Category Archives: Hot on the Blog

Matcha Angel Food Cake with White Bean


Matcha Angel Food Cake with White Bean

Matcha Angel Food Cake with White Bean

You can have your cake and eat it too without the guilt or the sugar crash with this healthy recipe that’s packed with 12 egg whites and loaded with proteins from legumes.

Matcha Angel Food Cake with White Bean

By Rina Oh

Servings: 8

Time: 2 hours


  • 12 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons Matcha powder
  • 6 cups cooked white beans
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Using a hand mixer with the balloon whisk attachment, combine egg whites with cream of tartar, water, and vanilla extract and whip for 5 minutes on medium speed until the mixture reaches the soft peak stage. Slowly add small amounts of the confectioners sugar until it’s all incorporated for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue mixing for 3 more minutes. Turn down the speed to medium-low speed and slowly add the cake flour in batches of 2 tablespoons. When the flour is all in, allow the dry flour to blend with egg mixture and increase the speed of mixer again to high speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer batter into a deep dish non stick pan (do not grease the pan). Shake the pan back and forth to even out the surface.
  4. Place pan into oven and bake for 35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  5. Using a blender combine beans and confectioners sugar and pulse for 1 minute. Increase the speed and blend on high speed for 2 minutes until the mixture is pureed.
  6. Take cake out the oven when it’s finished baking and place on a cooling rack for an hour. Gently remove the cake from the pan and place on a cutting board. Using a cake knife, slice cake horizontally in the middle.
  7. To assemble, place one piece of the cake, with the crust down and soft side up. Spoon half the bean filling onto the first layer of the cake, allow some of the filling to drip off the sides. Place second layer on top with the soft green side up. Repeat the same step. Top cake with coconut sugar.
  8. Divide cake into 8 pieces and serve.

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Filed under Beans and Legumes, Dessert, Dining with Outlaws, Food for Kids, French, High Tea, Hot on the Blog, Korean, Recipes, Vegetarian

Korean Kimchi Mung Bean Pancakes


Korean Kimchi Mung Bean Pancakes

Korean Kimchi Mung Bean Pancakes

Detoxify your body while eating these Mung bean pancakes packed with superfood ingredients. This savory pancake is served with a side of dressed up soy sauce, you can eat it this way or straight up. It’s jammed packed with a complete balance of proteins in the grains combined with legumes. You can skip the meat and still get every nutrient your body needs!

Korean Kimchi Mung Bean Pancakes

By Rina Oh

Servings: 4

Time: 20 Minutes


  • 1 cup shelled and split mungbeans rehydrated in water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¼ cup white flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 bunches of scallions
  • ½ cup kimchi, chopped
  • ¼ cup sunflower or safflower oil


  1. In a food processor, pulse the mungbeans until they are broken down and still grainy for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add egg, cornstarch, flour, and water and continue pulsing for 30 more seconds. Alternately, put the ingredients into a deep bowl or pot and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
  3. Transfer batter into a bowl, add scallions with kimchi and stir using a spatula.
  4. Heat a nonstick pan on the stovetop for a minute on high heat. Add vegetable oil and let it heat for another 30 seconds.
  5. Add about two ladles of pancake mixture and evenly spread it out using a spatula. Use the spatula to even out the sides of the pancake. You may add some oil around the sides of the pancake at this point. Move the pan around to prevent the pancake from sticking to the pan, as the batter absorbs the oil. Cook for about two minutes.
  6. Flip the pancake and repeat the steps above.
  7. You will know the pancake is finished when it gets brown and crispy.
  8. Remove from heat and transfer to a cutting board. Slice the pancake with a sharp knife into eight wedges like a pizza. Serve with soy sauce on the side.

Tip: For best results and time efficiency, soak the mungbeans overnight in the refrigerator. Mungbeans can be purchased in Asian markets and whole nutrition markets. Thanks to the internet, you can also order them online!

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Filed under Dining with Outlaws, Hot on the Blog, Korean, Korean Food at Home, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Korean Japchae (Stir-Fried Vermicelli with Vegetables)


Brighten your culinary palate with this noodle dish traditionally served at large banquets. Korean restaurants offer this popular dish as an appetizer. It’s also a great way to use any leftovers you may have!

