Roberta’s Pizza, Bushwick

Fine friends and fine food. Always a good time at The National.

Returning to this again.

The National, NYC

La Carnita Taqueria — Fulfilling a longing for SF mexican again. A fine substitute.

Bowery Diner, again.

The more I come to this city, the more I realize how spoiled I am with choice. Never take anything for granted. So thankful for good food and good family.

Otafuku, again. Because we were hungry after Yakitori Taisho. And because it is awesome.

Shake Shack, Upper East Side

Leaving the debate aside whether this regional brand is better than that other West coast regional brand, there’s an article in GridTO on David Chang’s Toronto debut. This quote was particularly fitting for my philosophy of food:

Dressed-down servers and crews of tattooed chefs, no less talented than their buttoned-up counterparts, began slinging refined versions of comfort classics in restaurants that blared rock and hip-hop and offered good value and, most importantly, fun.

If you can’t have fun, eating what you like, geeking out over the subtle details that makes your favourites your favourites, what’s the point? And why not make it awesome and delicious while you’re at it?

Yakitori Taisho — this place holds a special meaning for me. I started visiting the city more often two Septembers ago, of course, for love. We ordered far too much, but man, this place is a lot of fun. Time and time again, we’ve had to wait (it’s far too popular, especially on weekend nights), but so worth it.

This time: extra large calpico (did you know they changed it from calpis because it sounded too much like cow piss?), mackerel, and, best ever, spicy cod roe mayo + fries were devoured with much mirth.

Otafuku

A cute little hole in the wall in the East Village. There are three items on the menu: takoyaki, okonomoyaki, and yakisoba. I appreciate places like these — fine places with elaborate mile-long menus are really exciting, but I love places like this and The National, places that remind you of a moment, a memory of past times. Places with focus. Places that bring you back to something like this: 

Robataya

This place was pretty unique — they have an area in the front where grilled food is passed with long pans, but we sat in the back.

Delicately prepared appetizers and good conversation always make for a great meal.

Interior was really great. Some private rooms on the side, booths in the back, and where we sat was a covered shelter, with an option to draw the shades!