Three Notable Dishes in New York City

My trip last month to the East Coast ended with a weekend in New York City. Food was my focus and I ended up dining by myself a lot of the time. I was excited to try Miznon, an International restaurant serving Israeli street food located in Chelsea Market. This is the only location in the United States and they just opened this year so I felt lucky to have the opportunity to eat here. The other Miznon locations are in Tel Aviv, Paris, Vienna, and Melbourne.  

Miznon is known for their pita stuffed with fresh and seasonally inspired ingredients. I ordered pita with rib eye minute steak with tahini, tomato salsa, and pickles. I was in heaven as it was pure harmony, one bite after another. If I still lived in New York City, this would be a regular stop for me.

I have yet to travel to Japan, but this meal is one I would suspect would be a traditional one and why I think I would love traveling through Japan. I enjoyed brunch at Bessou on Bleecker Street. I ordered the Japanese breakfast set which came with sea bass, veggies, assorted pickles, a cold poached egg in soy, miso soup, and rice. It was fun to have a variety of food especially when I was eating by myself. I enjoyed the lightness and simplicity of my meal. Sitting at the bar, I watched a lot of food come out of the kitchen and next time I might go with steak and eggs or bananas foster pancakes!
After almost a week away from home, I was craving Chinese food. One place I had bookmarked was King’s Kitchen in Chinatown. I had lunch with my cousins who live a few blocks away. I ordered clay pot rice with preserved meats, which is a dish that always brings me comfort. It came with the usual Chinese bacon and Chinese sausage, but had the addition of taro which was nice. But honestly, you always find the best part at the bottom of the clay pot, the extra crispy rice.
I would say it wasn’t a bad way to spend a weekend!

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ABC Cocina: New York City

When my friend and I got back to New York City after the Women’s March, we went “out on the town”. That may be a bit dramatic; we went to have a late night dinner. But it is a trendy restaurant, so I think that still counts. We headed to ABC Cocina, a tapas style restaurant in the Flatiron district. I thought tapas would be good since we really wanted cocktails and we could share a few plates.

We hit the bar first since we had to wait for our table to be ready. We decided that we had a lot to celebrate. Twenty years ago, we were roommates at San Diego State University and today we Marched on Washington with hundreds of thousands of like minded individuals to show solidarity. We both decided we would start with a glass of sparkling wine. The only time it really matters that you are getting the first glass of anything is when it’s champagne or sparkling wine. It was nice to see the bottle being opened by the bartender. And what a generous pour. Cheers!

After reviewing the menu, my friend and I agreed on four items. One was the roasted beet and citrus salad with celery, cilantro, and chilies. This was the first time I’ve had a beet salad with a Latin twist and I loved it. I thought all the ingredients with its vibrant colors melded together nicely. I look forward to trying to replicate this at home.
I believe that the crispy brussels sprouts we ordered were deep fried. Although it came with a blue cheese aioli to dip, I really didn’t need it. The crisp salty vegetables were on point.
On the menu at ABC Cocina, was roasted honeynut squash with goat cheese and pepitas. I had never heard of honeynut squash. It is sweeter than the standard butternut squash which I enjoyed.
Around this time, I got my cocktail. The bartenders had a special drink called “Made to Measure,” which our waiter recommended. The concoction of rum, activated charcoal, passion fruit, vanilla, black pepper, and lemon not only looked awesome, it was delicious. This cocktail will remain unforgettable.
Our fourth dish was charred octopus with smoked paprika, creme fraiche, and guajillo vinaigrette. To this day, I haven’t met an octopus I didn’t like.  
For dessert, we agreed on the salted caramel flan. I love the sweet and savory combination so it was pure genius to add a little extra touch of salt to this amazing dessert.  
On a prior visit to New York, I dined at ABC Kitchen, this time around it was ABC Cocina. Next trip to New York will be a visit to ABC V, the vegetarian inspired restaurant that is soon to be open. 

Thirty Minute Omakase: New York City

Before going on a trip, I usually do a lot of research and draft a list of eateries I want to try and then I make a few reservations. This was not the case on my trip to the East Coast last week. The main reason I was traveling was to March on Washington. I was going to spend a few days in New York and decided to mostly wing it. I did remember being intrigued a few months back by a food photo on Instagram taken in New York City. It was a picture of uni from Sushi on Jones and was taken from @infatuation_nyc.  I took a red eye flight from Oakland International Airport to John F Kennedy Airport. I was lucky to check into my hotel early in the morning and took a nap. Around 1:30pm, I decided to walk around and get some lunch. I was staying in Midtown and Sushi on Jones was about two miles away in the East Village. I was going to wing it and made my way downtown on foot.  

