Java Girl Inc., Upper East Side, NYC


Java Girl on Urbanspoon


I’m sitting in the cutest coffee shop on the Upper East Side as I write this. Everything in this place spells comfort – from the fabulous aromas of fresh Java to the woodsy, country, rustic look of the Café that makes it feel like home. Continue reading


Miette – Patisserie and Confiserie, San Francisco, CA

Ferry Building Marketplace
Shop 10
San Francisco, CA 94111
ph # 415 – 837-0300


Miette is french for “little crumbs”. What a perfect little name for a perfect little place. Housed in the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Miette is just as adorable as it sounds. Continue reading


53rd and 6th – Halal Cart, Midtown West,NYC





Food: ☆☆☆☆


Service: ☆☆


Cost: $


53rd and 6th Halal Cart on Urbanspoon


“The Best Halal. Delicious Chicken and Gyro  – We are different!” scream the yellow shirts worn by “The Gyros Guys” on 53rd and 6th avenue.

They have no official name and are known as anything from  the Halal Cart to Chicken and Rice to Platter!

There are many Halal Carts around that block but this one in particular is in a class by itself. They are known by their distinctive yellow sweatshirts and plastic bags that read ” The Best Halal……….”

They are only open at night from 7:30 PM to 4:00 AM. It doesn’t matter what time of night you go  – they always have a long line of eager night owls waiting to get their fix.

This was the line we found when we got there at 2:30 AM on a Saturday night!!

But here’s the BIG secret. They usually charge $6 for a chicken rice platter but for $10 – you get to cut the line!!!

So, if you dont want to wait and are willing to pull out the big bucks……. all you have to do is go up to the guys directly and tell them that you want the ten dollar deal!!

Needless to say their food is fabulous. There is no better way to wind down the New York night scene.

They have two options on their menu – the chicken and rice platter or the chicken gyro sandwich. Their sauces are to die for!

Apparently the recipe for their white sauce is top secret – that’s where all the flavor is and they have a kick-ass hot sauce. I’m a spice hound but you really have to take it easy on this one – its is SMOKING hot!

So delicious!!

So if you ever get those late night munchies and need a hit of something cheap and fabulous……53rd and 6th is the place to go!

Restaurant Information

* Restaurant Name
The Halal Guys
* Overall
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
Brooklyn / Middle Eastern other
* Street Address
6th Ave & W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019
* Phone
(347) 527-1505

Three Sixty, Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi, India

Dr. Zakir Hussain Marg,
New Delhi – 110003

Three Sixty at the Oberoi Hotel is one of the poshest eateries in New Delhi, India. It’s a great spot for people watching as it is frequented by the Delhi elite and celebrity crowd. The impressive space is huge and bathed in natural light. The decor is modern and extremely chic. All of this makes for a great place to hang out at …..(with a pretty price to pay for it of course!) Continue reading



Food: ☆☆
Service: ☆☆
Ambiance: ☆ 1/2
Cost: $
I recommend: Wonton with Spicy Sauce, Sesame Pancake Sandwich.

Vanessa's Dumpling House on Urbanspoon


Strolling around Chinatown one day, my interest was piqued by the hustle bustle at a neat looking dumpling house. That’s how I discovered Vanessa’s Dumpling House on Eldridge Street. Vanessa’s works like a well-oiled machine and is run by an all women crew – love that! Continue reading


Spice Market, Meatpacking District, NYC


Spice Market on Urbanspoon

Take a trip to Southeast Asia by eating at Jean-George Vongerichten’s Spice Market. The cuisine here  is inspired by regional street food combined with Vongerichten’s distinctive touch. The interiors are resplendent and definitely make you feel like you are in some exotic locale of Asia. There are decorative pagodas and arches that adorn the enormous space and a grand staircase that leads to the hopping bar area downstairs. All of this makes for a really great spot to hang out at where one is stylishly served by waiters and scantily clad waitresses, dressed in bright orange hues. Continue reading


Le Perigord, Midtown East, NYc


Le Périgord on Urbanspoon

“Tired” is the word that comes to mind when I think about my evening spent at Le Perigord, which is nestled in the heart of Sutton Place. Every thing about the evening was just so pathetically dreary and tiring.

