eating out

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Melrose Umbrella Company (Los Angeles, CA)

[Translate] When I came across and visited Melrose Umbrella Company, I thought this is not the typical cocktail bar and in ways, it isn’t. At first glance, I was presuming it’s a hipster bar that would care a lot about their drinks (which they do) and have this standoff-ish demeanor that some bars’ staff might carry out (which they don’t). When you enter this spacious place, it feels like a step in time circa 1920s with exposed wooden beams and vintage umbrellas tucked in between the panels of the wall. It feels cozy and historically cool without trying too hard...

Dinner at Hinoki & The Bird (Los Angeles, CA)

[Translate] One of the lovely dinners I’ve had while in Los Angeles was at Hinoki & The Bird. While the cuisine of meshing New American cuisine (specifically California cuisine) with Asian flavors isn’t a new thing, especially in this city, what really sticks out here is the location and the venue. The restaurant is found at the luxury condo tower The Century and the valet parking is right in front of the restaurant. (Don’t go to the parking lot since it’s a different rate.) The restaurant has gorgeous mid-century modern architecture and furnishes with the warm glow of the candles..

Sidecar Doughnuts (Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA)

[Translate] Sidecar Doughnuts is a popular doughnut shop that started in Costa Mesa back in 2012. The Santa Moncica location that we visited opened nearly three years ago and since been one of the places to get a very good, if not excellent, doughnuts in the Los Angeles metro area. What appealed to me initially are the flavors. It’s familiar yet creative enough and it doesn’t look gimmicky compared to other shops (e.g. I don’t need to see a cute panda face on my doughnut to want to eat one). What I liked the most based on that visit was..

Adda (NYC)

[Translate] I have to admit, Adda is probably one of the best Indian meals I have had in a long time. Though most of the fare served is traditional but it’s actually cooked perfectly (almost all). Robust spices that awaken the senses and some were spicy that one should expect and probably seek a glass of gently sweet mango lassi to soothe the palate. Adda is tucked in between a small row of small shops on Thompson Avenue, not far to the street leading you to the Ed Koch Bridge and it’s across the street from LaGuardia Community College. When..

Samwon Garden Korean BBQ (NYC)

[Translate] Samwon Garden is an upscale (but not that expensive) big, three-floor restaurant that is the first American location of South Korea’s oldest Korean barbecue chain. We started with a very good bowl of Korean fried chicken tossed in a sweet-savory soy and garlic sauce. Super crunchy crust and the meat was moist. The egg souffle topped with spicy cod roe was a popular dish around the various tables on our floor. The steaming hot pot of egg was cooked nicely and the cod roe added a touch of brine. (more…)


Hwaban (NYC)

[Translate] One of the few Asian restaurants I’m intrigued recently is the newly opened modern Korean restaurant Hwaban in Chelsea. Hwaban is easily the best choice if you want a refined, tasty meal and the serene atmosphere that has a generally casual air is much appreciated since there aren’t many options out there that fits the bill (unless it’s very expensive). Entering the restaurant without a sign indicating the restaurant, it’s a lovely yet minimalist decor. Lots of white with touches of warm wood and small vases of fresh flowers on each table for splashes of color. (more…)

Fat Rice Residency at Chefs Club (NYC)

[Translate] One of the most highly anticipated things to happen this summer is the Fat Rice residency at Chefs Club NYC. Fat Rice is based out in Chicago, IL with chef/owner Abe Conlon having a creative, globally inspired Macanese menu. The Chefs Club NYC restaurant invites chefs from around the world take over the kitchen for several months (this one for two months) to offer diners a unique culinary experience through the Chefs Club Residency Program. This one-of-a-kind experience gives guests the opportunity to watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen. What really makes this particular evening so..

Weekend at Martha’s Vineyard – Lovely Island but An Adventure to Get There

[Translate] I recently went to Martha’s Vineyard (MVY) for a weekend getaway with a friend — and what a getaway that was. The journey to the island was admittedly much more arduous than what we have anticipated. Originally we have booked flights directly from JFK to the island but for both ways, it’s been either extensively delayed (for the first leg) and canceled on the way home. Like I’ve overheard from one of the locals say on my van taxi ride to the ferry terminal at Oaks Bluff from MVY airport, it’s a lovely island because it’s relatively remote and..