Korean Japchae (Stir-Fried Vermicelli with Vegetables)

By Rina Oh


  • ¼ cup sunflower oil
  • ½ cup julienned carrots
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup thin-sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • 4 ounces boneless beef short ribs, sliced very thinly
  • 6 ounces Korean vermicelli (cellophane noodles)
  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


  1. Heat oil in a nonstick pan over high heat; add carrots, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Transfer carrots to a large bowl. Repeat sauté process with spinach, mushrooms, and zucchini, respectively.
  2. Sauté beef in the remaining oil until browned completely, about 3 minutes; transfer to a cutting board and slice into thin slicers approximately the size of the vegetables.
  3. Bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Cook vermicelli at a boil until soft and stretchy, about 6 minutes; drain.
  4. Toss noodles with the vegetables in the bowl. Stir soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil together in a small bowl to dissolve the sugar; pour over the noodles and vegetables and toss to coat.
  5. Divide noodles and vegetables between four bowls; garnish with sesame seeds to serve.


Tip: Prepare ingredients ahead of time and reserve in the refrigerator to help save time in planning healthy meals for the week! You can purchase the Korean vermicelli noodles at Asian Markets or online.

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Filed under Dining with Outlaws, Hot on the Blog, Korean, Korean Food at Home, Recipes

Korean Bulgogi Sliders

Korean Bulgogi Sliders

Korean Bulgogi Sliders

Take your sliders to the next level and add some Unami to it by marinating your protein with Korean BBQ sauce. It’s packed with flavor that is a bit different and familiar at the same time!

Korean Bulgogi Sliders

By Rina Oh

Servings: 4

Time: 2 hours


  • Buns:
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Sliders:
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly


  1. Mix water and yeast with sugar and allow to proof for 5 minutes in a warm area; add egg with vegetable oil and mix thoroughly.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and add liquid mixture. Knead the dough for a few minutes. Cover and allow to rise for 1 ½ hours in a warm area.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  4. Prepare grill for direct high heat (450°F to 500°F; 230°C to 600°C).
  5. Divide dough into 8 to 10 or smaller balls if desired.
  6. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Combine all the ingredients for the sliders. Form mixture into small patties.
  8. Preheat grill on high and brush the patties with vegetable oil. Place on grill and cook to desired temperature; remove patties from grill once they are cooked and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Slice buns with a serrated knife and place patties on top; garnish with scallions if desired.

Tips: For medium, cook at high temperature for 3 minutes on each side. For well done, cook at temperature for 5 minutes on each side.

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Filed under American Food, Dining with Outlaws, Food Porn, Hot on the Blog, Korean, Korean Food at Home, Recipes

Vegan Red Kidney Bean Stuffed Peppers in a Tagine

Vegan Red Kidney Bean Stuffed Peppers in a Tagine

Vegan Red Kidney Bean Stuffed Peppers in a Tagine


Happy Meatless Monday! Make this Indigenous Cuisine inspired vegan stuffed peppers utilizing all the spices traditionally used with ground meat recipes. I added my new favorite grain, kasha to this mixture that provides the perfect combination of complete proteins to get your body the essential nutrients it needs, craves, and wants- minus all the animals. Treat yourself to a great healthy start to the week!


Vegan Red Kidney Bean Stuffed Peppers in a Tagine

Recipe by Rina Oh



2 cups red kidney beans, cooked

1 cup corn kernels, cooked

1 cup kasha, cooked

1 small onion

1 cup fresh parsley

4 medium peppers

4 small tomatillos

1 roma tomato

2 jalapeno

1 teaspoon garlic ground

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin ground






Combine red kidney beans and parsley with paprika, salt, and garlic powder. Pulse for 30 seconds until mixture is coarsely chopped; transfer to a bowl; add kasha, corn, and toss together.

Using the same processor, combine tomatillos, roma tomato, onion, jalapeno, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Process for about 1 minute on high speed.

Slice pepper tops off leaving about ½ inch. Remove the seeds and discard. Add stuffing mixture and press firmly down midway through. Pour tomato mixture into tagine or baking tray and cover peppers with tops. Cover the tagine with lid or baking tray with foil and bake in the oven for about 2 hours. Remove from oven and divide into four bowls. Serve immediately!


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Filed under Food for the Fashion People, Food Porn, Hot on the Blog, Meatless Mondays, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

Fork and Scissors: A Sneak Preview of COREY and Northern Indian Delights at Tamarind

Corey: Corey Lynn Calter FW13

My picks from the Corey presentation at the Jane Hotel in NYC for the FW13 collection

I love the 60′s and 70′s. Anything that reminds me of that era in time, whether it’s the music, the iconic styles, everything from paisley prints to laced collar silk blouses- I dig. Corey reminds me of my fave era. The new line by designer Corey Lynn Calter exudes everything I love at the moment: gold buttons, check; paisley, check; fedora hats, check; make me look rich silk jumpsuits, check, check, check. I can’t wait to see what Corey conjures up next season- but at least for the rest of 2013- we’ll know what to wear.

