mostly went with our sever suggestions, the Shiseto peppers, rice cake with oxtail, bibeembap, steamed buns with short ribs, steamed buns with chicken, mimi chicken salad, the kimchi, and the green tiramisu. Our favorites were the rice cake with oxtail, bibeembap, and chicken salad. I like the crispyness of the rice cake, sauce and the oxtail. It had a nice texture and tasted great too. The bibeembap, mixed rice with fried egg was pretty tasty too, and the mimi chicken salad just tasted light, I really liked the dressing on it, light soy based vinegar sauce. The kimchi was bland, it just wasn't ripe enough. But, if you aren't used to kimchi, you probably wouldn't notice. The green tiramisu was pretty good too.
I thought the menu was a little slim and a lot of Uptown Sushi's presence on it. It was probably only the appetizers, salads, and main entrees that seemed new. The staff has this Uchi-like presence about them, this team work style and explanation of foods type environment. I heard people complaining about the portions of the dishes. Our sever explained it was like a tapas style, small sharing plates. We were stuffed by the end of dinner for two. We ordered about 9 dishes and it came out to $140 including 2 glasses of wine, which isn't bad. I think if you keep an open mind and keep in mind it's Korean/Japanese fusion, you'll have a nice experience. Overall, we liked our visit and it was a great place for our first date night.
Friday, December 13, 2013
I happen to be running some errands in the neighborhood and saw this neat little shop with a small workshop next to it off of Kirby in Rice Village. I get a quick peek at some of their furniture through the window and decide I need to check this place out! I have to say, I really loved it! It was really neat shop. A concept I have never seen before. You know me, I love rustic meets contemporary. On top of the fact that everything just looked cool and interesting, they are also very environmental conscious!
If I had seen this place a couple of months ago, I probably would have purchased our bed frame from here. They do a lot of custom work. I am looking for some night stands, so when I get some time, I am probably going to check out their services. Isn't their warehouse/storefront cool? I love it! I'll post once I find out what the costs are like and if I get a finished product.