Tag Archives: Japanese

Sushi by Boū: Secret Japanese Restaurant Inside A Hotel Suite

Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Stairs

Uncover the new Sushi by Boū location! They opened a secret speakeasy Japanese restaurant inside a hotel suite in Manhattan! How cool is that?!

Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Entrance
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Sanctuary Hotel
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Fire
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese with Sauce
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Sushi Squad
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese White Fish
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Uni
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Tuna
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Prepping
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Salmon
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Eggs
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Mochi
Dining Chef David Bouhadana Speakeasy Japanese Chef David Bouhadana
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Delivery
Dining Sushi by Bou Speakeasy Japanese Stairs
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“A unique 30minute omakase speakeasy experience by sushi chef David Bouhadana, Michael Sinensky and Erika London.”

That we are into super secret spots around New York City, you’re all tired of knowing, right? But, these secret spots don’t stop popping up (and we love sharing them with you)!

I mean, there is obviously just so much to experiment in NYC, with so many creative minds and talented people, that these businesses just continue to flourish.

Sushi by Boū is known for being a to-go spot for people craving a delicious 12-piece Omakase menu served in only 30-minutes and for $50. In addition, there is a 60-minute option as well for those that want to have a longer experience.

But wait, let’s go back a step! The idea of these spots came to life when the 3 partners, Chef David, Michael and Erika decided to get underutilized spaces inside existing venues and transform them into “sexy sushi speakeasies”, as they call them.

Chef David fell in love with sushi at the age of 18, in Boca Raton, Florida. After deciding that what he wanted to do was become a renowned chef, he hopped on a plane to Japan. There, he was taught by the top Omakase chefs in the Kansai regions.

After mastering his craft, he flew back to New York with his journey began and his reputation grew quickly.

And, after working in renowned restaurants like Morimoto, he ventured on his own recreating the Japanese fast-casual Omakase concept, tweaking it around and blending in his own particular style. The result: Perfection!

Today Chef David is an expert in his field, has won countless awards and even won a New York Emmy Award for his web series “Shokunin, An Eater Series Hosted by David Bouhadana”.

That said, there are currently 3 Sushi by Boū. One found underneath the Sanctuary Hotel in Midtown Manhattan and a second one inside Jue Lan Club, in Chelsea. The 3rd and most unexpected location just created roots inside Suite 1001, at Hotel 3232, in the in the heart of Flatiron-Murray Hill neighborhood.

Suite 1001 offers a 60-minute Omakase for $125/person inclusive of service and tax. ​

In addition, they do not accept phone calls, and reservations are for parties of 2 or 4 only. Plus, they do take advanced and day-of reservations, space permitting. For private events, please contact us.

And, this past summer they followed Jue Lan Club to the Hamptons and the team announced that some news spots are set to open in 2019, so lets wait and see inside which unexpected spot it will be in!

So, stay tuned and if you need any help in NYC (for private or corporate events), remember to contact our experts!

Locations:
Sanctuary Hotel – 132 West 47th Street
Jue Lan Club – 49 West 20th Street
Hotel 3232 – 32A East 32nd Street, Suite 1001

www.sushibybou.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sushi by Bou
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Cheryl Wat: From Marketing & Finance To A NYC Food Influencer

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat

Cheryl Wat went from Marketing & Finance to becoming a NYC Food Influencer! Take a look at her 7 secret New York City tips and be sure to add them to your To-Go spots!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat

Cheryl Wat was born and raised on Long Island, but now lives in Queens. She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Marketing and Finance and has 10 years of marketing experience working in the Finance industry as an Analyst in Marketing Research and Product Management.

During this time, Cheryl’s boyfriend wanted to open a restaurant. She became interested in learning about influencer marketing and using social media as a means to build his restaurant’s brand awareness and anticipation of its opening. To do this, she realized that she had to open up her own Instagram food account.

In July 2016, Cheryl established Book of Eats on Instagram and as a site, with the initial focus being restaurants, food, and beverages primarily in NYC area.

As she shared her dining experiences, she realized a community of people was being built who share the same interests. Since then, Book of Eats has expanded to travel, food around the world, and interesting food/travel related news.

See below her 7 secret New York City tips:


Trademark Taste & Grind

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Entrance
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Inside
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Sween N Salty Granola
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Pistachio Ice Cream
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Coffee
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Cookies
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Chocolate Popcorn
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Burrata Knots
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Avocado Toast
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Squash Ricotta
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Fried Chicken Sandwich
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Trademark Taste Grind Office Hero
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“I love how this Midtown restaurant, called Trademark Taste & Grind is hidden behind a coffee shop. It’s one of the few places near Penn Station that I can think of with good food, isn’t touristy, and that I would want to bring someone.”

Yup! They are known for their delicious food, coffee and cocktails. The front area of the restaurant – Trademark Grind – is a coffee shop with a great selection of pastries and coffees. Walking towards the back area, you’ll find Trademark Taste serving new American comfort food.

