Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Case For & Against Fusion Cuisine

There is a rampant illness afflicting a lot of local chefs these days, and the cure is nowhere in sight. The illness is Fusionitis, and it has spread through the DC-area restaurants like wildfire over the past few years. Look at the description of some of the more recent restaurants in town and I will bet that a good number of them are described as having some form of fusion cuisine. Masa 14, Oya, and Zengo all have the Latin Asian cuisine down pat. Mie N Yu combines both the Far East and Middle East. Jin has both Asian and Caribbean influences in the menu.

Is this trend the way of the future for restaurant cuisine or do chefs in this area just have multiple personality disorder?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Keep. It. Simple. Silly.

Most of my friends live in Northern Virginia, and for some reason, they all seem to have an aversion to "crossing the bridge", aka going to the District. My friends in DC feel the same way; to them, Virginia and DC might as well be separated by the Atlantic! For both sets of friends, it has to be worth it to make the effort to cross the Potomac. Me, I love going into the District on a regular basis, whether to explore new places or meet up with old friends. TaylorMade is one of those friends. He and I have a kind of friendship that would hibernate for weeks or even months, but when we get together, we pick up from where we left off. The last time we saw each other was this past fall for my birthday. He said he contacted me after that and that I blew him off. I call BS and plead 99% not guilty.

I was in the mood to check out Masa 14 and TM lives but a few blocks away so to make amends (ha!), I invited him to check out this joint. There has been so much hype about Masa 14, from people (like DC) and from written publications (like Washingtonian Magazine). Plus, I have eaten at each of the chef's other restaurants before (Zengo for Sandoval, Kaz Sushi Bistro for Kaz, Viridian for Burrell) that I was curious to see how this menage a trois would turn out.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wasabi: Conveyor Belt Sushi in the Beltway

I was roaming around Tyson's 1 yesterday afternoon, and I happened upon Wasabi. Truthfully, it was hard not to! This kaiten-concept sushi restaurant was located smack dab in the middle of the mall's ground level, between the escalators. Having gone on an insane shopping spree at the area's biggest shopping centre, I was famished! True, I just had sushi a couple days earlier, but one can never eat enough raw seafood, right?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

March 20 - March 26: Top 5 Sins of The Week

Home:  No, not some new, fancy restaurant! I actually ended up cooking a superb dinner a couple times this week. Been running on sunny days, thus eating like a pig. One evening was grilled lamb chops (awesome!), the other was seared duck breast (yum!).

Masa 14:  Meh.

Matuba Japanese Restaurant:  I've been here once before. Worthy of a repeat. Some of the freshest sushi around town, yet quite inexpensive. Within walking distance from my house, to help keep the pounds down.

Rappahannock Coffee:  Ate the quiche. Not too heavy, lots of veggies. I ran an extra mile that day.

Starbucks:  I always get the Venti Green Tea Latte, extra hot. Unless I get the Tall Hazelnut Latte with Soy Milk.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Reunited: Me & Matuba on the Pike

On the way home, my phone rang, and imagine my surprise when I saw that it was an old friend from days past who was calling me! Vegas and I had not spoken with each other for a while, ever since we had a falling out early last year. Yes, it was all his fault. No, I'm not kidding. We talked for a bit, and slowly, all the animosity melted away. Apologies were doled out, and I decided to forgive Vegas. After all, second chances are deserved by most, right?

Considering that I just regained a friendship, I decided to pay homage to the situation by going to a place that is also worthy of a second chance. Truth is, I felt like taking a break, as I have cooked dinner for the past couple of days. My 'hood is really diverse, so I knew it wouldn't be difficult to find an awesome place to eat at on the Pike. I just needed to remember where I've gone before and have "blacklisted". Immediately, I thought of Matuba's.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gone Fuzzy for Fizz

I was driving home yesterday, listening to the "Energy 5" playlist (don't make fun!) on my iPod because I needed to get out of my bad-weather funk, when the song "Everybody Dance Now" came on. Hearing it immediately brought me back to my elementary school days back in Vancouver.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March 13 - March 19: Top 5 Sins of The Week

Komi: DC and I opted for the Degustazione. Heaven! See my detailed post on this.

