I was invited into Ms. Yoo to try their burger and help promote it on Instagram. I brought a couple of food photo people with me as well, so we were able to order a bunch of other stuff in addition to the burger.
Ms Yoo is essentially an American joint, but it incorporates lots of Korean flavors and ingredients into each dish that you really walk away thinking you ate a 100% Korean meal. I guess one could call it “fusion,” but it’s not pretentious and douchey like other “fusion” places can be.
First up was this bowl of nori popcorn to get things started.
The salted seaweed adds a nice natural savory element to the snack.
Next up was the beef carpaccio. This baby was gorgeous, topped with watercress, edible flowers and a cured egg yolk.
Then we tried some mac and cheese made from rice cakes (tteok).
The rice cakes are the perfect texture and vehicle to drive a great, cheesy comfort food like mac abad cheese. This one was made with gruyere and cheddar, and had a panko crust.
This was absolutely delicious, especially since it had copious amounts of bacon in it. That dipping sauce you see there is made with tomatoes and kimchi.
There are two varieties of chicken wing: spicy gochujang and honey soy sesame. The breading was perfectly crisp. While I typically like spicy wings best, the honey soy sesame was my favorite between the two.
We also had some bone marrow, which came with a bacon kimchi onion jam. Yeah – wild!
There’s also a really unique and flavorful hot dog on the menu here, topped with a dynamite grilled jalapeño pepper.
And that’s homemade Korean pork sausage on a pretzel roll with some Yoo sauce to boot (a spicy mayo, I think). Easily one of my favorite dishes of the night.
Oh yeah and the burger! This beauty is 10oz of beefy goodness topped with American cheese, Yoo sauce, and a kimchi bacon onion jam that will make you mouth water for days after tasting it.
I’m really looking forward to going back and eating that burger again, actually. And part of the reason why is because I want this as an encore for dessert:
These are honey-butter chips, and they’re the closest thing that Ms Yoo has on the menu to a dessert at the moment (there will be a dedicated dessert menu in time). These are just fried root veggie chips, like taro, potato and sweet potato, but they’re dressed in a sweet, yet savory and spicy, honey-butter glaze that’ll blow you away. Absolute must try.
Had the delicious pork belly bossam. This is mandatory.
Also tried the flank steak. 7/10 – just needed more seasoning.
I haven’t written up a product review in a while. I suppose this shit falls more into the “service” category than the product category, but fuck it. It works, I guess, and I’m not about to make another goddamn separate page of reviews on my website that’s dedicated to “services” in the food world.
Any-fucking-way, a food buddy of mine, @NYCFoodFOMO, won an Instagram contest for a free private dinner prepared by a chef through CookUnity, a service that provides a chef that comes to peoples’ apartments and cooks a meal for them and their guests.
My buddy picked a crew of five more food fanatics, which included me, to eat the CookUnity contest prize meal. As you can see from the Boomerang clip below, this was right after I had just gazed into Medusa’s eyes.
Our chef, Isaac Friedman, did a great job with the meal, and we noticed that he even did the dishes before he left! Pretty sweet.
So we started with a Spanish mac and cheese, which was filled with chorizo, roasted piquillo peppers, caramelized vidalia onions and smoked paprika.
This shit was pretty killer. It was so good that I considered lathering my balls with the warm leftovers toward the end of the meal, but I thought that might be weird for Isaac to experience. The other guys probably would have been okay with it, though. Especially since they were totally comfortable taking pictures at weird, semi-erotic angles and in sexually suggestive positions.
Speaking of the other guys (@StuffBenEats, @FoodAndCity, @FoodMento, and my cousin PJ), I think we all found this mac to be our favorite course of the meal. With those ingredients, I half expected it to be too salty, but it wasn’t. The flavors were nice and smoky from the chorizo and paprika, with a pop of heat and great creamy cheese (several styles involved, including cheddar and jack).
For the main course we had Israeli style chicken schnitzel. This was served with a pilaf of mujaddara rice, beluga lentils and caramelized onions. There was also a marinated heirloom tomato salad and a delicious green herb tahini sauce.
The chicken stayed very tender, and the outer breading was perfectly crisp. The sweet and savory sauce added an interesting flavor element that tied the chicken in nicely with the sides. If you’re a man who loves chicken, then this dish is for you. And if you’re a man who loves making love to chicken, then all-star news anchor Ernie Anastos will tell you what to do:
Dessert was a cardamom spiced rice pudding, topped with toasted pistachios and a pomegranate-cherry reduction.
I was never a big fan of rice pudding, but I think now I’m a changed man. This was really fucking good! The cardamom and pistachio combo gave it a distinctly near-eastern flavor profile, and we were all raving about the sweet and tart cherry-pomegranate reduction sauce that was drizzled on top.
In sum, this is a pretty cool service. If this is in your budget (I have no idea what the pricing is like), and you don’t really have time to cook at home for your family, then this seems like a good solution.
My wife paid a little under $50 for a Gilt City flash deal that got us two drinks each, an app to share, two entrees and a side to share at The Ainsworth. Pretty great deal if you ask me.
We started with these crab tacos. These are $21 regular price, so I thought that was a bit high considering that these are small and the plate comes with four pieces. Do these look like they’re worth $5.25 each (before tax and tip)? I don’t think so.
They were tasty – good crunch on the shell, though I wasn’t sure if the crab meat was actual lump crab or some kind of crab substitute. Either way, I wouldn’t pay that kind of money for them.
For a nominal upcharge ($12), I went with the 20oz bone-in, 28-day dry-aged rib eye.
This was spectacular. The aged flavor really popped for just a 28-day stint in the aging box. I could taste the nutty and funky qualities with ease. While it was grilled instead of seared, didn’t have much of a spinalis (fat cap), and there was a bit of hard gristle in the meat, the cook temperature was a perfect medium rare and the flavor in the eye was excellent. 8/10.
As you can see, the steak was topped with some crispy fried shallots. Nice touch!
At $42, this is a great deal, especially considering that the flavors of this thing can easily rival some of the best steakhouses in town. I guess it was just a bummer that I got a cut with little fat cap and a few bites of gristle.
My wife went with the famous mac and cheese burger.
That’s a fried mac and cheese patty on the bottom, a cheeseburger patty on top of that, and then mac and cheese on top of the burger.
While that is all totally unnecessary and probably only done for Instagram fodder, it was indeed a fun item to eat. Here’s a little animated image for you to ogle:
It didn’t taste that special to me, but it sure did make for some handsome photos.
French fries came with that burger, as if there wasn’t enough to fill you up with the burger itself.
These could use some work. Some were a little bit un-crisped and heavy, but otherwise decent.
On the side, we shared the asparagus with a fried egg on top. Both the asparagus and the egg were cooked perfectly and had good flavor. Look – it was either this or more fries, so give me a break.