Momofuku Ssam Bar – 207 2nd Ave , NYC 10003

Ssam Bar, located in the East Village, is one of Chef David Chang’s five restaurants. I’m a fan of his original Momofuku noodle bar (one of my favorite pork based Ramen shops in the city- my #1 pick is Ipuddo). Ssam Bar showcases David’s Korean and French influences, but for me it seems very similar to the Japanese Izakaya style (Japanese tapas pub). I like this place for combining a casual dining vibe created by the staff, open kitchen, and long community tables yet it still serves some very sophisticated food (like a Uni dish that amazed me). Start with a sake or magnum size Asahi beer (really cool). This pig lover’s paradise, as a matter of fact the menu explicitly declares “we do not serve vegetarian…”, is known for its whole slow-cooked pork shoulder (special order in advance). They also have a great raw bar but in this case skip it – you should order a second plate of pork buns. Before you leave, make sure to check out next door’s Milk Bar for dessert!! P.S. Chang’s newest place is Ma Peche in midtown, known for their ‘cool’ foodie version of Vietnamese style 7 courses of Beef, but this Cutie Patroler doesn’t often patrole midtown…….(>_<) so hopefully one day I will make it up there!

Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥♥♥ ♥♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ $$$


Santa Barbara Uni lomo, preserved tomatoes, asian pear –  A must order, amazing dish ♥♥♥   


Pork Buns pork belly, cucumber, hoisin, scallions $9 – The bun is sooo cute and the pork melts in your mouth  ♥♥♥                                      Continue reading


Kyo Ya

94 E 7th St, NYC

This low key place in the East Village serves amazing traditional Japanese food. I put it in a different category of Japanese restaurants for a city that offers so many choices of sushi places. Atmosphere is nothing terrific, yet simple and elegant. But the food here is “ridiculicious” (definition: ridiculously + delicious!). I especially love their Uni dish and pressed sushi which is heavenly. Their special menu never disappoints me too. They offer seasonal fresh seafood from Japan. I ordered everything a la carte but they have a Kaiseki menu as well. The price point is high – but well worth it. You should go with a foodie friend or date – somebody who truly appreciates Japanese food. Guaranteed 5 hearts for food and sake!

Overall Food Atmosphere Price
♥♥♥♥ ♥♥♥♥  ♥♥♥ $$$$



Fresh “Toyama” Shrimp With Sea Urchin wasabi kuzu sauce and shrimp head twice deep fried $16 – What a treat!!! . This dish is just bites but one of the best with an amazing broth. Later they serve you the deep fried shrimp head (don’t get scared as it’s super crunchy) ♥♥♥♥     


Oshisushi (pressed sushi) seared Canadian salmon with baby shiso leaf $22  – Unagi pressed sushi is very good ♥♥♥       Continue reading