It’s located in the Hotel Le Soleil.

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 7am – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8am – 11pm

Location: 38 West 36th Street

www.trademarktaste.com


Fry Guys

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Façade
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Pulled Pork
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Chicken
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Avocado
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat FryGuys Mural
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UNFORTUNATELY THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

“Fry Guys is a super cool retro looking French fry spot in the East Village with vinyl records all around the floors, walls, and ceiling. There’s even disco balls hanging from the ceilings. If you come here get the Drunk Guy, its fries are loaded with guacamole, bacon and cheese.”

These guys are really experts when the subject is “fries”. Their food is gluten-free fries and made from delicious Idaho Russet potatoes. How do they make it? They hand-cut everything, season it and perfectly fry it to get that crunchy texture.

The décor of the place is also fantastic and it’s vintage kinda look will take you back decades. It’s most certainly a nostalgic feeling.

This is the place to splurge and forget your diet! Forget about calories and just be happy! Ha! After all, as they say ‘Every day is FryDay!’.

Location: 150 East 2nd Street


Gaijin, now Koyo

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Outdoor Patio
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin 6 Pieces Omakase
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Uni Ikura Donburi
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Kamasu Japanese Baracuda
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Tuna
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Toro Uni Caviar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Mixed
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Robata Binchotan Grill
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Gaijin Bone Marrow
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“Gaijin is the only place in Astoria that I know of with a legit omakase sushi menu. I love the whole experience of sitting at the counter, interacting with the Chef, and being told the preferred way of eating the sushi is with my hands like in Japan. I can’t think of any other restaurants like this in Astoria, but in the city I definitely can.”

Chef Mark, a Chicago-native, is the artist behind it all. His outstanding culinary career gave him enough experience to open Gaijin – the result of his take on modern Japanese food.

Moreover, he blends his traditional Japanese cooking technique with a personal touch and inspiration. It’s known that his signature nigrizushi toppings are outstanding!

Nigirizushi (“hand-pressed sushi”) consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that the chef presses between the palms of the hands to form an oval-shaped ball, and a topping (the neta) draped over the ball.” ~ Wikipedia

Gaijin has been rebranded to Koyo.

” The restaurant was originally opened as Gaijin which was a very popular local establishment that offers Omakase dining and robata grill a la carte menu fares. In the summer of August 2018, the team of Gaijin decided to refine what they do best, a modern omakase establishment and undergone a full update along with a new brand, Koyo.

Koyo means “Autumnal Foliage” which refers to the changing of Japanese maple tree leaves which signals the change of a seasonal. Koyo has a strong focus on seasonality and uses ingredients at its peak during that season to create a Kaiseki inspired multi-sensory dining experience.”

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 5pm – 11pm

Location: 37-12 31st Avenue

www.koyonewyork.com


Vaccaro’s Bakery & Café

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Cake Pops
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Nutella Donnoli
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Cake
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Sawdust Pies
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Minnie Mouse Cupcakes
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Vaccaro's Bakery Apple Pie
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UNFORTUNATELY THIS FAMOUS NYC BAKERY IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

“Vaccaro’s Bakery & Café is a bakery in Astoria, Queens, that has the most delicious “donnolis”. It’s basically a cannoli wrapped in a donut. It’s the best thing ever.”

This authentic Italian bakery was founded in 1981 and has been one of Astoria’s to-go spots. Loved by locals, they sell everything from delicious cakes, desserts and pastries, to breads and breakfast specials!

It will be hard to pick only a few things to try. But, remember you call always buy more and take home!

Location: 28-05 Steinway Street


The Last Word

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat The Last Word The Fat Monk
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat The Last Word Rakish Jaunty
Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat The Last Word Posada Punch
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UNFORTUNATELY THIS SPEAKEASY IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

“A speakeasy in Astoria, called The Last Word, serves really good cocktails and is hidden behind a hardware store. I know in Astoria it’s well known, but I’m not sure about the general public.”

So, if you enjoy oysters paired with a good cocktail, this is the place for you! They still have a great menu with beer, wine and a few bites to nibble on.

They explain that: “Our name comes from the gin-based prohibition-era cocktail called, The Last Word.”

And still, if you enjoy Soul, Rhythm and Blues, they have it live, every Thursday night. It’s definitely a place to got more than once! You’ll love it!

Location: 31-30 Ditmars Blvd


Shuraku

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Shuraku NYC Fried Lotus Root

“Of course I have to mention my boyfriend’s restaurant on here. I’d be a terrible girlfriend if I didn’t, I’m also a bit biased, but read his Yelp reviews if you don’t believe me! Shuraku is a hidden Japanese Grilling restaurant without a sign on the building. You would only know it exists if you walk up close to the building and see a menu hanging from the window. This is the only place that I know of in NY that serves gyu-katsu (deep fried breaded steak).”

We love Shuraku too and we’ve recently visited and written about them.