There was no real “welcome” when we entered the restaurant. We were ushered to our table and just kind of left there for quite some time  with the menus till we asked for someone to come and take our order. The general air of all the servers was brusque. And even the little charm that I thought the place had in its simple table setting wore off by the time the appetizers were done. For the rest of the meal – I just kept hearing the “tick-tock” of a clock….when will this be done? Continue reading


The Village Voice – Choice Eats Event 2010

The Village Voice’s 3rd Annual Choice Eats Event
The 69th Armory
68 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10010

Guess what I had tickets for this past week?


We reached around 6:15PM for the event which began at 6:30 PM for the Non-VIP ticket holders (that’s me!!). The line was wrapped around an entire Manhattan city block!!!! It took us almost an hour to reach the entrance! Of-Course I spent the entire hour worrying that there would be no food left for me……Boy was I wrong!

Once we were in……….the ultimate fest in gluttony began! Continue reading


Chao Thai, Woodside, NYC


Food: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Service: ☆☆☆
 Price: $
Overall experience: ☆☆☆
 I recommend: Crispy Watercress Salad, Soft Shell Crab with Curry Powder, Steamed Whole Fish with Lime Juice.

Chao Thai on Urbanspoon

Chao Thai is one of Elmhurst’s food treasures. It’s the kind of place that really makes Queens famous for having some of the best ethnic eats in New York City. This tiny eatery couldn’t be more than 200 sq. ft, but they sure have packed in some flavor into that small space. Continue reading


Fat Witch Bakery, Chelsea , NYC



Fat Witch Bakery on Urbanspoon

Who doesn’t love a good Brownie?

In New York City’s Chelsea market, the Fat Witch Bakery has built an entire business on selling just brownies. Their brownies area called “witches” and you can get them in all kinds of bewitching flavors and sizes. What a marvelous concept! Continue reading


Sushi of Gari 46, Hell’s Kitchen, NYC

Sushi of Gari 46
347 West 46th Street
New York, NY 10036
Ph# 212-957-0046



Sushi of Gariis the abode of celestial sushi! Chef Masatoshi “Gari” Sugio in his brilliant creations has redefined sushi completely. Gari set out to educate Americans on how to truly enjoy the delicate flavors of sushi without dousing it in globs of wasabi and soy sauce. In doing so, he has masterfully paired the finest fish with the most innovative toppings and sauces.  So, when the sushi is presented to you at Sushi of Gari, it is complete in itself and requires no additional flavoring to be added.

If you are looking for an other worldly experience at Gari, then don’t try any of the “regular” items on the menu. Skip the appetizers and go for the gold. All the food is really good at Gari but the thing to really have is the “Sushi Special or the Omakase( chef’s choice). Be prepared to spend spend spend but for food this good – who needs to save for college anyway!! Continue reading


db Bistro Moderne, Midtown, NYC

db Bistro Moderne
55 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
ph# 212-391-2400

Chef Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Modernein mid-town, is a perfect lunch spot where French cuisine meets the American palate to create delightfully flavored food. Chef Oliver Muller, has created a seasonal menu that is really marvelous. The interiors are modern with very clean lines though quarters can get very cramped, especially in the back room. The service is very warm and friendly (very cute waiters with charming smiles!). I recommend going for the pre-fix lunch as food here can get pretty pricey.

I went to db Bistro Moderne during the NYC winter restaurant week and got a great deal on lunch. Though we didn’t try the Original db Burger, it’s meant to be the dish to eat here. Perhaps next time…….. Continue reading


Sigiri – Sri Lankan Cuisine, East Village, NYC

91 First Avenue,
New York, NY 10003
(between E. Fifth and E. Sixth Sts.)
Ph# (212) 614-9333

Well over 15 years ago, when I was visiting Sri-Lanka, I had one of the best meals at the home of one of the local residents. I can’t remember what I ate but  just remember it being one of those truly unforgettable meals. Ever since then, I have been trying to find shadows of that meal somewhere….anywhere …….here in New York City.

My search led me to Sigri on the Lower East Side. Sigiri is perched in a small space on top of an ethnic gorcery store right around the Bangladeshi- Indian Restaurant Row on East 6th street. Continue reading


BKNY Thai, Bayside, NYC

47-11 Francis Lewis Blvd
Bayside, NY 11361

BKNY is so aptly named because once you enter this restaurant, you really are transported from New York to Bangkok – at a fraction of the cost!