Moby Dick’s: Had Combo II with rice, which comes with the Kubideh (ground sirloin) and Joojeh (chicken breast).

Taqueria Poblano: St. Patrick’s Day dinner with the girls. Had the usual mainstays, chips & salsa and guacamole. Ordered the Duck Carnitas, Fish Taco, Shrimp Taco. The duck and shrimp were alright, the fish was a total fail. But then, I’ve never been a fan of breaded fish.

Tony Cheng’s: Post-ETOH dining at one of the DC Mayor’s favourite places to eat. I can’t believe someone else eats tripe!

Tryst: Had a large Chai tea. A bit on the sweet side, but the spices were on point.

Taqueria Poblano
2400 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301
Taqueria Poblano on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 19, 2010

Oh. Em. Gee. Top Chef Season 7 = Washington, DC!

As some of you may already know, I have been a die-hard Top Chef fan. I have watched the show since its inception and have not missed an episode yet. Well, you can imagine how I just about pee'd my pants (TMI, I know) when I found out a few days ago that my beloved show just may be coming to town to start filming Season 7 on April 5! Are you effin' kidding me?!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

D-Day: The Invasion of Komi

D-Day, aka Degustazione-Day. Just as the Allied Troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in the largest invasion force in human history, I went about yesterday with the rigorous determination and systematic approach of a trained soldier. The mission was Komi, and I had a battleplan. I ate lunch at 1pm and forced myself not to snack on anything for the next 8 hours. I drank filtered water all day. I took good allergy medicine to clear up my sinuses so I can smell and taste my food. In other words, I was ready to obliterate the food.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vodka & Cranberry + Small Loves = Food Coma

“Oh my God, what’s with the sunglasses? Are you really hungover?”
“Uh huh.”
“You drank that much?! More than last weekend at Tattoo?”
“Uh huh.”

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Quest for Volt

Oh, the price of publicity and stardom! You go on a cooking show and next thing you know, your restaurant has a 2+ month waiting list! How tragic and awful! If you are a Top Chef fan, you will immediately recognize the name Voltaggio. This past season, Top Chef took sibling rivalry to a whole new level when the show pitted one brother against the other. Michael and older brother Bryan Voltaggio volleyed back and forth throughout the whole season. Both eventually made it to the finale, where the former was named “Top Chef.”

Friday, March 5, 2010

Unicorns and Elves and Komi... Oh My!

There are certain things in life that are deemed mystical, unattainable and unreal. Unicorns, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, Santa’s elves, are just a few examples. I had placed "reservations at Komi" on this list as well, until I found out that I have been invited to go there for dinner in a couple of weeks! How lucky am I?

Komi has been on my radar for about a year and a half, since I saw an extensive article on it in the Washingtonian. In it, Todd Kliman wrote, "If Komi isn’t the best restaurant in DC, it’s easily the most intimate, the most romantic, the most personal, the most soulful." Can there be an even better endorsement? On top of that, my really good friend went there with her husband for their anniversary and said that it was a phenomenal meal. Rave reviews on a restaurant to me = honey to a bee! I really wanted to check the place out, but just making reservations to go there is not an easy feat. My friend told me that she had to call over a month in advance to get reservations. Someone else told me that he had been trying to get reservations for a couple of months now. I once attempted to go there on a whim, and was flat out told that there were no tables available. 

Team Canada Struck Gold Twice... & So Did I!

There is an old adage that says time flies when you're having fun. Well, if dinner lasts for five hours and lunch is two hours long, it is safe to surmise that all parties involved are having a great time. And if the food is good, all the better!

I was the lucky recipient of two celebratory meals this past week since Team Canada beat Team USA in both Men's and Women's Ice Hockey. That's right, Team Canada = Gold Medal x 2! It was nice to be able to go out and celebrate the two wins afterwards, since I was all but ridiculed for being the only Canadian populating the bar where I watched the hockey games. A nice young man had the gall to get me a Jager shot before the final men's game, for "good luck." Luck, schmuck... Who's buying dinner and lunch now, eh?