They are certainly a new place to have in your To-Go places in New York, especially if you’re into high-end Japanese spots with unique tasting menus!

Hours:
Wednesday: 5:30pm – 10pm
Thursday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 11pm
Sunday: 5:30pm – 10pm 

Location: 47 8th Avenue

www.shurakunyc.com


Jason Naylor’s murals

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Jason Naylor Murals
Jason Naylor, in action!

“The murals all around the city by Jason Naylor. Offhand, I can only think of the one on 60th and 2nd Ave and the one on 16th and 6th Ave. I’m amazed by his graffiti work. The colors he uses are so vibrant. It’s so distinct that you don’t even need to see that it’s his work, you’ll just know.”

Jason is not only an artist, but he’s also a designer, writer and creative director. In addition, his colorful art works certainly make the city look even more beautiful and the quotes are very inspiring!

He was born in Salt Lake City, but fell in love the NY at an early age. His works can be seen in the fashion industry, as well as magazine, footwear and even in tattoos. We personally love the Statue of Liberty in his left arm!

http://jasonnaylorcreative.com


Thank you, Cheryl, for participating in our Insider Interviews and sharing with us these 7 amazing secret New York City tips!

Stay tuned for more upcoming interviews!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of the venues
*Last Update on April/2020.*

A Filmmaker, Digital Storyteller And Travel Expert Named Kristen Kellogg

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Camping Ithaca New York

Kristen Kellogg, a filmmaker, digital storyteller, and travel expert shares with us her 7 best NYC tips for exploring New York City. There is nothing better than learning with travel experts, right?

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Camping Ithaca New York
Kristen Kellogg glamping in Ithaca, New York!

We love all different types of interviews and the ones with travel experts are always quite amusing. We not only love all the tips, but we also end up finding out more secrets about our own beautiful concrete jungle.

Read about Kristen’s explorations and see her 7 best NYC tips for exploring New York City.


Exploring rugged to refined, filmmaker, digital storyteller, and travel expert Kristen Kellogg has designed her life for life on the road. Her Wanderlust Website + Content Creation Agency, Border Free Travels, produces and shares highly engaging lifestyle stories and brand campaigns through film, photography, and innovative media tied to travel.

In addition Kristen’s work and words have been featured in AFAR, MSN, Refinery 29, Daily Mail, Yahoo, and Travel Channel, and Islands Magazine, among others. Some of her recent clients include Skype, Thailand Tourism, The Outer Banks, Visit California, and Rosetta Stone for whom she produced a new travel video series.

On this adventure, Kristen journeys through Mérida, Mexico getting “Lost With Locals” while touring markets with a local chef, practicing Spanish phrases with strangers, and even picks up some local dance moves.

Kristen lives on Nantucket, has an obsession with cheese, loves talking to strangers – in person and on Instagram, and feels most at home when she’s not.

A Nantucket Island resident, when she’s not on the road, she finds inspiration by literally running around exploring her own backyard. She frequently visits NYC between travels in and out of the country.

So, take a look at Kristen Kellogg 7 best NYC tips for exploring New York City:


Helicopter Tours

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg NYC Helicopter Tour East River

“The best views of Manhattan I’ve ever seen were in a helicopter – doors off! Everyone should do this once in their life – I’d go again in a NYC beat.

And we have to agree with Kristen! As we’ve said before, we know we are obsessed with New York City and one of the best views of the city is from high up in the air!

Plus, it’s incredible to see our concrete jungle and all the boroughs from this perspective.

Take a look at this Helicopter Tour and book now!


The William Vale

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg William Vale Hotel Photo MarkyMarc13
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg William Vale Hotel Westlight
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg William Vale Hotel Balcony
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg William Vale Hotel King Bed
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg William Vale Hotel Bathroom
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“Sunset drinks and apps at the Westlight atop The William Vale hotel. This is the best view looking back on the city!”

Brooklyn is certainly the most up and coming area in New York and so much is going on, on that side of the bridge. New restaurants, stores, nightclubs, coffee shops, events, etc!

The William Vale is one of the newest additions to the neighborhood and has become an immediate hotspot.

Its rooftop offers a priceless 360º view where you can see the 5 boroughs.

So, if you want to stay in one of the trendiest hotels, in a super cool location and mix with an energetic and stylish crowd…then this is the place for you!

Location: 111 North 12th Street

www.thewilliamvale.com


Matcha Bar

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Matcha Bar Counter
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Matcha Bar
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Matcha Bar Lunch
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Matcha Bar Toast And Tea
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Matcha Bar Kombucha
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“If you have a thing for matcha and Instagram, you’ll find your prefect match at Matcha Bar, with two addresses in Manhattan.”

Founded by the brothers, Max and Graham Fortgang, in 2014, Matcha Bar is the perfect drink if you’re looking for energy, focus, paired with powerful antioxidants.

As they explained, they “became fixated on the idea of bringing this ancient tradition into the modern metropolis they call home”. And they did!

