­

Empanada Mama | New York City

thanks to our awesome friend, lauren, we were introduced to empanada mama!  (if you asked her what is your go-to place in manhattan, she would say this place).  at first i was skeptical since i didnt see how you can just eat empanadas for dinner… arent they just an appetizer?!

Empanada Mama New York
Empanada Mama New York

we ended up at the express version because we were already on the lower east side and wandering around hungry and tried from our walk.  we ordered:

  • spicy chicken – chunks of chicken breast slowly cooked in mama’s special picante sauce.  oh, its special alright.  bomb.
  • cheese and spinach – mozzarella with sauteed spinach
  • cheeseburger – round beef cooked in traditional latin spices with cheddar cheese.  oh yeah, we did.

all were delicious but the spicy hockey definitely stood out.  they give you two sauces to dip (one red and one green)…delicious!  in love with the green sauce (maybe a chimichurri sauce?).

Empanada Mama New YorkEmpanada Mama New YorkEmpanada Mama New York

each empanada is $3.00 each.  a little pricey considering you need a lot to get full…but still very very worth it.  i could eat 1,000!

  • service:  i’m going to go ahead and say that since this is express… you shouldn’t really expect the greatest service.  But i didn’t mind.  we were just in and out without much interaction.
  • atmosphere:  this place is small.  there are a few high chairs and a table or two.  dont expect to roll deep here.
  • overall: highly recommend this place!  loved the empanadas!  next time, i want to go to the full service one in midtown and try the bajillion other flavors!

189 E Houston St
New York, NY 10009
Neighborhoods: Lower East Side, Alphabet City

Empanada Mama Express on Urbanspoon

763 9th Ave
(between 51st St & 52nd St)
New York, NY 10019
Neighborhoods: Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West, Theater District

Empanada Mama on Urbanspoon

some pictures from our walk!

NYCIMG_2462aIMG_2456aIMG_2472a
By |June 27th, 2013|Food, New York, Restaurants, Travel|3 Comments

Stout | Studio City, CA

i have heard that stout has an amazing burger.  i was pretty glad to find out that one popped up in studio city.

Stout | Studio CityStout | Studio CityStout | Studio City

the burger:  i got the shu burger.  beef patty, light bell sauce and a spicy chipotle sauce.  it was good but not great.  i still like umami better. ugh I know.  i’m annoying.

bun was soft. temperature was good.  it was just missing that umph.

we also ordered the stout burger (i did not personally get the stout burger because i don’t like blue cheese).  kyle liked his burger more than my burger since it had more flavor.  regardless, he still thought it was just ok.  the stout burger comes with blue cheese, gruyere, bacon, caramelized onions, horseradish, and roasted tomatoes.

just a note:  like most new places now, there are no substitutions allowed (so that the original integrity of the burger is not compromised… we get it).  they do allow you to take things out but not add items in (if you want this option, you should go to the counter).

Stout Studio City

i got two of the side sauces to go with our side of fries and onion rings:  chipotle and lemon basil aioli.  50 cents extra.  i hate when sauces are extra but i really love sauces so i swallowed the extra cost of a dollar.

Stout | Studio City

all burgers are $10 and do not come with fries.  pretty average compared to other burgers in the “gourmet burgers” category.

  • parking:  valet only unless you luck out and get a metered spot.  sucks.
  • service:  helpful, friendly and fast.
  • atmosphere:  this place is pretty small.  few tables “indoors” along with seats at the bar.  a few tables outside.  it was nice sitting outside the day we went but (i) i can see how it gets a little hot and (ii) you cant see the tv (in case you are going there to see a game).
  • overall:  would i come back?  i’m on the fence about this one.  this burger was good but not great but we still enjoyed ourselves…plus i can’t eat umami every day.  i do see a deterrent being the limited parking situation.  it’s at a bend on ventura blvd and street parking isn’t the easiest.

Stout
11262 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

Stout on Urbanspoon

By |June 22nd, 2013|Food, Restaurants|6 Comments

Carnegie Delicatessen | New York City

this was our second time at carnegie deli. kyle specifically wanted to go here because he loved the hot pastrami the first time around (and also liked it more than katz’ deli).

Carnegie Delicatessen | New York CityCarnegie Delicatessen | New York CityCarnegie Delicatessen | New York CityCarnegie Delicatessen | New York City

food:  we ordered the hot pastrami sandwich with a bowl of matzo ball soup.  note that every thing here is huge… it’s ridiculous but fun at the same time.  it is way too much food… make sure you are sharing with someone or a group of peeps.  note that they charge you an extra $3.00 for sharing.

i am a fan of the matzo ball soup here.  it’s it delicious and soothing in a homey way.  i enjoy this more than the sandwich actually.

kyle likes the pastrami here.  it is piled high on rye. enough said.  oh, don’t forget the two types of pickles you get with your sandwich.  yum.