This fabulous find is a real jewel in a part of Queens where really good ethnic food is very hard to find. BKNY was opened in 2006 and has been serving up phenomenal Thai cuisine ever since. The owner Usai has managed not only to bring the authentic flavors of Thailand here to New York but also the unmatched warmth and hospitality that can only be truly Thai. Continue reading


Ame, San Francisco, CA

689 Mission Street at Third Street
San Francisco
Ph# (415) 284-4040

Restaurateurs Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, have truly outdone themselves in creating Ame – their most recent food endeavor. Ame is housed in the graceful St Regis Hotel in San Francisco. This restaurant epitomizes zen elegance in both setting and food.

Given the sublime flavors that are served here, Sone and Doumani couldn’t have picked a more appropriate name for this restaurant. Ame, in French means soul – and the masterful menu that combines Japanese, American, French and Italian influences is divinity that truly touches ones “Ame”! I tried the tasting menu but got to sample a vast array of dishes from what my family ordered.

Oh Ame! What a gorgeous meal with fabulous service– it’s a dining experience that truly speaks to ones soul! I, for one, cant wait to go back…….

Here is some of what we ate……


Three Preparations of Sashimi

I started with an appetizer of Three Preparations of Sashimi. I thought this dish was very good. It was not the best sashimi I’ve ever had but the fish and scallop was very fresh and the combination of flavors was remarkable.


Lobster Tortelloni

My next course was the Lobster Bisque with Lobster Tortelloni. I think that this is one of the best Lobster Bisques I have ever had. Unlike other lobster bisques, this one was not heavy and laden with cream. It was actually refreshing to be able to taste the clear flavors of this wonderful soup. The Lobster Tortelloni just took the Bisque to a whole new level. When I bit into the Tortelloni, it was like an explosion of flavors in my mouth – it was unbelievable!


Broiled, Sake Marinated Alaskan Black Cod and Shrimp Dumplings in a Shiso Broth

My next course was their signature Broiled, Sake Marinated Alaskan Black Cod and Shrimp Dumplings in a Shiso Broth. This is one of those dishes that  just makes you go weak in the knees with every bite. How can anything taste so darned good? I’ve had black cod at many different fine restaurants but this dish can only be god’s own creation!


Lamb Tenderloin with Caramelized Endive, Black Truffle Sauce and Potato Puffs

My next course was the Lamb Tenderloin with Caramelized Endive, Black Truffle Sauce and Potato Puffs. This dish was very good too, the lamb was very tender and the truffle sauce complemented it very well.


Grilled Berkshire Pork chop with Boudin Noir, Caramelized Apples, Mashed Potatoes

Spaghettini with a Maine lobster

I also tried the Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop with Boudin Noir, Caramelized Apples, Mashed Potatoes and Sauce Dijonnaise and the Spaghettini with a Maine Lobster. Both these dishes were very good, nothing outstanding though.


Grilled Dry-aged NY Strip Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Chicken Puffs

We had my children with us too and so they made their Grilled Dry-aged NY Strip Steak into a kid friendly dish topped with their version of chicken nuggets. I don’t eat Beef but was told that the Strip Steak was unbelievably good ( better than most local steakhouses). The chicken nuggets were to die for – it was like biting into fluffy clouds of chicken that had been deep-fried to a perfect crispness. I think the adults enjoyed those nuggets more than the kids did!!


Brown Butter Chocolate Gancahe Crunch with Amontillado Sherry Ice-cream

You would think that we would have been done by now but wait till you see the desserts! We ordered the Brown Butter Chocolate Gancahe Crunch with Amontillado Sherry Ice-cream. I loved the chocolate crunch in this dessert and the ice-cream complimented the chocolate decadence perfectly.

Parfait of Roasted Strawberries and Strawberry Ice Milk with Sesame Honeycomb

I thought their Parfait of Roasted Strawberries and Strawberry Ice Milk with Sesame Honeycomb was truly outstanding. All the layers that went into creating this dessert kept each bite interesting.


Food: ☆☆☆☆

Ambiance: ☆☆☆1/2

Service: ☆☆☆☆

Price: $$$

Overall experience: ☆☆☆☆

I recommend: Broiled, Sake Marinated Alaskan Black Cod and Shrimp Dumplings in a Shiso Broth, Lobster Bisque with Lobster Tortelloni, Parfait of Roasted Strawberries and Strawberry Ice Milk with Sesame Honeycomb.