Their matcha is sourced directly from an independent family farm in Nishio, Japan.

www.matchabar.co


Miss Paradis

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Miss Paradis Brunch
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Miss Paradis Appetizers
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Miss Paradis Cauli Flower
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Miss Paradis 3 Appetizers
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Miss Paradis Photo Belly Adventure
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Miss Paradis Paella
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Miss Paradis Zucchini
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Miss Paradis Fruits
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Miss Paradis Rose
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UNFORTUNATELY THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

“I love Miss Paradis in SoHo – prefect for catching up with a friend or two. Nosh on small plates and sip on rose — it adorns the walls of the place. I love the burrata!”

Miss Paradis opened just a while ago, in November of 2016. The place is beautifully designed by Philippe Starck and serves super healthy, seasonal food. Moreover, the dishes are works of art and creatively presented.

They are well-known for their Rosé labels, so we do recommend trying the cocktails on their list. And, as they say: “don’t expect to skip dessert!”

“Miss Paradis is a timeless temple to the glory of the fruits of Nature.” ~ Philippe Starck, Créateur

Location: 47 Prince Street


Takoyaki

In New York city, you’ll find surprises around every corner, especially when it comes to culinary treats, such as this popular Japanese snack called “Takoyaki.” What is the most interesting street food you’ve tried?

Posted by Rosetta Stone on Thursday, December 1, 2016

UNFORTUNATELY THIS SPOT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

“I stumbled on this gem of a Takoyaki stand on Doyers Street in Chinatown. You’ll get hungry watching the video I made (above).”

If you go to New York, you have to be opened to trying the different street food you’ll find along your way. Plus, if they are literally a hole in the wall, it’s even better.

Hidden in one of Chinatown’s most famous streets, Takoyaki opens only for a few hours during the weekends, so you need to be sure to pass by.

What to try? Maybe a little of everything! Their octopus dumpling is on the top of our list. Prices are super fair, so don’t worry.

Hours: Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 6pm

Location: 5 Doyers Street


KIIN Thai Eatery

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Kiin Thai Eatery Egg Noodles
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Kiin Thai Eatery Shrimp Lemongrass Skewers
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Kiin Thai Eatery Tamarind Half Duck
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Kiin Thai Eatery Pulled Salmon
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Kiin Thai Eatery Pad Kee Mao
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Kiin Thai Eatery Khao Soy
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Kiin Thai Eatery Grilled Summer Shrimp
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Kiin Thai Eatery
Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Kiin Thai Eatery Inside
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UNFORTUNATELY THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

“I’ve traveled three times extensively through Thailand and always have a tough time finding those same tastes in the states. If you want authentic Thai food, KIIN Thai Eatery is IT! Every bite will have your mouth watering. This place is best for atlas for people – you can order half of the menu this way and try it all.”

KIIN, in the Greenwich Village, in Manhattan, serves authentic central and northern Thai cuisine, with recipes that dates back centuries, but are still current.

Ingredients are all very fresh and tasty, challenging everyone’s taste buds and offering a true Thai experience. 

Location: 36 East 8th Street


Sisley Spa

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kristen Kellogg Sisley Spa The Carlyle

“If you’re in need of a time out, stop at the Sisley Spa in the Rosewood Hotel and treat yourself to a unique treatment – the Phyto-Aromatic Replumping Youth Facial with Rose. The esthetician gently moves rose quartz around your face – so relaxing I fell asleep.”

Not really a “behind the scenes” experience, but nonetheless, super worth exploring, specially after a long and tiring day exploring New York.

Moreover, it’s located inside The Carlyle hotel, in the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Treatments are customized according to you needs and desires, so you’ll be sure to leave completely relaxed and ready for more NYC adventures!

Location: The Carlyle – 35 East 76th Street – 3rd Floor

https://thesisleyspa.com


Thank you, Kristen, for being part of our Insider Interviews and for sharing your 7 best NYC tips for exploring New York City!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Belly Adventure, Marky_Marc13 and all the venues.
*Last Update on April/2020.*

Shuraku NYC: A Hidden High-End Japanese Restaurant

Dining Shuraku NYC Aburi Kinme Dai

If you enjoy a high-end Japanese tasting menu, Shuraku NYC is the place for you! With the finest seafood, meats and poultry from around the world, they prepare it all on their binchotan grill.

Dining Shuraku NYC Private Counter

We recently had a delicious experience at the recently open Shuraku NYC, located in the West Village.

This high-end spot opened on mid November. “Shu” means place of gathering, but its small door and façade makes it a gem hidden in one of Manhattan’s busy Avenues. We love it, of course!

As they explained:

“Chef Joe and Head Chef Ryunosuke Satoh met working at Tori Shin. Chef Joe says, ‘We learned from the best. I went to my favorite Japanese restaurant in New York and asked for a job.’ They recruited similarly disciplined colleagues from Ushiwakamaru and began testing their menus in Joe’s home kitchen. The result is a shared vision that is at once very Japanese and very NYC.”