Corey FW13 Presentation at the Jane Hotel in NYC

Shag-a-delic and very wearable.

The collection was presented at the Jane Hotel, a hipster- boutique hotel neatly tucked away at the end of Jane Street in the West Village. No- sorry folks, it’s not typically open to the public. You kinda have to know the right people to get in- or at least look the part, or be somebody. Lucky for me, I knew someone who sent me an invite to preview the new collection last night. I gasped at the first sight of Corey’s paisley prints. After all, it was only a week ago that I rummaged through an old lady’s fabric closet, in an undisclosed location (since I’m not sharing my source of goodness, for the time being) and brought home an array of vintage paisley silk fabrics. Yards and yards of the goodies.

Silk Dyed Easter Eggs by Dining with Outlaws

My Silk Dyed Eggs from Easter

I used some of mine to make these wonderful easter eggs. Silk printed paisley eggs finished with gold leaf. Not too shabby egh?

Our wonderful evening ended with this amazing dish at Tamarind, my all time favorite Indian restaurant in NYC. I haven’t stopped thinking about this dish since my first time having it. All night- that’s all I talked about at the fashion show. I’ve probably convinced People magazine’s style director to try it out sometime- she would’ve come with- but had to retreat home. Oh well- it was her loss, and more food for me! The Raj Khatori is priced appropriately at $8.00, it’s meant to be shared by two lovers. In my case- it was shared by two BFF’s. It’s spicy, it’s sweet, a bit of yogurt with chick peas welcome your taste buds as you neatly deconstruct the poofy fried bread. Ours disappeared within minutes. (Yes, we can turn into savages when food’s this good, and nevermind that I was dressed to the nines in a silver brocade jacket by Moschino, beaded skirt by Elie Tahari, sequined sweat shirt by Forever 21, Alice and Olivia maryjane platforms).

Raj Khatori at Tamarind

The Raj Khatori at Tamarind

Tamarind has two installments of their signature Northern Indian Restaurants in NYC, both by the same ownership. Located in the Flatiron district and Tribeca. It’s a bit pricier than your usual Little India (on 6th Street) restaurants and unless you’ve frequented a bunch of the sitar playing traditional joints- you may not appreciate the superb quality and flavorings Tamarind has to offer. You’ll find a glassy window displayed right in the middle of the Flatiron locale, along with two tandoori ovens accompanied by a chef making naan and grilling (is it called grilling?) some meat on the skewers. We ordered the Raj Khatori, Chicken Tikka Masala (are you surprised?), Vegetable Pillau- a mixed vegetable basmati rice, and the Tandoori Mixed Grill. If Koreans are making soju cocktails with asian pears, don’t be surprised to see Northen Indians making theirs with a bit of Tamarind and fennel. Delish, delish, delish. I can’t wait to go back again.

41-43 E 22nd St
New York
(212) 674-7400

99 Hudson St
New York
(212) 775-9000



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Filed under April 2013, Dining with Outlaws, Fashion Smashion, Fork and Scissors, Hot on the Blog, Special Events

Restaurant Reviews: Art Oddities at The Lodge Gallery with a Hidden Bar and Malaysian Delights at Nyonya

The Lodge

The hidden bar behind The Lodge Gallery

Although I normally prefer red wine or tequila cocktails, I didn’t mind the gin that night. It’s not my favorite spirit of choice- however considering it was a ginful open bar, replete with a charade of happy Hendrick’s hostesses trotting corseted A-line dresses, I didn’t mind it after all.

Artwork at the Lodge

Artwork at the Die Wunderkammer group show at The Lodge

I haven’t followed the contemporary art scene for about a decade but remembered how to play the game. As homage to the collectibles, Die Wunderkammer welcomed a room full of oddities. No wonder the artwork didn’t flow here, but was it intended to? From the life sized four legged vertebrae with optical designs, to the scary Asian monster painting (the most sellable), to the beaded double monkey sculptures with human features.

Artwork at the Lodge Gallery.

According to an art consultant, this was the most sellable piece.

