Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SUSHI NIGHT!!!!!!!! Chicago? New York? Hollywood? IT'S ON!!!!!!


I never thought I would ever love Sushi as much as I do now after my LA episode at KOI when I almost threw up a California Roll(which is not even considered a real roll) and thank god for the edamame which held me over until the late night trip to Mickey D's!!!! I am sorry no matter how many times I watch the movie- "Super Size Me," I still CRAVE a burger any day! But back to Sushi...........IT'S DELISH!

If you are new to the sushi world and not a fan of the raw pieces of fish, trying rolls are a safe way to start! You can always start with the basic rolls, like a California Roll that is nothing more than rice, avocado and crab; or you can try a Shrimp Tempura Roll which is basically battered and fried shrimp in rice with lettuce and sometimes avocados or cucumbers- who doesn't love anything that is not fried right??

I know there are millions of places to eat a good roll any day and places that are just as good as the high end ones SO, here are my choices for my top few favorite sushi joints(by location), that can fit a small wallet or a big one:

Chicago is my home town- Shout out to all my CHITOWN PEEPS!! When I come home for a visit, at least one night is dedicated to my gals. What do we always want to eat for dinner? SUSHI!!!!! Oh have we had so many great times at some fabulous sushi restaurants in the city. Of all of the places we have gone these are my favs:

Sunda is amazing. Whether you stop by for a lunch or dinner, it is excellent sushi. They are located on Illinois St. in Downtown Chicago and are one of the new hottest places to go. The drinks are not too bad either! The celebrity chef and now Executive Chef of Sunda; Rodelio Aglibot, has earned a recognition around the West Coast of "Food Buddha," and was actually the opening Executive Chef of the very first restaurant where I, myself, tried sushi for the first time- KOI in LA. If you want a more swanky Chicago sushi experience, go to Sunda!

Riingo is one of my favorite places to go when I am in the Lincoln Park area. This is a 'must try' place that is smaller, more cozy and....wait for it......wait for it.......BYOB!!!!!!!!!! top it off....they have specials on Monday night for ALL YOU CAN EAT sushi for $22.50 including appetizers...not sure you can beat that.....The service was good, you may have a bit of a wait but don't worry- there are bars nearby where you can grab a drink while you wait and they will call you as soon as they can sit you!

This restaurant opened a few years ago and is another blonde fav. The atmosphere is great, food is exceptional and they have a great drink menu as well. The rolls are not too expensive and a great spot to check out if you are in the area or want to have a fun girls night out!

Moving right along......

Also my town now and has been for 8 years....I have been to many sushi restaurants here! New York has SOOOOO many great spots to pick from that this is very hard to narrow down but I have chosen these top three by customer service, delicious dishes that have kept me comming back, and my overall greatest experiences.

I have been living in Astoria for the past 6 years and during that time, I have ventured out to try what sushi Astoria has to offer. I constantly keep coming back to this restaurant. This restaurant seems to be more and more popular as the more I stop in, the longer I have had to wait. It is ZAGAT rated restaurant that has been so popular that they bought the store next door to expand their premises. They have a wide selection of sushi rolls, a large Saki list for all of you Saki drinkers, and they also have a great list of appetizers and entrees to try. I personally love the fuji roll which is made of soy paper(a different type of casing than seaweed) and also fresh avocado, salmon, yellow tail and melts in your mouth! They have great lunch specials also during the week and this includes Saturdays! If you are in Astoria near Ditmars, this is the place to go!

Nobu is the world most popular, high-end, celebrity sushi landmark. It has drawn in people from Justin Timberlake to Robert de Niro and serves not only New York City but places all over the US and overseas. They make delectable, creative dishes, serve exquisite cocktails and know how to keep their customers happy. If you want an amazing, elegant sushi experience and maybe see a celeb or two while breaking the wallet a bit, go to Nobu. If you are in the Tribeca area, they also have Nobu 57 and right aside- Nobu Next Door.

Haru is another great spot to check out that is also more high end but not as high end as Nobu. They have a more modern Japanese feel for sushi serving all the basic rolls you would expect plus more signature rolls, ceviches, tartars and offer a very nice bar scene.

