NYC | The Modern

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 3comments No tags Permalink 0

Lunch for two on a freezing (but sunny!) afternoon at The Modern.

Dinner is nice, but I prefer lunch in the dining room, front row seats to the MoMA’s Sculpture Garden. An amuse bouche of arctic char and raspberries…

…then warm bread at the table. Cranberry-walnut, green olives, and a classic French baguette. Butter, soft.

And then another bite, this time of marinated mackerel with sake-miso gelée and trout roe. I live for that pop, pop.

We ordered the same dish for course one. Diver scallops with uni and Scottish salmon.

There was supposed to be tuna with caviar on this plate, but our server didn’t mention they were out of tuna. So we got double the salmon (not of the scallop and uni ;). Had I known, I would have ordered the rabbit terrine instead.

Next, cabernet-poached foie gras with kumquat confit and a black pepper caramel…

…and the sturgeon and sauerkraut tart, complete with a caviar mousseline. It comes to the table with a dome which is then lifted to release applewood smoke. One of my favorite dishes from the meal.

Here’s a closer look.

For our third dish, the squab and foie gras croustillant for two. Ahh, look at that!

Comes with baby farm vegetables and caramelized ginger jus spooned tableside.

And then on to dessert! This is the apple-pear duo. Turn the plate around to reveal…

…a stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes atop pear-quince marmalade. A scoop of huckleberry sorbet to finish.

And then, the caramel parfait. That’s a hot fudge crisp fanning over the plate, held up by the caramel parfait itself. Comes with “ten flavor sorbet” and coconut tapioca.

The best part was the mango ravioli…it reminds me of this mango and jasmine cream  in the Cap d’Antibes (wish I was there right now :)

Would you believe I forgot to take a photo of the mignardises? Shameful! I recall pistachio bonbons, dark chocolate bonbons, a perfect banana-nutmeg gelée, and marzipan cookies for the table.

The Modern | 9 W 53rd Street, NY, NY 10019 | (212) 333-1220

Honolulu | Uni Pasta, Vintage Cave, and Avocado Smoothies

Sunday, December 30, 2012 3comments No tags Permalink 0

A few snapshots from this past week in Honolulu. We’re heading to

Uni pasta at Bernini.

Chocolate, peanut butter, and pomegranate at Vintage Cave.

Hello, Thang’s.

“Knock me up on the blower” at

They sell ice cream pie by the slice at Bubbies (all with equally crude names) and this is one is the best. Oreo crust with a layer of Oreo ice cream followed by mint ice cream and a fudge top. Ohlala!

I’ll take this over Stumptown any day ^_^

Honolulu | Omakase at Kona Kai Sushi

Monday, December 24, 2012 0 No tags Permalink 0

A good evening in Honolulu…

…starts with drinks at Salt…

…followed by an omakase dinner at Kona Kai. Washington Oysters! Raw and baked…

…then Blue Crab Stuffed-Squid. Sesame seeds to top, served in a sweet shoyu sauce.

Kampachi and Spanish Bluefin…

Snapper with Ikura and Aji

Shimaaji and Kampachi

Ahi and Salmon

And then the trio: Langoustine, Blue Shrimp with caviar, and Spot Shrimp with uni.

Final savory bite…you knew it would be uni right? ;) This is from Santa Barabara.

For dessert, a scoop lychee sorbet. Kristen had the mac nut ice cream (we liked that better). They also make coffee and green tea ice cream.

And because you can never have too much ice cream…

…a post-dinner stop at Bubbies!

Bubbies is famous for mochi ice cream (I think it’s so neat that we can buy it at Whole Foods in NYC). But when Salt Honolulu
3605 Waialae Avenue, Hon., HI 96816
(808) 744-7567

Kona Kai Sushi
3579 Waialae Avenue, Hon., Hawaii 96816
(808) 594-7687

Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream
1010 University Avenue, Hon., Hawaii 96826
(808) 949-8984

Odds and Ends from San Francisco

Friday, October 19, 2012 0 No tags Permalink 0

Last batch of goodies from San Francisco…aka all the odds and ends.

Afternoons at the Four Seasons

…and mornings at Ritual Coffee.

Other mornings at Four Barrel Coffee…

….and the “Chocolate Thing” from Arizmendi Bakery. A cheerful, large and buttery bun with dots of semi-sweet chocolate chips.


Crazy good sandwiches from The Sentinel.

Dinners at Beretta and Farina…

…Mission Street Eatery and Nopalito.

Late night delivery from Mission Chinese Food (I still haven’t visited the one in NYC).

A day in Sausalito (it’s

We always have lunch at Sushi Ran…

…don’t forget the uni ^_^

….and then get ice cream at Lappert’s. It’s not affiliated with the original Hawai’i Lappert’s (which I just learned). But they still have my favorite flavor, the Kauai Pie.