The front part of the restaurant hosts clients interested in having the a la carte menu but, the back room is where the magic happens!

To start, the private 12-seat wooden counter permits you to be inches from the chefs. The experience starts when you witness the magic happening in that small kitchen area.

But, don’t underestimate it though, for they make miracle charcoal-grilled dishes in that space.

“Our simple preparations are meant to enhance and complement the natural flavor of our choice ingredients.”

There, they offer their famous Tasting Menu, that changes seasonally.

The food is prepared on a traditional Japanese binchotan grill, and served on dishes made in Japan specifically for each item on the menu. Cool, right?

Binchō-tan, also called white charcoal or binchō-zumi, is a type of charcoal traditionally used in Japanese cooking. The fineness and high quality of binchō-tan are attributed to steaming at high temperatures (about 1000 degrees Celsius).

Although it is often thought that binchō-tan burns hot, it actually burns at a lower temperature than ordinary charcoal but for a longer period, making it preferable by a number of chefs. Because it does not release unpleasant odours, it is a favorite of unagi (freshwater eel) and yakitori (skewered chicken) cooks.” ~ Wikipedia

Dining Shuraku NYC Aburi Kinme Dai
Dining Shuraku NYC Fried Lotus Root Crab Shrimp
Dining Shuraku NYC Sashimi
Dining Shuraku NYC Botan Ebi Kobujime
Dining Shuraku NYC Grilled Jumbo Carabineros Prawn
Dining Shuraku NYC Gyukatsu
Dining Shuraku NYC Tenderloin Ichibo
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Moreover, their current Winter Tasting Menu is an 8-course meal that will challenge all your taste buds with different textures, tastes and flavor combinations. The creativity is evident in all the dishes!

Take a look it:

  • 1st course: Sakizuke – Oboro tofu with dashi soy & wasabi
  • 2nd course: Oshinogi – Miyazaki beef sushi with nappa cabbage Ohitashi
  • 3rd course: Zensai – Fluke kobujime with karasumi and mentaiko monfish liver with ginger soy sauce
  • 4th course: Yakitori – Chicken oyster with lemon, Magret duck with Tokyo scallion and Yuzu kosho pork jowl with hibiki miso
  • 5th course: Hashiyasume – Japanese turnip in white miso soup
  • 6th course: Grilled Entrée – Washu beef (culotte) with cipollini onion, carabineros prawn with cherry tomato, hokkaido scallop
  • 7th course: Noodle – Inaniwa Udon, Ume Tororo
  • 8th course: Dessert – Satsuma sweet potato ice cream

Sounds amazing, right?

Well, we did try a few of these dishes during our visit and a couple additional ones! They were fantastic!

Dining Shuraku NYC Entree
Dining Shuraku NYC Sakizuke Oboro Tofu
Dining Shuraku NYC Edamame
Dining Shuraku NYC Sea Eel Anago
Dining Shuraku NYC Karaage Marinated Fried Chicken
Dining Shuraku NYC Cipollini Onion
Dining Shuraku NYC Grilled Aspargus
Dining Shuraku NYC Hashiyasume Miso Soup
Dining Shuraku NYC Yakitori
Dining Shuraku NYC Desserts
Dining Shuraku NYC Sake
Dining Shuraku NYC Winter Tasting Menu
Dining Shuraku NYC
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This is what we tried during our visit:

  • Entrée dish with veggies
  • Sakizuke – Oboro tofu with dashi soy & wasabi
  • Edamame
  • Grilled asparagus
  • Marinated fried chicken – Karaage
  • Hashiyasume – Japanese turnip in white miso soup
  • Cipollini onion with sake and soy
  • Sea Eel-Anago – white grill sea eel from Tsukiji
  • Yakitori – Chicken oyster with lemon, Magret duck with Tokyo scallion and Yuzu kosho pork jowl with hibiki miso

And for dessert, we tried a bit of each option:

  • Yazu cheese cake
  • Black sesame ice cream
  • Satsuma sweet potato ice cream

We definitely loved all 3 dessert options, but the black sesame ice cream is surely the most unique one!

The chef that took care if us, was Chef Sho, and he was fantastic! Super friendly, perfectly explained every dish and made us feel part of the experience – not only customers on the other side of the counter.

In addition, for their 1st Christmas Dinner they created another super unique tasting menu – the “Feast of the Seven Fishes” omakase.

FYI, “omakase” means a chef-curated meal, so the chef choses it all! Definitely a thrill!

“Christmas is coming, so in late December we’ll also let just a little bit of Italian-American heritage shine through. Chef Joe Conti’s Brooklyn Italian roots have inspired our Feast of the Seven Fishes omakase. Chef Sato and Chef Joe have put together a special 8 course tasting menu.”

So, take a look and book your spot! Seating starts at 5:30pm!

For all other reservations, click here. If you’re organizing a Corporate Event, let our experts cater to your needs!