(All ratings are out of a possible 5 stars. Each establishment is individually rated based on my experience of that particular meal.  Ratings are also based on my expectations of quality of food, value for money, service, ambiance and overall experience)

Ame on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Information

* Restaurant Name
* Overall
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
American New / Japanese
* Street Address
St Regis Hotel, 689 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105
* Phone
(415) 284-4040

Pho Bang Restaurant, Flushing, NYC

Ever been to a Vietnamese Restaurant and not had Pho?

I have!

Pho Bang serves up some of the tastiest, bang for your buck eats one can find. The average cost for a dish is between $5-6 and boy do they feed you well. When we went, there were 7 of us. We ate like maniacs- ordered all the meats from shrimp to beef and the bill only came to about $60!! Now that’s a deal. My most favorite thing to eat at Pho Bang is the grilled pork. I think they have mastered their pork dishes. If you don’t eat pork there is plenty you can substitute with.

Here is some of what we ate:


The Goi Cuon is a Vietnamese summer roll, which is wrapped with rice paper and stuffed with cooked shrimp, pork, green leaves, and mint, bean sprouts and rice noodles. It is served with a tangy peanut sauce.

I thought their summer rolls were pretty decent. I like my rolls more on the delicate side so when I saw them brining out a big lump of a roll I didn’t think I would like it at all. When I tried it though I thought it was quite tasty. I couldn’t eat more than a few bites of the roll. I found it got too mundane after a few bites.




The Tom Bo Nuong Vi is a table grilled marinated shrimp and beef dish, which is cooked at your table. It is then served with rice papers, greens and delicately pickled raw veggies and a dipping sauce. This dish was delightful. The dish came on a bed of flavored oil, which is used as a cooking medium on the grill.

While the meats are cooking, we soaked the rice papers in a bowl of water and waited for them to soften. Once the meat is cooked, we wrapped the meat/ shrimp alongside with all kinds of green leaves they provide – such as lettuce, mint and cilantro. We then topped it off with some fresh jalapeños and the dipping sauce and …………well you just have to try it to experience the yumminess of it all.



TheBahn Tap is my most favorite dish of all. Bahn Tap is an appetizer in which thin pieces of grilled marinated pork are served on a bed of shrimp flavored chips. It is topped off with crunchy, fried garlic and roasted peanuts. This dish is served with mixed greens and the way to eat it is to wrap the shrimp chips and pork in a lettuce leaf and top it of with cilantro, mint and jalapeños. I think this dish has the perfect combination of all the textures and flavors that good food should. It has the perfect marination for the thin pork, the crunch of the chips and the greens, which are both to different and yet come together to make perfection. The jalapeños add the right amount of spice and interest to this dish.




We also ordered the Bun Tom Xao, which is a sautéed shrimp on rice vermicelli, and a Bun Thit Nuong, which is marinated grilled pork, served on rice vermicelli. Both of these dishes are eaten with greens just as the above dishes. Both these dishes were very good too.


I’m not a fan of chicken in Vietnamese cuisine. I feel that they do their other meats so much better but the chicken curry dish that we tried really pleasantly surprised me. The Bahn Mi Ca-Ri Ga is a chicken stew with potatoes. It is hearty stew that is simmered with curry powder and coconut milk. It was really outstanding. The stew had been simmered to the perfect texture where the curry was thick and really delicious.


We also ordered a Com Chein Ga Hoac Heo, which is Vietnamese chicken fried rice with green peas. The fried rice on its own was okay but it went very well with the Bahn Mi Ca-Ri Ga (chicken stew).

I just love Pho-Bang. Its one of those places that you get an urge to go and eat at every few weeks. The digs are- well Chinatown – but with food so good and prices so cheap – who cares!! The staff is a cut above the Chinatown rest. In the noisy bustle and quick turn around of tables, they are quite proud of the good eats that they serve up on a daily basis.


 Food: ☆☆☆☆

Ambiance: ☆

Service: ☆1/2

Price: $

Overall experience: ☆☆☆

I recommend: Bahn Tap, Tom Bo Nuong Vi, Bahn Mi Ca-Ri Ga



Pho Bang on Urbanspoon


Bukhara Grill, Midtown East, NYC

Bukhara Grill
217 E, 49th Street (Between 2nd & 3rd Ave.)
New York, NY 10017
Ph# 212-888-2839


Bukhara Grill on Urbanspoon

This little mid-town “Indian Spice Rave” as they call themselves is quickly becoming one of my favorite Indian food finds. Being Indian, I’m usually very picky about eating Indian out and really don’t end up liking very much of what I try. Bukhara Grill however is quite an exception to my rule.

