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#906199 Ippudo Ramen

Posted by lovelynugget on 08 April 2008 - 11:10 PM

I can't have been the first MFer to get there, but I will gamely put up first review.

A stop for lunch, and a good time to go with the room only about a third filled. Eater reports that weekend dinner waits were at 2.5 hours. Quite ridiculous.

An attractive room, a bit poncy for a noodle joint. They are really on top of things, as someone not only opened the front door for me and led me into the interior, but I was greeted by boisterously loud shouting from entire staff. Made me jump a bit. A lot of bigger communal tables with three booths against one wall.

Menu is pretty short. There are some bits and nibbles, but the main offerings are 3 versions of ramen: the Shiromaru with a white pork broth, a variation of the Shiromaru (don't quite remember) and the Akamaru, which has a garlicky red broth. I got the lunch special, which comes with choice of ramen, a small side bowl of rice with either pork topping or cod roe topping, and a very small dish of pickled veggies.

The Shiromaru ramen certainly is unlike any of the other ramens I've had in NY. Toppings are quite bare: two slices of pork, a bit of cabbage, some woody stem-like vegetable and a bit of green onion. The waiter put a pepper grinder and a sesame seed grinder in front of me, so ok, might as well. The noodles are firm and toothsome, but thin, like vermicelli. Supposedly they make them in-house. They don't give you very much in the bowl, but you can order extra for $2. I recommend you do if ramen is all you're eating.

The broth, of course, is the kicker, milky with an intense pork flavor. And I mean intense... pork... flavor. Quite delicious, but talk about a salt bomb. I'm not particularly sensitive to salt, but I was reaching for water every other bite. Still, it does kick the asses of all the other ramen broths I've had in NY. Damn, that was porky. Drank every drop.

The rice thing was a little odd. A dab of cod roe with mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, nori on top of rice. Ehh.

Pickles -- it was 3 pieces of vegetables on a tiny tiny plate. [shrug]

Of course, now it's been 4 hours since, and I've been drinking water this whole time and I've got one of those weird headaches that comes from either 1) too much salt or 2) too much MSG. I'll get over it soon enough, but I will probably dream of pig tonight.

PS. Can someone grab those few posts from the Naruto Ramen thread and attach my post to it? Thanks.

#832767 What is ethical?

Posted by lovelynugget on 07 September 2007 - 04:32 PM

QUOTE(backstory @ Sep 7 2007, 12:08 PM) View Post
A gay activist was on NPR yesterday justifying his attempt to out "toe-tap Larry" a year ago. He calls him a hypocrite.

Was the activist this guy?

I just saw this blog for the first time last week, and I was surprised at The List he has on the left side of the page. It's an interesting blog.

#770931 Horse Racing

Posted by lovelynugget on 30 January 2007 - 07:17 PM

I have trouble conferring "athlete" status on a horse.

Is a race car an athlete?

No, a race car is a piece of machinery built by man.

Isn't a horse also "a piece of machinery built by man" through careful breeding? Actually, Stone seems to make an accurate analogy as both 'machines' are driven/controlled by man, and the man (driver/jockey) is considered the athlete, no?

They certainly are beautiful animals, regardless.

#752381 What are you watching?

Posted by lovelynugget on 29 November 2006 - 09:51 PM

1. Friday Night Lights. I'm gonna start shilling like crazy for this show.
When I first heard they were turning the movie into a TV show, I figured it would end every week with the team hitting the field for tension-filled weekly game. Instead, it has turned into a character-driven drama with dead-on authentic casting, excellent production and genuine depth of feeling (without being mawkish). This show exposes every gimmick-driven drama (Lost, Heroes, 24) and fusty crime/medical show (CSI, House) as ridiculous unrealistic Hollywood creations. The last 3 FNL episodes haven't even shown any action on the field, instead focussing on the dilemmas of the well-drawn out ensemble characters. Even the supporting roles (Buddy Gerritson, the rehab roommate, Tim Riggins's brother, etc) are crisp and vivid.
Please watch this show before it gets cancelled.

2. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Frigging hilarious comedy showing out in the hinterlands of FX. Currently on hiatus after a short 2nd season, but I fear it might already have been axed. About 4 friends who own a dive bar, desperation for ratings brought Danny DeVito on for the second season as the extraneous father figure. Humor sensibility is akin to the late favorite, Arrested Development.

3. Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman. This show has no chance. Too inside Hollywood, too cynical, too raunchy and dark. But the writing is fierce. Laura Kightlinger should be a bigger star and would be if she were a man. But all those nasty things coming out of woman's mouth will keep her on the fringe. And who the fuck watches the IFC channel? Nobody but losers and film geeks. (Sadly, I'm not a film geek).

It sucks cuz I hate most TV. Unfortunately, I've reconciled that the few shows I do like will probably get cancelled, so I'm trying not to get emotionally invested. But damn, don't FNL got a chance? It's SO red state!

#702407 Cast Your Movie

Posted by lovelynugget on 01 June 2006 - 03:02 PM

I think I've written this elsewhere but once in the 1980s I was in Napa with some friends and we were winetasting and the pourer told me I reminded him of Rex Harrison. I didn't get it but I assumed is was my regal way and clever banter. "Wait, wait wait!" he cried, "I mean Rex Reed! That's the guy's name!" I was sick, I tell you!