Carnegie Delicatessen | New York City

after eating this you really won’t want to eat the rest of the day.  this obviously was not an option for us… since we had a long eating day ahead of us.  chowed this down and headed up and downtown to walk it off…

Carnegie Delicatessen | New York City

  • service:  fast and organized.  there are a lot of people working here to make sure things move quickly.  
  • price:  expect to pay at least $18 for a sandwich… it’s big so you can’t really complain.
  • ambiance:  loud.  pictures of famous people on the walls.  yep, you either love it or you hate it.  
  • overall:  look, don’t expect the best meal of your life.  i wouldn’t even say i love pastrami but i do recognize this is a must do when you’re in the big apple.  it is lots of food but its the experience/history you want.

Carnegie Delicatessen | New York City

Carnegie Delicatessen
854 7th Ave
(between 54th St & 55th St)
New York, NY 10019
Neighborhood: Midtown West

Carnegie Deli on Urbanspoon

By |June 18th, 2013|Food, New York, Restaurants, Travel|3 Comments

Momofuku Noodle Bar | New York City

Momofuku | New York

we went to nyc last week for a few days. obviously before we went, we made a list of places we had to try on our second food adventure in nyc. momofuku was one of the places. two things we were excited about: pork buns and the ramen.

made it over to the east village for lunch. lucky for us, we only waited 10 minutes to get seated. we talked to the hostess who told us that dinner time gets extremely hectic. good thing they take your cell phone number and just call you when your table is ready. efficiency.

Momofuku | New York

since we had a long, long day of eating ahead of us, we only ordered the staples. pork bun ($10). momofuku ramen ($16).

Momofuku | New YorkMomofuku | New York

no wonder people rave about the pork buns. they are fantastic. absolutely fantastic. the pork belly melts in your mouth. i get it now. so we have had ippudo’s pork bun too. i think they go head-to-head. i cant say one is definitely better than the other. both are delicious.

Momofuku | New York

the ramen was good. we got the momofuku ramen (had to go with the original since it was our first time). it has pork belly, pork shoulder, a poached egg, scallions, cabbage, and kamaboko. don’t be fooled. this will definitely fill you us. i cant put my finger on it but the noodles are different. more al dente? is that it? we enjoyed it.

Momofuku | New York

  • atmosphere: long communal table in the front of the restaurant with high chairs. it gets pretty loud in there. loved sitting near the window…i cant get enough of natural light. seating in the back is for bigger parties.
  • price: a tad on the pricey side. but i would say worth it.
  • service: food comes out fast. good thing because there is always a line of people waiting to be seated.
  • overall: loved our meal. pork bun, i will dream about you and await the day we meet again.

Momofuku | New York

Momofuku Noodle Bar
171 1st Ave
(between 10th St & 11th St)
New York, NY 10003
Neighborhood: East Village

Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

By |June 10th, 2013|Food, New York, Restaurants, Travel|9 Comments

Rutt’s Hawaiian Cafe | Culver City, CA

Rutt's Hawaiian | Culver Ci

we are obsessed with the fried rice at rutt’s.  we order the original hawaiian royale.  kyle orders the king size and i order the regular.  there’s a junior size…psh.  that’s a mistake.

Rutt's Hawaiian | Culver Ci

what’s in the royale? sausage, char sui, rice eggs, bean sprouts and onions all stir fried together.  so simple. we are in love with the teriyaki sauce… liquid heaven in my opinion (i’m gross. i drench my fried rice in it).  it’s not thick…very diluted. so it’s not as bad as it sounds.   pour sriracha on top.  bam.  (make sure you douse in teriyaki and sriracha.  you will not regret it)

i cant speak to the breakfast menu although a lot of people rave about it.  we have ordered some of the other hawaiian items on the menu (kalua pork and spam) but always come back to the fried rice.

Rutt's Hawaiian | Culver CiRutt's Hawaiian | Culver CiRutt's Hawaiian | Culver Ci

  • parking situation:  metered street parking.  we never have issues.   
  • price:  i consider this cheap considering how much food you get. $9 for a king size and $7 for a regular.  i usually order the king size, pound some down and save the rest for later. if you are into veggies, you can get yours with extra veggies. 
  • atmosphere:  casual hawaiian.  nothing swanky…feels a lot like a diner.  service is quick and friendly.  
  • overall:  fried rice is amaze-balls.  tell everyone. 

Rutt’s Hawaiian Cafe
12114 Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Neighborhood: Culver City

Rutt's Hawaiian Cafe & Catering on Urbanspoon

By |June 10th, 2013|Food, Restaurants|2 Comments