If you are in LA and looking for a celeb night on the town.....sushi is the best place to find them. Don't be suprised if you see paparazzi lurking outside these places because they will be there ready and waiting to get a pic of one of the many famous people that go to these hot spots!

As I have mentioned above, this was the first place I have ever had sushi and oh is it a popular spot. This is one of Lindsay Lohan's favorite restaurants(pre rehab) and also the Olsen twins, Ashton Kutcher and Nichole Ricci. This is restaurant is very swanky, offers an amazing menu, and if you are lucky, you will definitely see the paparazzi catching someone!! They offer this restaurant also in New York but the KOI in LA is by far more sexy and intricate with the dimmed candle setting and the very relaxed atmosphere.

Seen enough paparazzi? Go here! There are tons! This restaurant draws in quite a crowd, but why wouldn't they? The food is devine! Every dish is better than the last. Perhaps you can start off with their Baked Crab Hand Roll or even the Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna(their most popular dish); everything here will satisfy every tastebud you have!

There may be a chance that some of you have been to a few of these or ALL of these, but if you have not been to all, you should definietly check these out. I will not steer you wrong! They all have special dishes, serve unique drinks and have provided me with excellent service each and every time. Some of these also have sister restaurants that can be found in YOUR city so check the website. Below are other spots I also love that have locations in more than one city that are also just as good as the ones listed above.

Sushi Samba

Try one out and tell your friends! I am tellin ya- they are all DELISH. I may be blonde, but I KNOW how to eat and eat good! ENJOY!!!!!!!!


Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's 5 O-Clock Somewhere!

It has been quite a while since I have written another blog and its been long enough.

 Here we go!!!

I have another list of cool spots you should check out in NYC!!!! There are A LOT of spots that offer happy hours and great deals for drinks after work. What about places that ALSO offer deals on food too!?!

My first choice and one that I think has become quite popular is Lure Fish Bar. This restaurant is located in Soho near the Mercer Hotel. This restaurant is very unique in the sense that its built downstairs and when you are inside you feel like you are inside of a boat!! The service is very good and they have a great menu. What is also great about this place is that from 5p-7p they have a special happy hour at the bar. They have beer, wine and cocktails from $5-7 dollars normally $12 or more. What they also offer is half priced appetizers and $1 oysters! This is a definite MUST TRY!

Another fun place to check out that has happy hour drinks for $4-5 bucks till 9pm every night is Bamboo 52. It's located near Times Square on 52nd street and 8th ave. They have an extensive cocktail menu to choose your drinks from and also a great sushi menu to try as well. It gets pretty busy after work hours so get there quick!

Ever been to Japonais in Chicago? They have one in NYC near Union Square now and I don't think people know much about their happy hour! The "tasting hour" they offer is Monday-Thursday from 5p-11p and Friday-Saturday from 5p-8p. They offer $4 beer, $4 specialty drinks, and special martinis for $7. They also have a food menu including lobster spring rolls and crab cakes for only $7! This restaurant is a little more swanky if you enjoying a cheap drink that doesn't have to be purchased at a dive bar. :)

The Mermaid Inn is another spot people may not know about located near the West Village with two other locations, that offer a great happy hour and food specials. This restaurant has great oysters and lobster sandwiches as well as a delish dinner menu! If you come from 5:30-7, you can enjoy $1 oysters while sipping on a $6 glass off wine or $5 beer. If you don't like oysters, they also have other food specials available to try. If you are around on Sunday's starting TODAY- they are having a new special called the LOBSTERPALOOZA!!!  This will be at all the Mermaid locations starring a pound and a fourth lobster, grilled corn on the cob, red bliss potatoes, and cole slaw for $24. Enjoy!!

Who wants to have a GREAT burger and a $2 dollar beer? I DO! Check this West Village spot out- Corner Bistro! It's DOUBLE DELISH. The thing I love about this place is that they don't even have a menu; what they have is right up on their wall! The beers are as cheap as $2.50, so grab a beer and be prepared to wait in a line because it  gets packed- this place is WORTH THE WAIT so be patient!!!

Believe me or not- these places are places you should definitely check out!
Any questions- just ask but I will not steer you wrong.
More places to try coming soon............

XO Tina