Hours:
Wednesday: 5:30pm – 10pm
Thursday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 11pm
Sunday: 5:30pm – 10pm

Location: 47 8th Avenue

www.shurakunyc.com


Photo Credit: ©Behind the Scenes NYC and Courtesy of Shuraku
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Lua Bar: The Newest Hot Spot In Bushwick

Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Noodles Close Up

Brooklyn is a neighborhoods we love exploring. There are so many places opening that it’s literally hard to keep track. One of our newest favorite hot spots in Bushwick is called Lua Bar.

Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Tap
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Bar
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Behind the Counter
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Night Vibe
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Chef
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Yakitori
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Spicy Sesame Cold Noodle
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Spicy Boys
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Noodles
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Cauliflower
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Egg
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Noodles Close Up
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Full Table
Dining Lua Bar Brooklyn Chandeliers
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UNFORTUNATELY THIS RESTAURANT IS PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

If you love behind the scenes spots to explore, then you’ll mostly certainly love Lua Bar!

After the success of the restaurants Beco and Suzume in Williamsburg, the founders of these hype spots decided to join forces and open this ramen party bar, in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Chef Manny Salazar is in charge of the kitchen and has done a fantastic job with the menu! It’s a very interesting mix of Japanese and Hawaiian dishes. As they say: “delicious, affordable, unfussy food”. Sound perfec, right?

Without a doubt, the place was an instant success attracting foodies & food connoisseurs not only from all over the city, but even from other cities. The news spread, they heard about the launch and added the spot to their “must-see” list, while in New York City.

What to expect? Drinks, beers, snacks and noodles! In addition, if you’re one of the night owls that just love being out till late hours, Lua is open every day up though 2am (except Sundays)!

Their menu is made up of small, but delicious and filling dishes. They have a friendly menu for the Vegetarian ones (like our founder), so don’t worry!

See some of the our top pick dishes below.

For Snacks:

  • Brussel Sprouts spicy peanut, lime, fish sauce vin
  • Spicy Boys! Apam corndogs, spicy sauce, party on a stick
  • Ovos Akuma deviled soy sauce egg, spicy garlic mayo, tobiko
  • Fried Fingerling Potato beurre blanc, garlic, lemongrass, thai basil

Sandos – Choose two to mix’n’match, so we chose:

  • Mexican Chorizo thai style slaw, garlic aoili, crispy shallots
  • Roasted Shiitake chili, hoisin, pickled cucumber, scallions

Noodles:

  • Lua Ramen soy sauce tare, pork belly, negi, burnt garlic oil
  • TanTan Ramen spicy veggie soup: eggplant, tomato, chili, peanuts

The food is great, as we mentioned, and the price is fantastic. Very affordable! Noodles go for only $10/each!

“Our pork is from hormone/antibiotic-free berkshire pigs from the Eden farms collective. Our chicken wings come from organic D’Artagnan chickens in NJ. We make the best food we can with the best stuff we can afford.” ~ Henrique Stangorlini, Founder of Beco and Lua Bar

For drinks, try everything from the famous Brazilian cachaça to rums, tequilas, beers and wines. Their full bar will certainly be able to fulfill any of the desires and cocktail cravings. Plus, the guys behind the bar are cocktail experts.

And lastly, the place has a chill atmosphere. Dim lights, great music, good space even when it gets pretty full and some private booths too.

The bar area is always our top pick to sit, but the small table right at the front of the restaurant with individual sofas, is the runner up. It’s certainly the most coveted spot of the entire place, so be sure to arrive early if you want to sit there.

Oh, it’s a cash-only restaurant, so be sure to have money on you! If you forget, they’ve got an ATM at the back!

Enjoy the newest hot stop in Bushwick, and we sure to also check out Beco and Suzume!

Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday: 6pm – 2am
Sunday: 6pm – 12am

Location:
1006 Flushing Avenue, Bushwick


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lua Bar

3 Secret Japanese Restaurants That You Can’t Tell Others

Dining Bohemian Restaurant Dish

We contribute with Glamour Brazil and this post was about 3 secret Japanese restaurants in New York that we love!

Here is the Portuguese version and below, the English version:

The gastronomic scene in NYC is simply the best! New restaurants are always opening, renowned chefs are always daring and experimenting in their menus and novelties are always popping up in existing restaurants.

The coolest places in New York are certainly the most hidden ones!

For anyone who is in love with Japanese cuisine, here are tips three secret Japanese restaurants, kept away from the eyes of the city’s tourists!


Zenkichi

Dining Zenkichi Restaurant Entrance
Dining Zenkichi Restaurant Tables
Dining Zenkichi Full Table
Dining Zenkichi Restaurant Abalone Uma Ni
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The Japanese restaurant, Zenkichi, is located in the neighborhood of Williamsburg – which we love!. It opened its doors nearly one decade ago and continues part of the short list of the most secret restaurants in town. The entrance is discrete, with a wooden door and a small number “77″.