The restaurant is a carbon copy of one of the most famous Restaurants of yesteryears in India called Bukhara. They have styled their wooden menus, the copper drinking glasses, checkered napkin-bibs you can wear while eating, in exactly the same way. While the look and feel of the two places are the same, the food at Bukhara Grill has far surpassed that of its old and tired counterpart in India.


We went to eat at Bukhara Grill, in a big group of about 15 people and so I got to try a plethora of dishes. Here is some of what we ate. Continue reading


Bouley, Tribeca, NYC

163 Duane Street,
New York, New York
Ph# (212) 964-2525
Bouley on Urbanspoon

The first time I ate at Bouley was in 1996. My mother in-law took my husband (fiancée at that time) and me for dinner to celebrate our graduating Graduate School from Columbia.

The experience  for me was beyond divine. Even though it was almost 12 years ago, I still remember being delighted by every course we were served! Little did I know at that time that Bouley would close down that very year. I’ve never forgotten that meal. I really think it was one of the best meals I have ever had….in my entire life!

So, after 12 long years of Bouley having closed, reopened, moved locations and so on, I finally went back to try it one more time. This time I went for lunch. They have a great pre-fix deal for lunch for $48.

Here is some of what I ate.


I started with the Porcini Flan, Dungeness Crab, Black Truffle Dashi. This dish was outstanding. The crab just melted in my mouth and the combination of the mushrooms and dashi was to die for. This dish had so many layers of subtle flavors to it – I tasted something different in every bite. Everything about this dish was superb.


I had the Roasted Rouget for my next course. This dish really did nothing for me. The fish was very fresh and roasted to perfection but I found the bed of sauces it was on to be unimpressive. It really did nothing for the dish. I guess I expected more.

This was the Pennsylvania All Natural Chicken Baked in Buttermilk. The chicken was very tender but it was a little underdone and the vegetables and sauce it came with did nothing for the dish. It didn’t have the depth I expected from it.


The next course was a Fresh Washington State Black Cod with Organic Buckwheat, Sunchoke Cloud and Black Onion Powder. I thought this dish was horrible! I did not like it at all. It sounded like an interesting dish and came highly recommended, but once I tried it I just could not get through it. It was one of those semi-cooked, quivery , jellyish kind of dishes that I personally just do not like. I have to say that when the staff saw that I didn’t like my dish they immediately offered to bring me something else. They were really very gracious.


Lime Sorbet with Pineapple

This Lime Sorbet with Finely sliced Pineapple was a palate cleanser that was brought to us right before dessert. This dish really jolts your taste buds and wakes you up. I thought it was very good but I couldn’t eat more than a few bites of it as it was very strong. It served it purpose really well!


The Hot Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé Vermont Maple Ice Cream, Vanilla Ice Cream and Chocolate Sorbet was beyond divine. This was the best chocolate soufflé cake that I have ever had. The ice creams that accompanied it were unbelievable too. So fresh, so beautifully flavored – it was a perfect way to end our meal.

I have to say that overall I was disappointed with this meal. The two outstanding things I ate were the Crab-Porcini mushroom flan and the dessert. The rest of the meal was just okay. I would go back again though. Bouley is such a charming place, with impeccable service and grace. I really enjoyed the experience and parts of the meal were outstanding. It’s hard to judge a place like Bouley based on just one meal and one menu. I still believe that Chef David Bouley can recreate the magic that I experienced 12 years ago and I am willing to go back and try.



Food: ☆☆☆

Ambiance: ☆☆☆1/2


Price: $$$$

Overall experience: ☆☆☆1/2

I recommend: Porcini Flan, Dungeness Crab,Hot Valrhona Chocolate Soufflé

(All ratings are out of a possible 5 stars. Each establishment is individually rated based on my experience of that particular meal.  Ratings are also based on my expectations of quality of food, value for money, service, ambiance and overall experience)


Restaurant Information

* Restaurant Name
* Overall
* Neighborhood / Cuisine
TriBeCa / French
* Street Address
163 Duane St., New York, NY 10013
* Phone
(212) 964-2525