Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Sushi Fan

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

This joint has a really nice 15-piece omakase for just $85. You get a lot of what would normally be “upgrade” toppings on the pieces, too. Things like uni, foie, etc. Here are some pics of everything we had (minus the hand roll).

My favorite was the wagyu beef with uni on top (obvious?). It was A5 rib eye!

I would definitely go back here again, and the joint is BYOB so that’s perfect! They also offer a super-upgraded 18-piece omakase for $140. But honestly, the 15-course is such a great value that I don’t think I’d get the 18-course.

SUSHI FAN
102 St Marks Pl.
New York, NY 10009

The Baroness

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

I’ve been meaning to get over to this joint ever since I learned that my guys over at Golden Packing supply the burgers and some other meat proteins here. So I rode up on the Zooz and met with Tyson and Lupe, both Golden gang members, to chow down.

The savage wings are smoked and then fried, so they pack a ton of flavor. The burnt ends bologna was masterful. I’ve always wanted to try smoked BBQ style bologna, and this place definitely has me wanting more. The skillet mac and cheese was really nice. Also smoky and flavorful. The standard “Judith” 6oz burger was perfect. Great crisp on the patty, some caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles… really nice. I probably could have crushed two of these!

I would definitely go back to try more!

THE BARONESS
47-18 Vernon Blvd.
Queens, NY 11101

Monsieur Vo

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

I finally got over to Jimmy & Yen’s husband restaurant to Madame Vo, aptly named Monsieur Vo. All I can say is… WOW!

We started with this incredible beef tartare made from rib eye!

Fried soft shell crab egg drop soup? Hell yes! I absolutely loved this. it also had corn and asparagus in it. really tasty! Big thanks to The Cake Dealer for snapping some of these pics that I’m using here…

These prawns served over steamed rice cake crepe type thingies were also delicious, and perfectly cooked, I might add. Tons of flavor.

We also tried their dry chicken pho dish, which is made with juicy chicken thigh, crispy chicken skin, and lots of herbs and spices. It will hit you with both sweet and savory together in perfect harmony. I loved it!

The star of the show for me was the beef shank in bun bo hue (spicy lemongrass) sauce.

This thing is enormous. We got the sice that’s meant for 4-6 people, just so you know.

It was fall-apart tender, juicy and crazy flavorful.

This is definitely up there with some of my favorite “beast feasts.” You need to try it!

For dessert, their toasted rice ice cream over flan with boba was the perfect ending to an incredible meal.

I was really excited to learn that Golden Packing supplies most of their meat proteins too! Love those guys! Best in the biz.

I can’t wait to go back and try more stuff.

MONSIEUR VO
104 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

Sushi Lab

First, check out my Ride & Review HERE:

 

This joint was offering a 12-piece omakase for just $60 during restaurant week, so my wife and I jumped on it!

I would definitely come back here again for the 15-course $100 omakase. We noticed that they really bump up the quality when you go for that.

That’s not to say that the 12-piece wasn’t worth it. To the contrary! It was a sweet deal.

SUSHI LAB
320 E 11th St.
New York, NY 10003

Paradise Lost

I didn’t really take pics at this place, so you should watch my episode of Around the Hood HERE:

This place is an awesome tiki bar in the east village that serves up some great food in addition to their awesome selection of tiki drinks.

We tried the Holy Ground ribs, chicken thigh skewers, pastrami musubi and shrimp skewers. All were good, but the ribs stood out as the best, with the shrimp being the last in the lineup.

I will definitely be back here again to try more tiki drinks!

PARADISE LOST
100 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

Kinzan

First, check out my Ride & Review video HERE:

Kinzan is an omakase joint in the west village that offers a $100 meal, and, currently, a 15% discount is you pay in cash.

While this doesn’t quite break the top five for low cost/high value omakase joints, there were definitely some highlights, like the albacore with chili garlic crisp…

Tuna with caviar…

And their Instagram claim to fame, the smoked martini course.

Definitely worth a shot! Great service and reasonable prices.

KINZAN
259 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10014

Little Pepper

We hitched a ride out to Little Pepper in Queens with another foodie couple who has been there a bunch of times. We tried a lot of shit, so I’m gonna just get right into it.

This Szechuan style pork sausage was packed with flavor and ate like dry salumi with a kick!

The sliced pork belly in chili garlic sauce was probably one of the best items of the night. That sauce was dynamite.

My favorite item of the meal, though, was the shrimp. “Prawn with chili pepper” is what to order on the menu. The lightly fried crisp batter on the outside gave this such an amazing texture. I could eat buckets.

The lotus root was a great veg item for the side, as were the string beans.

The tea smoked duck lacked smoke or tea flavor, and was a bit on the dry side. But it was really flavorful and still very tender.