With a typical oriental décor and low lighting, the tables are divided into small cabins where your privacy is preserved. Each table has a charming bamboo curtain blocking the view of people passing by the table. Each table also has a button to call the waiter, who promptly arrives to help you.

The restaurant offers an a la carte menu and a special chef’s tasting menu with 8 dishes, the “8-course Omakase”. This tasting menu is the apex of the place and changes every five weeks!

Location: 77 North 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

http://zenkichi.com


Sakagura

Dining Sakagura Restaurant Inside
Dining Sakagura Restaurant Dishes
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For connoisseurs of sake and lovers of traditional Japanese cuisine, Sakagura is “the place to go”. It was elected one of the top restaurants in New York.

Founded in 1996, it is considered one of the best authentic Japanese cuisine with top rated dishes elected by best gastronomic critics. It is also among the top sake bars in the United States and in the world, with more than 200 labels for tasting!

Furthermore, on the menu, the dishes have suggestions on the side to indicate the best sake combination. The restaurant is located inside the basement of an office building, so do not be surprised if you bump into suited men while walking in.

Location: 211 East 43rd Street, Midtown

www.sakagura.com


Last, but not least, you’ll surely love telling your friends about the whole experience at this next place. Certainly amusing!


Bohemian

Dining Bohemian Restaurant Dish
Dining Bohemian Restaurant Tables Bar
Dining Bohemian Restaurant Japanese Tables
Dining Bohemian Restaurant Japanese Seating Arae
Dining Bohemian Restaurant Japanese Hall
Dining Bohemian Restaurant Japanese Bar
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“A secret base for 21st century bohemians in a historical building once home to Andy Warhol and then the live-in studio of Jean-Michel Basquiat, the inimitable graffiti artist from the 80s.”

Located in the back of a Japanese butcher shop, in NoHo, Bohemian is perhaps one of the most coveted hidden restaurants in the city.

It’s a hard place to find and you’ll surely think you in the wrong place. Plus, the long, dark corridor does make you think twice before walking in.

How it works? Well, first the phone number for reservations is not disclosed and it’s a referral-only spot. The way to get a reservation is to try to find someone who has already been to the restaurant so they can give you the phone.

This is the only way you’ll be able to call and schedule your reservation. Cool, right?

Everything there is amazing, from simple food (with inspiration in the American and French cuisines) to the minimalistic décor and background music – playing Japanese grooves, and even Jazz and Bossa Nova!

The tasting menu has a great price and is nothing out of the ordinary…it goes for $55, with 6 dishes.

Location: 57 Great Jones Street (shared on Google Maps)


Also, if you enjoyed discovering these three secret Japanese restaurants, take a look at our Greenpoint Self-Guided Tour of one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. There is so much to explore there!

Lastly, you might also enjoy super unique, custom tours! At this Unique Custom Photo Tours, your guide is not only amazing, but they are photography experts that will take your pictures along the way!

Have fun exploring!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of the restaurants, nicknamemiket / Flickr, Shanna Ravindra, solaennuevayork
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Zenkichi Is A Hidden Modern Japanese Restaurant In Williamsburg

Dining Zenkichi Restaurant Japanese Grilled Salmon

Zenkichi, a modern Japanese restaurant in Williamsburg is the perfect combination of 3 things: Japanese cuisine, in a hidden location, in Brooklyn. Perfect math, if you ask us!

Dining Zenkichi Restaurant Japanese Omakase Tasting Menu 2nd Dish
Dining Zenkichi Restaurant Japanese Inside
Dining Zenkichi Restaurant Japanese Grilled Salmon
Dining Zenkichi Restaurant Japanese King Trumpet
Dining Zenkichi Restaurant Japanese Omakase
Dining Zenkichi Restaurant Japanese Sake
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They are a modern Japanese brasserie with a fantastic traditional Omakase menu. Perfect to experience a true Tokyoite meal!

Zenkichi opened it’s “camouflaged” doors in November 2006 by a homesick Tokyo-native. It’s a modern Japanese brasserie with an authentic dining experience of popular Tokyo establishments located in Williamsburg.

It’s surely a unique dining experience, from the hidden entrance, to the buzzer used to call the waiter, to the semi-private tables. The door is camouflaged within the façade, so do be alert while looking for it and let the excitement start!

The dime lights and the privacy obviously is perfect for a date night, so if you’re in search of a place to wow your loved one, this can be it!

As they mention, the biggest emphasis is of course placed on the Omakase – chef’s tasting menu – which changes every 5 weeks with different seasonal ingredients. There is a la carte menu that also changes every 3 months.

Also, it’s the perfect place to share dishes and this way, you can try a bit of it all!

If you’re not a big sake drinker, it’s ok. They are and they are experts! Just ask to pair it perfectly for you selecting from their 30+ selection of premium sakes. You’ll be amazed with the result!

Have fun at this fantastic Japanese restaurant in Williamsburg!

