sushi of gari

sushi of gari

upper east side || 402 e. 78th st., new york, ny 10075 || (212) 517-5340

this restaurant has become so popular that they now have 4 different locations in the city – the upper east side is the original that holds the michelin star rating while still preserving the traditional, casual seating arrangement. for all levels of sushi lovers, this is an omakase experience you must try in new york [if you haven’t already]. with every visit, there are new additions [and surprises] to the chef’s tasting menu, and you can let the server know specific likes & dislikes. the major buzzkill surprise for me this time was that they were out of the 3 cravings i had: mirugai [giant clam], sweet raw shrimp, & fresh toro [they only had flame-torched toro]. to be fair, it was a late monday evening — not the best for sushi. as usual, i prefer the skinnyminnie sashimi omakase: more fish, no rice.

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the sake casing matched my festive nails. fun.

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fatty salmon belly. fatty

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snapper rolls.

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tuna

the outstanding dish of the night:

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flame-torched fluke + poached quail egg + truffle oil slathered all over. sexy.

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yellowtail. weakest link of the night.

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hotate [scallop] + caviar. always a must-get for me.

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tomato tempura and salmon

second favorite of the night:

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flame-torched rare snow crab & uni – perfect.

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tuna tartare with pine nuts & deep fried seaweed chips

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uni. always a must-get.

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plum sake in the back & new sake glass for a new bottle. artwork is channeling zelda.

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marinated snapper & seawead

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topping was a mixed mushroom medley? i passed the [cooked] fish over to my comrades.

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seared toro. great but i kinda wanted super fresh raw toro. #brat

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chopped snapper + black salt. very refreshing!

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seared lobster – slightly overcooked for my raw diet

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mackerel with sesame topping. i passed on this one.

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ikura!

the ikura challenge, just like when it all started at zuma hong kong: how many salmon roe is in one order?

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separate them in groups of 10 first…

gambling is in my blood. needless to say, i won the challenge.

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kumamoto oysters, yay. my final course before tapping out.

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a pretty piece after i ended my tasting.

’twas a wonderful pre-thanksgiving stuff yourself in the face healthy, raw treat i must say. perfect for my raw diet. じゃね! [ja-ne, see you!]

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shiki beverly hills

shiki beverly hills || 410 n. canon drive, beverly hills, ca 90210 || (310) 888-0036

part of the excitement of food documentation is when you come across a new spot that has not been overdone with hundreds, thousands of reviews prior to yours [similar to claiming ownership of new territory, minus the bloodshed]. this time, it was finding shiki beverly hills, a recent addition to the greater los angeles area since april 2014, and to [restaurant] namedrop for the obsessed snobby knowledgeable foodies, the executive chef mr. shige fujimoto has done his infamous rounds [10+ years] at matsuhisa & a notable michelin starred period at asanebo. rumor has it that he is the reason the latter had earned its star 2 years in a row. well this venture was sure to be promising.

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peaceful murals of cherry blossoms. am i in tokyo or beverly hills?

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“shiki” means four seasons. the characters on the chopsticks are the type of wood used, i’m told by one of the young, adorable staff members

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the delicate cat-like plate for the sake glass

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MUST-GET: seared wagyu beef with peach. its sister appetizer is the seabass + peach. next time…

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mixed mushroom + ohba leaf soup in stone teapot. heartwarming.

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MUST-GET [especially scallop lovers]: seared scallops over marinated plum tomatoes + ohba leaf + a perfect citrusy appetizing sauce.

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toro tartare topped with caviar + wasabi soy dressing. delicious.

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MUST-GET FAVORITE: halibut + truffles + ponzu sauce + arugula flowers = LOVE.

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if you love it, take 2 photos of it. then eat it all! :D

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miso black cod – a standard dish at many places. fish was delicious.

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grilled octopus + tomatoes + onions. not usually a fan of octopus [because i think of ursula] but this was very tasty. the tomatoes were flash fried and its texture turned into a happy mystery.

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what ursula became after king triton banished her.

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stewed wagyu beef + shishito peppers. FATTY. TENDER. GREAT.

surprises do happen: 5 of the staff surrounded me with this glorious plate, singing the happy birthday song to me. no, i was not embarrassed.

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a wonderful array of desserts for my belated birthday celebration: 1) vanilla ice cream + fresh berries // 2) passion fruit gelée + panna cotta // 3) blood orange gelée. the combo of the 3 was perfectly sized & not too heavy for the weight watchers. the palette was happy.

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happy [late] birthday to me.

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yes, it’s time for the bathroom selfie check. did i stuff myself, check. but can i still take a decent photo, check.

visit shiki beverly hills for a sophisticated but relaxed & proper japanese dining experience to impress a foodie friend with something brand new & awesome. friendship/courtship points will be given for sure. attire is business casual and the lighting is actually pretty bright [like soto ny] + perfect for food photographing without the obnoxious flash chatting with my dear friend about the details of her upcoming wedding in lake como! can’t wait to share that experience with you soon. til then, let me know what you think of shiki so i can relive my experience there! じゃあね!

drum roll… per se

per se || 10 columbus circle #4, new york, ny 10019 || (212) 823-9335

per se probably needs no introduction but that just wouldn’t be proper. it has been long awarded with 3 michelin stars and maintained its status with good reason, thanks to chef thomas keller who ingrains the perfectionism into this establishment. this was a peaceful marriage between my eyes, tastebuds, and stomach and all senses, if that were to ever exist. my adventure from the 7 course lunch of 4 hours:

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afraid and/or excited selfie

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amouse bouche, salmon tartare on a cone

note the houndstooth theme on their plate sets and even the dinner cloth.