Most if not all the works shown at Die Wunderkammer could’ve belonged to the same collector. In my imaginative world- he or she enjoys drinking inside dark obscured halls, their persona characterized by a pleasant and whimsical surface while haunted by its racy, perverted, and obscene daily thoughts. The gin cocktails are an escape from the mind and of reality. Thusly, this collector’s a lover of gin, it’s usual concoctions must be presented as icy cold with a touch of green olive, perhaps a cucumber or two to garnish it. And of course, they’re also a bit of a hoarder of things. Nothing’s quite curated in their drinking room…it’s the river which fails to flow. Our imaginary collector could be a real narcissist who loves their dirty gin, loves collecting beautiful people, and is usually found spending much of the daylight hours entrapped in a perfect world of chaos. Their disorganized thoughts of revenge, theft, and dominance never seem to subside….

Ling Tan

Here’s my usual muse, Ling Tan staring at the oddities.

Unfortunately my imaginary collector is nothing but imaginary. If you stick around long enough to see all the work here, you’ll be surprised by the veer bar/lounge “through” the blue curtain called Home Sweet Home. It’s been around for some time now, but it’s so well hidden- and unless you’re invited by a friend of a friend who knows about it, you’ld simply pass it off as just another store front. Upon passing through the curtains, I was greeted by New Yorkers who were dousing unlimited amounts of ravishing gin cocktails on the Henderick’s dime. I ran into some friends and followed them to the wooden corner bench/table next to the mystery novel window (where ghosts might appear and women jump off for suicide attempts). I slid into the back corner, next to the fresh air- then encountered my biggest mistake for half an hour. Can you guess what happens next? I was naturally cornered with no convo, none, zero, nope. No one spoke to me for thirty minutes. Everyone else was too busy closing in on some real estate deal- I was warned they were going to do that- so why did I follow them and get cornered? My que to move onto another scene was hinted at me after one of the guys (sitting opposite) asked me for his leather jacket (I was sitting next to it). After handing it over to its owner, I quickly noticed he checked the pockets (in a frenzy) for his wallet. Really? You think I’ld steal your wallet? You have some class sir, you’re obviously used to being in the company of some pretty classy folks. Should I be furious or understanding? After all- I did something similar on my way to there. Earlier that evening- I walked a flew blocks towards the gallery (from my car) with my DSLR clutched to my body, disgusted by the garbage pile up and paranoid of all the human alley cats I swore were hissing and prowling to snatch my baby up (camera).

I was feeling nauseous and overtly claustrophobic when rescue came along before I started to panic. I left with my friend who joined me for a bite at my favorite Malaysian place. We went to Nyonya, located at 199 Grand Street, sandwiched between Chinatown and Little Italy. This place only takes cash- but you won’t need too much of it to enjoy a multi-course meal. I frequent this joint as much as I can with whomever is willing to partake on a little curry meets Asia adventure. The coconut white rice is divine and I insist you ask for that version to replace the standard jasmine rice with the curry dishes. The sweet pineapple fried rice is pretty spectacular too.

Roti Telur at Nyonya

Roti Canai at Nyonya

The best appetizer my friends- is the Roti Telur Canai. It’s an Indian crispy thin, handmade bread with a mild curry sauce on the side priced at only $3.50 per order. One is never enough for two people. If you dine alone, that’s perfect- if there are others there with you- have everyone get their own. My Indian friend claimed the Roti bread is “as authentic as it gets”. The curried chicken on the bone is pretty close to the Indian original and reminded me of the Roti Telur Canai sauce. We also enjoyed a noodle dish, the Curry Mee with Young Tau Foo and a bean curd with vegetables.

Bean Curd Nyonya style

Bean Curd, Nyonya style.

I loved it so much that I returned the following night and savored my favorite dish (Roti Telur Canai) all over again. You can order an entire fish to share- which I’ve never had before but watched many large parties order it nearby. Appetizers range from $3.50-8.95 and entrees from $6.25-23.95. They serve a nice assortment of Malaysian non-alcoholic beverages, wine and beer. Come early, late, alone or with a crowd. It’s usually packed, whether it’s lunch or dinner. It’s casual, it’s delicious and you’ll never regret it. You might even have enough money left over to get dessert at Ferrara’s nearby.


