BareBurger Review

I wrote this review of Bare Burger in the Village on Yelp back in September, but it got filtered for some reason.  I’m not a frequent Yelper, but I am a real person.  #AlgorithmFail!

Finally, Bare Burger in Manhattan!

After nearly two months of making almost weekly treks to the original Bare Burger in Astoria, they have finally opened their Village location. And the quality is just as good.

Even though I visited on their first day, just about everything was up and running smoothly. The space itself is large and airy, with a huge garage door that opens onto a deck of outdoor seating. According to the waiter, almost everything is built from recycled and locally sourced material. The lights, which they get from a local artist, are made of old spoons and glass milk jugs.

I got my old favorite, the grilled pineapple burger with bison, and it was great. The fries and onion rings combo is as delightful as it is greasy. And the shakes, well, are amazing. (I had peanut butter and jelly). Service was prompt and courteous. They made a small mistake with my burger (wrong bun), but they corrected it very quickly, so no big deal.

All in all, I would say Bare Burger is an excellent addition to the local scene. We have plenty of burger places around, but they don’t offer exotic meats like elk or bison and their burgers not organic, which really makes a difference at Bare. Can’t wait to introduce friends who were too lazy to make the trip to Astoria.

Montauk

I went on an impromptu trip out to Montauk, Long Island last weekend with Catherine.  Photo essay and travel tips below.


STAY at The Panoramic View – simple luxury, right on the beach


EAT fish and chips at Gurney’s Inn, right next door to The Panoramic View


DRINK at Nick’s, a beach bar right in town with live music


WATCH the sunset at the Montauket


EAT lobsters at Duryea’s.  Rustic and delicious.  My lobster was pregnant! Yum.


ADOPT a sock monkey and shop for other kitsch Americana at a shop on the main street in town (don’t remember the name)

More photos on Flickr.

Attari Sandwich Shop

While I was in “Teherangeles” visiting the family last week, I went to check out Attari Sandwich Shop in Westwood (1388 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90024). We started with a Shirazi salad, a simple and refreshing chopped salad of tomato, cucumber, and onion.

Next course was Ash-e joe, a thick soup with lentils, black eyed peas and mixed greens, topped with yogurt and fried onions.  Healthy, hearty, and delicious.  The soup could easily be a meal in itself and is perfect for a cold day rainy day like the day we visited.

Then I had some tongue sandwich.  I love tongue for its chewy, meaty texture, and go for it every time I get Japanese or Korean BBQ.  The tongue at Attari was different though.  It was almost falling-apart tender, like the best pot roast or pastrami.  The sandwich itself reminded me a bit of banh mi in the best possible way.

In summary, Attari has generous portions, reasonable prices and an authentic Persian experience in LA.  Definitely check it out.  I heard that they have brain sandwiches there too, try it if you are feeling adventurous.  My dining companions weren’t ready to deal with that when I went. 😉

Attari on Yelp
Review of Attari in the NYTimes

Kogi

I checked out Kogi, the much-hyped Los Angeles Korean BBQ Taco truck when I was in town visiting the family last week.  We followed them on Twitter and drove out to Encino to wait in line for the Korean/Mexican fusion food cart.  They have multiple trucks that park at different locations in LA on different days.  All I have to say about the experience is “Yes!”

Yes, the place has a lot of hype, but the food was great.

Yes, it’s fusion, but it’s fusion that just works.

Yes, the lines are long, so get there early.

Yes, the truck was late, stuck in traffic on the 405, but this is LA…

Yes, it’s cheap. Two bucks for a taco and five for a quesadilla.

I tried the tofu and spicy pork tacos and the kimchi quesadilla.  The tofu was flavorful with Korean marinade and seared to make it taste “meaty” rather than gelatinous.  Worth trying even if you are a total carnivore.  The spicy pork was great too: spicy, sweet, meaty, and fatty.  I have to admit this one was an easy sell for me.  When I go to Korean BBQ, I prefer the pork belly to the usual beef dishes like kalbi and bulkogi.  The quesadilla was amazing too.  The umami that comes out of the ménage à trois of kimchi, sesame, and melted cheese is divine.

Kogi Official Website
Kogi on Twitter
Kogi on Yelp

Frenchie Friday

I went see Julie & Julia last night with Michelle.  I hope Meryl Streep wins an Oscar for her amazing performance as Julia Child.  The Julie Powell character was a bit annoying at times though, and her story line wasn’t nearly as interesting as Julia’s.  They could have probably made an entire movie based on Julia Child’s life alone.  Nevertheless, I recommend the film.

Julie_and_julia

The cringe-worthy Cobb salad scene where Julie Powell has lunch with her friends made me strangely homesick for NY.  The depiction of Julie’s shamelessly ambitious, cell phone-tethered friends was pretty-right on.  They represent all that is terrible yet strangely charming about NYC (or maybe it’s just because I’ve been away for the too long).

Watching all that French food being made and eaten on the big screen piqued our appetite, so I busted out the iPhone and found Le Charm French Bistro in SoMa.  The restaurant is a charming, old-school French bistro, with a very reasonably-priced $30 three-course dinner prix fixe.  I had the French onion soup, a seafood bourride, and the strawberry tart for dessert.  Yum!

One more week to go for my ccLearn internship.  The rest of the ccLearn crew will be in Vancouver next week for the Open Education Conference, while I will be sticking around SF wrapping things up and documenting my work.  Then back to NYC next Friday.