The scallion fried rice doesn’t look like much, but it’s a meal in itself for sure. It’s really delicious, and it sure as fuck beats regular white rice. So get this for all your rice eating needs (to soak up the ma-po sauce).

Speaking of ma-po, their tofu dish was excellent!

Another classic done well are the dan dan noodles. Get these.

One of the more surprising dishes was the pork meatballs. These were tender, soft and gingery flavored. A little more on the sweet side when compared to some of the spicy items we tried.

Finally, the spicy and tingly cumin lamb dish was really nice. The lamb is thin sliced and tossed with tin slices of veg and onions. Really earthy and flavorful.

This place is definitely a banger. With the abundance of spots nearby in Chinatown, however, I’m not sure how often I would be back here in Queens. I do highly recommend it though.

LITTLE PEPPER
18-24 College Point Blvd
College Point, NY 11356

Little Maven

First, check out this awesome episode of Around the Hood in 8 Minutes, which features Little Maven.

My chef buddy Josh Capon opened this joint in late November, and I finally got a chance to check it out in the new year. The Cake Dealer’s birthday weekend is always filled with great food, and this was our first stop for the occasion.

We started with some great cocktails (get the Maven 75), and Josh sent over some bites for us to try out that highlight his fun menu.

Whipped Tahini

Tuna Tartare Cannolis (These are AMAZING)

Caesar Cups

The broiled oysters here are fantastic. Very similar to Capon’s famous broiled oysters from Bowery Meat Co.

This sizzling grilled octopus is so tender and tasty. The potatoes were perfectly seasoned and crisp.

We also had a delicious duck confit and mushroom ravioli dish that was on special, but I forgot to snap a pic. You’ll have to watch the video to see it, and to hear Josh explaining how to properly confit duck!

For the mains, we went with the dry aged duck and the steamed black bass in Thai green curry. The duck was one of the most tender and perfectly cooked I’ve had.

Absolutely stunning! It came with turnips and wine poached pears. Rich without being too heavy, which was the same comment I made about the ravioli.

The black bass really stole the show, however.

It came with a crispy rice cake and a mixed herb and green bean salad that were both so damn tasty when mixed with the green curry. It had a kick of spice without being too overpowering. I could eat this every day!

Josh also sent over some really unique and soft miso chocolate chip cookies, as well as a banana split for the birthday girl. Chocolate, vanilla, banana cream and strawberry/raspberry flavored ice creams. Save your appetite for dessert!

I can’t wait to go back and try more of the pasta dishes, and of course the steak frites.

LITTLE MAVEN
30 W 18th St
New York, NY 10011

The Ordinary

Our last meal of 2023 culminated with a seafood blowout in Charleston, at a joint called The Ordinary.

We started with a massive seafood tower, filled with all sorts of delicious raw and cooked goodies.

The best of the tower was probably the peel and eat shrimp, which was a shocker for me.

This oyster slider was superb too. Highly recommend it.

I also liked the smoked mussels here as well.

This clam toast was salty, and it ate more like a panzanella. But I did enjoy it.

This rock shrimp fried rice ate more like couscous or broken rice, and it wasn’t fried at all. That said, it was still very tasty.

For sides, we did the roasted squash and sweet potatoes. I could have passed on these.

Our two main fish dishes were roasted tilefish and mustard crusted flounder. Between these, the flounder was the easy winner. It was the best part of the meal.

This was a pretty good meal overall, and I would definitely recommend it to people heading down to Charleston and looking for good seafood.

THE ORDINARY
544 King St
Charleston, SC 29403

Fig

For our final meal of the trip to Charleston, we went to the often difficult to reserve Fig with a couple that I’m friends with who live nearby. I managed to score a last minute reservation at 9:15pm, and we ended up closing down the joint at close to midnight. It turned out to be our overall best meal of the trip. Let’s get into it…

We started with a bunch of items that we all shared. Broiled oysters aji dolce, chicken liver pate, raw hogfish (similar to snapper) with rice and popcorn (crazy!), lamb bolognese ricotta gnocchi, and wagyu beef tartare.

These were, each of them, all-star level dishes, and I am hard-pressed to pick a favorite among them. I would order each of them again in a heartbeat, but I think I was most surprised by the hogfish. It was so unique, and I’m a sucker for popcorn. The gnocchi was definitely meant to be a main dish, but we shared among the four of us.

For mains, we also went heavy with five dishes. Baked wreckfish, sautéed flounder, mustard crusted swordfish, Berkshire pork milanese and lump crab spaghetti with lemon and bottarga.

Again, everything really incredible. I think, though, what stood out the most to me was the swordfish. The capers and mustard crust really paired beautifully with the medium-rare cooked fish. Loved it!

For dessert, we went with these lemon curd cream puffs, which were really nice.

I highly recommend Fig if you’re in Charleston. Absolutely delicious!

FIG
232 Meeting St
Charleston, SC 29401