Die Wunderkammer; Objects of Virtue

March 31, 2013- May 1st, 2013

The Lodge

131 Chrystie Street

New York, NY 10002



199 Grand Street

New York, NY 10013

Phone: (212) 334-3669

$ Very Good, Ethnic, Malaysian

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Filed under Art, Dining with Outlaws, Hot on the Blog, March 2013, Restaurants, Speakeasies

Food for Kids: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Kale and Avocado Ice Pops

Kale and avocado ice pops

Kale and Avocado Ice pop

I’ve been waiting to deliver the official recipe for my healthy take on ice pops via the cookbook I’m authoring however given it’s St. Patrick’s Day today and some parents recently asked me for this recipe- I’ve decided to let everyone take a shot at making their own before the book comes out. Don’t worry- you’ll still get plenty of recipes in the actual cookbook and a few comical illustrations accompanying it.

My four year old is the star of my culinary dreams. He eats just about everything. Whether it’s spicy, creamy, fermented, raw, cooked, hot or cold- there isn’t a thing he’s not willing to try- at least once that is. Nothing can be too dangerous or ethnic enough. Discovering new vegetables are always welcomed by Daniel. Alex, his older six year old brother on the other hand- won’t even look at a vegetable, unless it’s part of a lesson plan in school. He’ll look at them, with oohs and aahs- but it ends there. They never eat any digestive play.

As a parent, and being named chef mommy by my kids- how do I explain to other parents about my battle with their veggie intake? I blame it partly to the American food culture, adding the endless commercials for unhealthy snacks and their father’s bad habit of eating junk food and drinking soda in front of them. I had to smarten up and figure out alternative ways to feed them the healthier things in life.

Zoku Quick Pop Maker

The Zoku Quick Pop Maker: make ice pops in 7 minutes

So last year, I figured out how to incorporate the greens into Alex’s diet by blending them into other familiar flavors- delivered into instant ice pops thanks to the Zoku Quick Pop Maker. Within minutes, he devoured not one but three ice pops that I made with Kale, avocado, yogurt and honey.

We haven’t made these in a little while- but promise to get back into them before Memorial Day weekend. Until then…here ‘s my recipe for healthy kale and avocado ice pops you can try at home! You can also use the conventional ice pop molds.

Kale and Avocado Yogurt Ice Pops

Yields 6 Servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes


1 avocado, peeled with seed removed

1 bunch of kale, stems removed

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup whole greek yogurt


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Place kale leaves and blanche until leaves are very tender (about 8 minutes). Remove kale from water and place in an ice bath. Remove kale from ice bath after about a minute and place inside a food processor or blender. Pulse for about a minute on low, then blend with the avocado, honey and yogurt until it’s smooth and creamy (about 1 minute).

Spoon mixture into ice pop molds, place wooden sticks (if you’re using conventional molds) in the center and freeze overnight uncovered on a flat surface. Unmold and serve!



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Filed under Food for Kids, Holidays, Hot on the Blog, March 2013, Recipes

Restaurant Opening: Barn Joo

Barn Joo: 893 Broadway, NYC

The view from upstairs

Spring is almost here…I can almost taste the sweetness of new desserts along with that scent of new restaurant openings- those show stopping events and the bitchy reviews by the bitter bloggers and critics thereafter. Before we know it, we’ll be swinging back into restaurant week- where some of us will casually pretend to be tourists for cheap dinners at $35.oo, though I seldom recommend it. I’m not missing the mid-winter blues either, as my foot’s finally healed after taking that unfortunate dive in the Flushing Corona Center parking lot while delivering gallons of homemade kimchi.

Opening at Barn Joo: Rina Oh, Ling Tan, Mie Iwatsuki

Rina Oh, Ling Tan, and Mie Iwatsuki at Barn Joo grand opening in NYC.

And here’s to giving Spring an early start with the first installment of restaurant openings. Say hello to the Korean pub called Barn Joo, located at 893 Broadway in the Flatiron district of New York City. It’s a multi-level drinking joint contained below the Verite Hotel, a boutique hotel by the same proprietor. The basement serves as a private clubroom replete with lounge tables and DJ booth, the main floor’s filled with more tables with a bar that’s perfect for happy hour gatherings after work, and last but not least- a private VIP lounge upstairs. We made an appearance with the usual gang, myself (Dining with Outlaws), the Insatiable-Critic Gael Greene, and Ethno Junkie: Rich Sanders, the fabulous Peter, and the former owner of the Quilted Giraffe- Barry Wine upon the first visit.

The main floor of Barn Joo with the owner, Charles "Tiger" Chong.

The main floor of Barn Joo with the owner, Charles "Tiger" Chong.