NYC | Sushi Azabu | Avocado Uni Soe

Monday, August 27, 2012 0 No tags Permalink 0

Another for the Uni Files.

This goes on our list of uni dishes to recreate at home. A ripe avocado split in half, the flesh scored deep. Buttery Santa Barbara uni to fill the pit, and then more to mound over the top. Wasabi on the side and a dab of shoyu. Huzzah!!

NYC | Uni Bisque

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 0 No tags Permalink 0

It’s like we’re going down the uni rabbit hole.

At Mihoko’s 21 Grams they’re doing a Santa Barbara Uni Bisque.

This comes to the table first. Uni custard topped with cuttlefish and whole uni tongues. A bit of lemon and fennel.

Then the waiter pours in a hot uni bisque tableside.

So really, Uni x 3. Custard, tongues, and bisque!

Uni appears in two other places on the menu. Served straight with

seaweed butter, crème fraiche, and toast. And then in the (non-traditional) sushi part of the menu.

Here it is served as a shrimp ceviche, cilantro, and avocado roll….and a dollop (about a half-tongue) of uni to top.

Love the tableware at Mihoko’s. Small things like this glass bottle filled with white shoyu…

…the tea set (drinking a gyokuro)…

…and a tiny origami crane which accompanied…

…the mignardise.

NYC | An Uni Sandwich

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 1 No tags Permalink 0

One more for the Uni Files.

My doctor was nice enough to warn me about the cholesterol levels of uni…so may we have to lighten things up for a bit. But until then…

…an Uni Sandwich!!! This one is from Aldea on 17th Street.

Sullivan Street bread, toasted and layered with heirloom tomatoes, uni (about six Santa Barbara tongues on each half), and chopped shiso.

Fairly perfect? For sure.

To balance things out. A little lick of the tomato gazpacho with ricotta…

…and this salad of baby lettuces, beets and radishes, Idiazábal cheese, and a spiced port vinaigrette. Don’t miss the Sonhos (“little dreams”) for dessert.

NYC | Soba Totto

Sunday, August 19, 2012 0 No tags Permalink 0

Been on an uni bender lately and don’t think that’s going to change soon. I often say that I could never pick a single favorite food item. But if pressed…uni would be the easy answer ;)

I could devour uni by the tray…one tray per day, please. And I couldn’t imagine getting tired of uni. Is that even possible?

I’m all about the lunch deals (perks of working from home) and often visit Soba Totto. It’s across the street from  , and this uni, ikura, and crab don is my regular order.

Start with this salad. Flecked with deep-fried soba (age soba) and a peppery dressing.

Then comes lunch! That’s the grilled saba set in the back. Both come with hot or cold soba and a small dish of pickles. But the main point is this uni/ikura/crab don.

I never know what to do. Get a bit of all three components on the spoon with rice? Or eat it separately? Crab first. Then ikura. And save uni (aka the best) for last. Sometimes I move a few uni tongues to the soba basket and sort of hide them away. And then when I think I’ve finished all the uni in my rice bowl…I look over to the soba basket and it’s like ahhh, surprise! Bonus !! Never underestimate small pleasures.

And don’t miss dessert. Namely this pumpkin custard with ice cream (vanilla or green tea) and toasted buckwheat. I Sugar Rush’ed it on Serious Eats last week…see here.

The make mochi in-house and serve it with kuromitsu syrup, ice cream, and more of that buckwheat. They should offer desserts to-go à la .

Neta: Satisfying that Uni Itch Once More

Friday, June 29, 2012 0 No tags Permalink 0

We’ve been visiting Neta for dinner quite often. It’s only two blocks from our apartment and the uni dishes are outstanding. Reason enough? I think so.

There’s that Uni Risotto with king mushroom and summer truffles…

…and another of Uni and Scallops featuring grilled scallops paired with those buttery, briny tongues. Garlic-shoyu and a squeeze of lime. I want to recreate this at home.

And then of course there Uni Nigiri from Santa Barbara, straight up and delicious. That’s akami in the center and ikura on the right.

Non-uni dishes? Oh yes, those exist too. We love the vegetable rolls, especially this Grilled Maitake one. So pure and simple.

Though Pierre’s partial to the Kanpachi and Spicy Potato Roll.

Lots of non-traditional dishes, but of high quality. This is the Szechuan Spiced Salmon with a base of crisp rice, the spiced salmon and a flurry of bonito flakes.

And finally, Duck and Foie. How could you not? Thin-sliced cucumber cup filled with duck meat (along with the skin of course), grilled scallions, and slivers of foie gras.