That's just mean. :( :(

#695395 Restaurant culture: a new idea?

Posted by lovelynugget on 03 May 2006 - 09:01 PM

The restaurant business, especially high-end restaurant business, is demand-driven. The most talented chef in the world is nothing without an audience. Patrons pay the bills -- for the expensive ingredients, the expensive decor, the talented service, etc. and it goes down the chain: to the chef and to the food suppliers. Farmers exist because people want their stuff. If the people have money, better stuff. Not so complicated.

Simple example:
me --> not so much money --> supermarket steak
thunk --> more money --> 42 day-old dry aged steak --> happy Tom Colicchio --> farmer in Hawaii massaging his steer

now multiply thunk a million times and you've got NYC, the most brutal dog-eat-dog free market deliver-or-die culinary city in the world. :lol:

#690579 Pots and kitchen stuff

Posted by lovelynugget on 17 April 2006 - 05:51 PM

God, I must be a cheap-ass bastard when you guys are touting BB&B, Gracious Home and Sur La Table as bargains.

Here's the deal: Get your ass to Bridge Kitchenware on 3rd Ave at about 47th St. They have a Sitram Profisserie set on mega-sale. (If I didn't already have all the pots and pans I need, I would have this set now.) It's an 11 piece set for about $150. Stainless steel, 8mm aluminum layer in the sandwich bottom. That price is normally what ONE pan would cost. Not quite as fine as the copper bottom Catering line, but for the price you don't bitch about it. (You can also order it online, where the 20 extra bucks gets you delivery included.)

Then if you are looking for enameled cast iron, you can wait for the occasional great deals on Le Creuset on Amazon (there was a great one couple weeks ago) but for an even cheaper option, get the bare bones Staub on QVC.The 5 qt in various colors is under $60 bucks with shipping. Other sizes available. Quality is good, but it doesn't have the basting stubs in the lid and has a few cosmetic differences from the regular Staub.

Last but not least, if you need any Lodge cast iron products Amazon is the place to get it. Usually half the price of retail.

#690241 Taro Sushi

Posted by lovelynugget on 16 April 2006 - 02:32 AM

Just finished another fantastic meal at Taro. I love this place. It's my secret place. Though many people know about it, the buzz is still pretty low and I don't mind it. I don't ever want it to get too big for its britches, like Tomoe did.

It is the kind of place that walk-ins would never go. From the outside, the place looks like a dump. You walk in and the place still looks like a dump. Cheap chairs, cheap tables, ugly decor. But you look at the knives, they are pristine. So you sit down at the bar.

The whole place can accomodate about 25 people at the most -- 8 at the bar, maybe 17 at the tables. For those people and takeout, there are 3 sushi chefs working the dinner shift. They are Japanese, as are all the staff. You sit in front of Sano-san, the boyish one and make nice. Ask what's good.

Tonight as usual I order the sushi-sashimi omakase, with my two companions. Normally I get a cooked appetizer, their grilled miso-marinated black cod, which sounds a cliche these days, but at Taro they marinate the cod for a full 7 days. But not tonight. I don't have room. I just stick with the omakase.

Starts with monkfish liver salad. The liver is 2 colored: the regular tan and a spicier red, rolled and sliced to look like the yin-yang, with seaweed and sliced cucumber and some vinegar-y dressing. Generous portion and delicious.

Then a sashimi platter which includes some great textured tuna and salmon, but also baby squid, some very tender octopus discs and sweet shrimp presented with head. Once we finish, they take the heads back to roast. The one disappointment is they overcook the heads rendering them inedible.

Then about 10 rounds of sushi, presented individually and dressed by the chef. Can't remember it all, but included: uni, sea eel, mackeral, horse mackeral, one small oily fish fileted and butterflied (delicious), fluke with black caviar, seared yellowtail, maguro, o-toro with scallion handroll, and a California roll with real crab. I'm sure I'm missing a few. All quite delicious, but the yellowtail is particularly buttery. My friend proceeds to rave about the sea eel.

At the end, Sano-san asks if we want to continue. I ask if there is anything particularly special. Unfortunately, nothing too exotic, but after a few minutes of patience, he inquires if I want some bones. He deep fries some sea eel spines as a finish to our meal.

We are bursting at the end. Our sushi-sashimi omakase is $45/pp. Yup, cheap. Love this place. :lol:

#688328 Hot chefs

Posted by lovelynugget on 10 April 2006 - 11:54 PM

Wilf's recent mention of the hot chef at new restaurant Degustation (and of course, our own NeroW) got me thinking we need to salute the hotness that doesn't come just from the stove.

Name the good lookin' slaving away in our nation's kitchens. (Believe me, I'm more likely to go there. :( )

I'll start: there be an ultra handsome chef at Momofuku -- tall dark handsome and tats up his forearms. As those of you know, the eating situation there is such that the diner sitting at the bar is less than an arm's reach to the chefs. On my last visit, I found myself slurping not only noodles but also my own drool.

Hotness factor: 4.5 of 5 chili peppers. :(