The concept for Sushi on Jones is thirty minute omakase. I arrived at Sushi on Jones about 2:30pm. I spoke through a small window like I was talking to a gas attendant. I was asked if I wanted to be seated for omakase. I said yes and was told to give him a few minutes. A couple minutes later, two people come out of a clear plastic door. I walked in and entered into the outdoor sushi bar with four chairs, two of which were empty. I took a seat. I also removed my coat since there were heat lamps above me. It was quite cozy so I said hello to my neighbors.
I was embarrassed, but had the courage to let the sushi chef know that I did not want any wasabi. One at a time, I was given a beautiful piece of sushi. I was quick to take a photo, dip the sushi in some soy sauce, and eat. In a matter of seconds, the next piece was in front of me. I would repeat my actions. After about four pieces, I forgot to take photos and just dipped and ate.  
I get mad at myself when I forget to take photos. I am not sure what happened. It may have been when the customers next to me transitioned. When I noticed, of course, I restarted the photography. Apparently there were twelve pieces total. You could order any of the pieces a la carte. I added the uni/wagyu hand roll on the menu.  
In general, the quality of the sushi was great at Sushi on Jones. It was all very fresh and melted in my mouth. Although I did not time myself, I did not feel rushed and was probably done within thirty minutes. I could probably have eaten a lot more sushi as well, but I was already spending a lot for lunch. If you want quality sushi and want it quick, Sushi on Jones does the trick. To make a same day reservation, text (917) 270-1815. The concept has been such a success that I heard they are installing their second sushi bar in Midtown soon. I think the idea of thirty minute omakase would do very well in the Bay Area.

The Cronut Craze Moves to Oakland

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The Cronut is a half croissant and half donut hybrid that was developed by Chef Dominique Ansel for his bakery in New York City. From my understanding, fans are lining up for four hours to buy a Cronut. It has become so popular that Chef Ansel trademarked the name and knockoffs of this pastry are popping up all over the Country under a different name.

I was in NYC last week and I had no desire to stand in line at Dominique Ansel Bakery to try a Cronut. My friend who was traveling with me really wanted one. Luckily, we found out about the copycat Dough’Ssant from Dessert Club ChikaLicious. There was no line. My friend got the creme brûlée flavored Dough’Ssant which I got to try. I was still full from lunch. She really liked the Dough’Ssant. It was fairly light in texture and had the flakiness of a croissant. The top was carmelized and appeared to have been torched like a creme brûlée hence the name of the flavor. It was filled with a small amount of Tahitian vanilla pastry cream like the Cronut.
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Why am I writing about the Cronut? Well, I found out that Stag’s Lunchette in Downtown Oakland was making their version called the Faux nut. This was going to be a Pop-Up and the shop opened at 9am this morning to offer them. My friend and I picked up some coffee beforehand and when we arrived at 9am, the line had already wrapped around the corner with about 60 people in front of us.
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We had no idea how long the line would take. The weather was nice, we had our coffee, and the people in line was pleasant so the 90 minute wait was not uncomfortable. An employee passed complimentary cups of champagne which was nice.

Stag’s was offering the pastry with one of three flavored pastry creams: Tahitian vanilla, clementine orange cream, and bourbon cream. Also on the menu were Faux nut holes by the dozen. Each item was $6, a dollar more than the Cronut. I definitely wanted the bourbon cream and thought I would try the holes. They also have a two item limit per person. When it was my turn to order, they ran out of holes. I asked how long until the next batch and they told me it would be a long time so I just got the bourbon. My friend ordered the other two flavored Faux nuts.
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We sat at the bar near the register and noticed the party behind me got a dozen Faux nut holes. I thought a new batch came out so I went back to the register to request the dozen I wanted. The woman at the register repeated that there were none and I asked how they got theirs when they were after me. She said something about them being saved because they were kids. I didn’t make a big deal about it and went back to my seat. The little girl was so sweet as she came over and offered us a hole. I took one to try and thanked her. Although I didn’t dip it into the side of cream it was supposed to come with, the hole was tasty. It was crispy on the outside and dense on the inside. It gave us a good idea of the dense texture of the Faux nuts we were about to enjoy.
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The pastries are essentially split open and filled with one of the three fillings. My friend and I shared them all. My favorite was the bourbon and my friend’s favorite was the clementine orange. I enjoyed the Faux nut and am glad I tried them, but don’t think I will ever have the urge to pay $6 for one and stand in line for them again. I think I prefer a really good, buttery, flakey croissant and a soft pillowy donut separately. My friend actually preferred the Dough’Ssant over the Faux nut.
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I have a suggestion for Stag’s. Obviously you can’t make enough holes for everyone, so why not offer everyone in line a hole to taste and skip the champagne?