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March 22, 2010

The Week of the Plus 5 (lbs...): Restaurants Galore!

Last week I did quite a lot of damage... I dined at Publican, Xoco, Sunda, Gilt Bar, Ai Sushi, and Steve's Deli. That spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E in just three letters: LBs. I don't fret however, I'll be good this week... Oh God it's only Monday! But seriously, Imma do it! Rather, I NEED to do it--my bank account is in dire need of a break, not just my scale (poor thing)! If I may, I'm going to tell you all about my week of dining glory.

Publican--what I ate: pork rinds, sweetbreads, wagyu sirloin, frites (WITH the fried eggs), and the waffle for dessert. The pork rinds are an absolute must try--incredibly flavorful. They typically are not my bag, never have been, and probably never will be. The only exception being when I eat at Publican... They are so freaking crunchy I felt like an asshole (forgive me) eating them. But nobody minds because they're all eating them too! I think I found the next non-musical tool to accompany the brooms and garbage cans in STOMP. Anyway, moving on to the sweetbreads: my favorite dish of the night. It was my first experience with sweetbreads, and they were utterly delicious. They have not departed my thoughts... The wagyu sirloin was another first for me and it definitely lived up to my expectations. A wonderfully tender and flavor-packed meat, duh. The fries were good too--how could they not be? Served with mayo on the side and beneath fried eggs a.k.a. runny yolk goodness. The fries were a sin that I was willing to commit. The waffle was very fluffy and light, but I did not so much like the blueberry preserves or honey butter. Probably could have done without the waffle, but they don't have many dessert options. Not that I needed dessert anyway! Overall, it was an incredibly satisfying meal. Honestly, a treat to dine here.

Xoco--what I ate: the pork belly vermicelli caldos (soup)--crispy-tender pork belly, toasty-tender noodles, woodland mushrooms, zucchini, avocado, and salsa negra. I have dined here before but never had the soup. And let me tell ya, this one was superb. The broth was so flavorful. Bayless is a baller.

Sunda--what I ate: Rock Shrimp Tempura with glazed walnuts and honey aioli, and the Ridiculous dessert. I came for a glass of wine and the Ridiculous, which always lives up to its name (it's ice cream wrapped in carrot cake, deep fried, topped with pecans and caramel), and ended up eating the rock shrimp tempura as well. That's right, I'm a fatty fatty boom boom... My date Shannon and I were naive to the fact that after 2 glasses of wine, the Ridiculous alone wasn't gonna cut it... We were reclining in the lounge with our vino and delicious food and had a wonderful date night. I definitely recommend that rock shrimp tempura--the glazed walnuts paired with the crispy shrimp and sweet aioli are a killer combination.

Gilt Bar--what I ate: Roasted bone marrow with toast and red onion jam. Once again, I came intending to simply meet a friend for a drink, and I left with a new found affinity for bone marrow. It was delicious. The red onion jam was my favorite component--it rounded out the richness of the marrow perfectly with its sweet tang. The bone marrow wasn't the only highlight... My favorite drink of the evening was the Death's Door Daisy--Death's Door vodka, St Germain, aperol, and lemon. It was delicious--perfectly suited to my buds (not too sweet, and strong) and holy crap was it powerful! After one drink I was like wait a minute--I'm drunk?! As you can imagine, it was a fun time... The bartender Zach was extremely hospitable and answered all my questions about the menus, which made the experience even more lovely.

Ai Sushi--what I ate: A LOT. I ordered off the Prix Fix menu which offers a lot of options--and more importantly GOOD options. I started with the miso soup, then had hamachi carpaccio (delicious), then the bagna cauda (shrimp and squid seasoned with garlic, olive oil and anchovy), then the crunchy salmon maki (mmm), and lastly 3 pieces of sushi (tuna and avocado, eel, and benni toro (fatty salmon). Lots of food for $35. I go to Ai all the time since it's close to my humble abode, but my favorite part of this trip was the hamachi carpaccio. I definitely think the Prix Fix menu is a steal.

Steve's Deli--what I ate: Turkey stuffed cabbage and mushroom barley soup. There is not much to talk about... My grandma makes the best stuffed cabbage in the world so I know it will never be as good, but it still gives me my fill when I can't see her. And the mushroom barley soup was fine. Done and done.

Ok, time to go work out!
Moral of the Story: I lost my pork rind, sweetbread, wagyu beef, and bone marrow V-card in the same week. I'm a food whore and it feels FANTASTIC! Check out these spots/dishes ASAP.

*photos: the roasted bone marrow from Gilt Bar, the ridiculous from Sunda, and the pork belly vermicelli caldos from Xoco.

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