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“oysters & pearls” – sabayon of pearl tapioca + island creek oysters + sterling white sturgeon caviar

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i love sodium! various salts from rare places + different eras, to be paired with the foie gras to give different overtones & WOW to each bite

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“torchon of elevages perigord moulard duck foie gras” – foie gras is my achilles heel. this was as delicious as it looked

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“hawaiian heart of peach palm bavarois” – hearts of palm salad that initially sounded boring, but boring it was never.

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pretty bread i took a mini bite of just so i could taste their fresh butter

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more bread choices. if you have a spacier stomach, feel free to indulge in their breads. otherwise, pace yourself!

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“boudin de homard” – lobster pudding w/cauliflower purée + garden state peaches + piedmont hazelnuts + caper nuage (cloud)

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“four story hill farm’s suckling pig porchetta” w/brentwood corn + oregon chanterelle mushrooms + pea tendrils + aji dulce peppers

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the magic box of australian black winter truffles!!! don’t judge a book by its cover, otherwise truffles would be deemed as disgusting.

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charcoal grilled snake river farms’ calotte de beouf w/yukon gold potato rings + persian cucumbers + heirloom carrots + kendall farms crème fraîche

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the sinsu cocktail: st. germain elderflower liquor + grey goose vodka + hibiscus syrup + grapefruit juice. success! they had an extensive list of wines & scotches but as for the cocktail menu, i wasn’t inclined to order any of them & kindly requested my own concoction :D

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“assortment of desserts” part 1: fruits

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“assortment of desserts” part 2: ice cream

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“assortment of desserts” part 3: chocolates

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“assortment of desserts” part 4: “candies”

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the per se parting gift tin box of chocolate cookie sandwiches

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photo sesh time!

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commanding the art direction…or pointing out we’ve closed up shop, yet again.

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the per se photo sesh isn’t complete until you’ve taken a tour of their kitchen & waved hello to the chefs over at french laundry via their live video conference

merry xmas for your mouth & eyes!

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jean-georges

jean-georges || 1 central park west, new york, ny 10023 || (212)299-3900

gluttony is a sin, but not during thanksgiving, and definitely not in new york, so there wouldn’t be a more appropriate time to share with you my experience with the 3 michelin-starred restaurant’s impressive autumn tasting menu [with wine pairing, well why not?]. it was such a delightful experience + the portions are an agreeably abundant amount for humans. let the drooling glory begin:

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refreshing amuse bouche

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toasted egg yolk, caviar, & herbs

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japanese snapper carpaccio, ginger, white radish, olive oil

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fresh santa barbara uni toast

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grilled foie gras dumplings, port glazed figs & passion fruit

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arctic char, spiced jade emulsion and tender celeriac – only complaint was that the sauce was bit salty

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steamed maine lobster, summer squash, yuzu vinaigrette

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rare rack of lamb, smoked chili glaze, new onion compote, pole beans

i had to tap out on the last 3 after tasting just a bit to reserve a little space for the sweets!

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unfinished glasses of wine from the pairing. *smh with disapproval* let the glasses never be empty!

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late harvest dessert pairing

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classic chocolate dessert tasting

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palate cleansers

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lavendar macarons + other weight increasers

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using my hands, keepin’ it classy

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shutting down the place, as per usual. oh hey, did you want me to leave yet?

so, do we feel heavier yet? awesome.

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bouley

bouley 163 duane st, new york, ny 10013

enter the fresh apple farm

the fresh apple library entrance

fantastic, fancy french fine dining for foodies by chef david bouley. jackets are required for the boys while the ladies should keep it classy. prepare for a 2-3 hour lunch/dinner, best enjoyed with good company + intelligent conversation. for the stellar quality & service, it’s quite a steal, especially for lunch.

other than my obsession with foie gras, [i still need to try it here] i’m not too crazy about french food [mainly because of the fat the butter guilt], but bouley has become a favorite of mine. it has a peaceful ambiance [sometimes slightly uncomfortable at first if you’re more accustomed to loud places], except when i’m there. i would recommend the chef’s tasting but if you decide to order from the regular menu, you must get the porcini flan [x2] or be filled with regret for the rest of your life. some highlights of my visual + palate euphoria:

butternut squash puree w/pine nuts in a sack

butternut squash puree w/pine nuts in a sack – who wouldn’t enjoy that?

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carpaccio of kampachi – young blue fin tuna + striped amber jack + microgreens

forager's treasure of wild mushrooms. [why does this sound dirty?]

forager’s treasure of wild mushrooms + grilled toro + black truffle dressing [why does this sound dirty?]

alaska live dungeness crab, black truffle dashi - ###YES###

PORCINI FLAN – alaska live dungeness crab, black truffle dashi – ###YES### is this love?

creamy something

eat the organic connecticut farm egg smothered in hollandaise-y cream slowly & carry a big crunchy cheesy stick – beware – pace yourself

organic long island duck,  organic golden nevada dates, hudson valley hand milled polenta, confit of young organic clementines - fantastic + rare

organic long island duck, organic golden nevada dates, hudson valley hand milled polenta, confit of young organic clementines – fantastic + rare // butter-mashed potato heaven in a tiny dish on upper left

palate cleansers + palate contaminators

palate cleansers + palate contaminators: tangerine, clementine, mandarin parfait
& lychee sorbet // chocolate soufflé w/white coffee cloud, coffee ice cream, chocolate mousse // hot caramelized anjou pear + hot toffee sauce // petit fours

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the lovely french loo, les toilettes, a true selfie resting room

oh, and they have a parting gift: a splendid lemon pound cake for you to take home & reminisce the money moment you spent. this michelin-starred restaurant surely deserves a second star.

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