Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Momofuku Ko

163 First Ave, 31 Lexington Avenue

It was sheer luck that I ever got to eat at David Chang's infamous Momofuku Ko. The girl and I had just been seated by the kitchen at Momofuku. we had just ordered. I could just taste those delicious (but overpriced) pork buns. But as our waitress walked away, the hostess came by and offered us two seats at Ko. We had been the last couple to be seated and were first on her list to fill the just canceled spots over at Ko. I was in shock. I was excited. I was worried about paying for it. There was something I wasn't thinking of. After a quick prodding by the cooks and patrons, and a quick nod from the gf, we accepted and made our way over. It was then I realized that the gf would need to eat meat tonight. The type of meat she wouldn't normally consume. Thank god she's not a strict vegetarian. (I secretly think I can turn her, the same way men think they can change the minds of lesbians)

The rest of the night is pretty much a blur. The girl had the foresight to notate our meal, typing furiously into her blackberry after each course presentation, all that we could remember the chef explaining to us.

There are a few things that stand out in my memory of the meal.

Fresh sea diver scallop, unagi, and something else was so fresh and smooth. The wine pairing was marvelous.

Shaved fois gras, lychee, pine nut brittle, and some sort of jelly. It was a party in my mouth. It hit every part of my tongue. The texture was amazing. I wanted to lick the bowl, but was afraid of all the stares I would be getting. I wanted more.

Basil seeds are sweet and delicious.

Pretzel ice cream? Did he just say pretzel ice cream? Why yes he did and guess what it tastes like? Go figure.

What really came out of the meal was a new found appreciation for the creativity of David Chang and his chef de cuisine Peter Serpico. I was never really fully impressed with Momofuku. I had had better noodles at cheaper prices. The pork buns are the saving grace for me, but the price I needed to pay for a meal for 2 there makes me think twice every time I want to go. But Ko? Pure brilliance. It puts my respect for the brand on another level.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Boi Sandwich

700 Third Avenue, 31 Lexington Avenue

I couldn't stop thinking about Banh Mi today. Things like this happen a lot. I obsess over a certain food and must have it and a lot of it. Instead of walking all the way down to visit Baogette again, I decided to drop in to Boi Sandwich which is much closer to home. Since I haven't had Banh Mi in a while, this would be a great way to compare what I had eaten the night before.

Let's start with the bread. Boi uses a section of a large baguette which makes the sandwich very bready. It's lightly warmed in the oven with the meats and pate so it doesn't have any sort of crispy crust. The pate and terrine have very subtle flavors and their addition of avocado helps with the texture. The cilantro was a little lacking, but the daikon & carrot contained just the right amount of spice. Unfortunately the bread covers up much of the flavors.

If I could, I would combine the Boi veggies with the Baogette meats and bread. That would be a perfect mix.

Also the Banh Mi was a bit expensive at $7.50 plus tax. At that price I would rather take the longer walk from my midtown apartment. Maybe next time I'll try their Pho, since those prices seemed a lot more reasonable at under $6.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


31 Lexington Avenue, NYC

Vietnamese subs. I've been wanting one for a while, but have never gotten around to grabbing one for some reason or another. But after reading Ed Levine's review for Baoguette over at Serious Eats, I decided to head over there after work and give it a try.I ordered a classic and catfish .

First things first, the baguettes from Tom Kat Bakery is delicious. It's crisped to perfection and unlike many banh mi shops there's not too much bread in the bread, if you catch my drift.

The pate, terrine, and pork belly from the classic are delicious. It had a great flavor and texture. Fatty and flavorful without being greasy. I did find myself wanting more of the pickled veggies and more jalapenos. Nothing that can't be fixed next time.

The catfish was such a delight. The catfish was flaky. It had just the right amount of spice and fixins. It was the better sub this time around. All the flavors and textures came together perfectly.

For the price, its an amazing value, especially in this economic climate. I can't wait to try the rest of the menu.