The menu’s quite small at Barn Joo- it’s a one pager, mostly small plates of Korean pub grub compared to the dozen or so pages filled with cocktails, beer, and liquor. At the opening night when I returned the following week with a different crowd of familiar Asian models- we were treated to a full house and sat in a private booth upstairs. The usual suspects were there- those who happen to attend any Korean restaurant opening in NYC. Seeing these private dining guests reminded me of Kristalbelli‘s opening last year.

Spiky Hat at Barn Joo

Restaurant openings plus spiky things are causing a deja vu experience.

The models, the manager, the K-pop fans were all there. This was indeed a Moving Feast with the familiar staff and opening patrons. I’m not complaining since the fried chicken supply seemed endless and we stayed till almost midnight indulged in heated conversations about revenge, marriage and playing mean girls in real life.

Barn Joo Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken perfect for sharing, although one order's never enough: one order per is the recommended dosage.

Formal reviews to follow later on…in the meantime you should give it a swing by with a few friends or foes and try a few soju cocktails and their Korean fried chicken.

Barn Joo

893 Broadway

New York, NY 10003


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Filed under Dining with Outlaws, Hot on the Blog, Korean, March 2013, Restaurants

Dining with Out-Laws may sometimes be unwelcomed in the near future…

Dining with Out-Laws

I’m finally turning this blog into what it was originally intended for. A blog about dining out. Not with your typical family or friends- but with a special group and a mix of the unwelcomed. The critics, the foes- the ruiners for some. For others- their words are captioned for decades long after restaurants receive their initial four stars with reviews immortalized, lamented, framed- then plastered all over the world wide web. It’s much easier to do the latter than the former. And no, I will never ever apologize for my reviews. I won’t take your money either. If you want to treat me to a free meal to write a review, invite me over to your house and we can talk over fluff while you make me dinner. But not in your restaurant. Although I welcome the offer for free meals via insta gift cards. I’m a bit of an Indian giver. A cheapie, and love re-gifting gift cards. So bring it on!
Michael Bao's last restaurant in New York
I was invited to visit Bao at 26 Greenwich Avenue a few months ago…I wanted to write about this place while it was still open- but felt bad, and would’ve been cursed if I’ld exposed the dump while Michael Bao was still here. Then Hurricane Sandy came along- and shut it down for good. Maybe it was intended to be that way. Who wants to have their last hoorah and leave the land of opportunity with their tails between their legs? The food was usually good, as always- the chef seemed to deliver. But the lack of decor- or shall I say: the recycled decor left over from the previous joint, along with French signage outdoors, floor cleaning products staring at our table kinda rubbed me the wrong way.
Green custard
This dessert was pretty spectacular. The green custard above rubbed me the right way for some reason. The consistency of the chewy fresh ginko, married with the caramel sauce added a nice touch. It wasn’t too heavy nor sweet. It was just right. We didn’t care so much for the lettuce wraps with fried chicken- there was nearly not enough lettuce and the service wasn’t that great.
Cleaning supplies at Michael Bao restaurant
The most entertaining part of this meal- was perhaps the stripper look a like flashing her red brassiere under the sheer white blouse with fire red painted lips sashaying her way up and down the cramped space- that was indeed the highlight of the night. Now that’s all I remember from our meal together. Those two girls seemed to know the chef quite well- well enough to help themselves straight out of the rice cooker, practically licking the sauce off his lips in the open view kitchen, with the cleaning supplies staring at both our table and the kitchen staff. I hope he did it to get a rise out of us, and wasn’t being delusional about reality. But if I were in his shoes- I may have done the same. It’s hard to imagine spending a wonderful evening joined by some of the best art dealers from Beijing with designer friends and models at the former Bao joint- only two years earlier. A somber farewell to see a chef brought down like this. I might have seen the chef tremble for a second when Gael Greene yelled at him right before we left: “Who do these girls think they are- walking right into your kitchen and helping themselves to rice- do they work here?”…(and no they didn’t work there). Seriously- who were those girls?
Our VIP table
Whoever they were- at least I’ll never see them again, unless Michael Bao moves back to NY from Vietnam and invites all of us for another opening in the distant future. Well, the show must move on, and Spring will soon be near, along will rise new restaurants, with new menus, new chefs, followed by more reviews. Take good care Chef Michael Bao. New York will miss your serial restaurant openings/closings.

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Filed under Dining with Outlaws, Hot on the Blog, January 2013, Uncategorized