If you want to read more about Zenkichi, or if you want to explore a few other hidden Japanese gems, take a look at a post we’ve done for Glamour Magazine!

Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 6pm – Midnight (Last call 11:00pm)
Sunday: 5:30pm – 11:30pm (Last call 10:30pm)

Location: 77 North 6th Street

www.zenkichi.com


Photo Credits: Courtesy of Zenkichi
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Natalie Klein: A Bof500 Nominee’s Best NYC Gems

Curiosities Insider Interviews Natalie Klein

Today we share another episode of our NYC Hush Hush Tips, interviewing the powerful fashion entrepreneur, Natalie Klein.

Curiosities Insider Interviews Natalie Klein
Photo Credit: Courtesy of BOF

What is NYC Hush Hush Tips?

We invite renowned and extremely influential people from all over the globe to share their NYC secret tips!

Natalie Klein, founder of the luxury multi-brand boutique nkStore in São Paulo, Brazil, launched her brand back in 1997.

She was quite young, but success was inevitable for this amazing woman!

In only a short time, she created, what is today, one of the most important fashion brands in Brazil.

Furthermore, with an amazing professional and personal journey, she was nominated by BOF – Business of Fashion, one of the most “talented retailers shaping the global fashion industry” in the #Bof500 initiative.

 

But, what is the BoF 500?

“The BoF 500 is the definitive professional index of the people shaping the $2.4 trillion fashion industry, hand-selected by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on hundreds of nominations received from current BoF 500 members, extensive data analysis and research.”

Pretty amazing nomination, right!?

So, here are the best NYC gems and secrets that she loves:


Devera

Curiosities Insider Interviews Natalie Klein De Vera Crosby

“Devera is an amazing vintage jewelry store that mixes Federico De Vera’s sensibility for antiques with his jewelry design talent!”

The brand was first launched in San Francisco, back in 1991 with a creative approach to showcasing some of the most unique and singular objects and its beauties.

Furthermore, the New York location was then opened in 2003, due to Francisco’s desire to showing the world everything that he’s collected, his passion, his curious state of being about the natural world!

As Federico explains better:

“The gallery shows a finely curated selection including Venetian glass, Japanese lacquer, ivory carvings, 18th century religious figures and antique jewelry. Another unique focus is de Vera jewelry incorporating rare antique elements such as Roman intaglios and Georgian brooches, with precious gemstones including rose-cut diamonds, baroque pearls and Sardinian coral.”

Location: 1 Crosby Street

www.deveraobjects.com


Sasabune

Curiosities Insider Interviews Natalie Klein Sasabune

“Sasabune is a very traditional Japanese restaurant at the Upper East Side with a “Trust Me” menu – you’ll eat what Chef Kenji Takahashi prepares! It’s always a different experience.”

The restaurant is exactly the type of restaurant that we love to talk about and to show people what New York City is about!

It is very small, and décor is very simple.

But, then again, who need fancy furniture to eat well, right? The focus is definitely on the food, that is to-die-for!

They only serve the Omakase, the chef’s tasting menu, so you’ll have to trust and enjoy!

Plus, for drinks be sure to experiment their different sakes. If you’re not sure which one to order, they are always happy to help you pair it with your dishes!

Location: 401 East 73rd Street

http://sasabunenyc.com


BDDW

Curiosities Insider Interviews Natalie Klein BDDW

“BDDW is one of the best spot for amazing furniture. The timeless pieces are handmade and well-crafted, designed by the founder Tyler Hays.”

As we’ve written about BBDW before, if you’re the type that enjoys unique items and want to detach and withdraw from the rest of the crowd that purchase in bigger, well-known stores, BDDW is the perfect place for you.

In addition, all items and idealized and designed by the Founder, Tyler Hays, at his Philadelphia Studio.

Tyler expertise are various, from painter and sculpture, to engineer and a pretty talented builder. The result of these expertise are breathtaking pieces of art works for your home!

Location: 5 Crosby Street

www.bddw.com


The Beatrice Inn

Curiosities Insider Interviews Natalie Klein Beatrice Inn

“The Beatrice Inn is, in my opinion, one of the best places to hang out with great food and cocktails. A footnote on the menu reads “Photography is not permitted”, so just enjoy your food!”

The place is a hot spot for celebrities and is a very high-end chophouse in the West Village.

Ans, as they explain:

“Owned by the lauded Chef Angie Mar, and her partner Melissa Merrill Keary, the Beatrice Inn is the edgy, underground version of the traditional New York chophouse.”

So, if you’re a meat eater, this is definitely a place to go!

Location: 285 West 12th Street

http://thebeatriceinn.com


Freemans Restaurant

Curiosities Insider Interviews Natalie Klein Freemans

“I love Freemans. Even though it’s becoming more and more well known, the experience of walking into this suspicious alley it always thrilling. The food is great, as is the crowd!”

And, we also love Freemans, and have featured them before! Along the alley you need to walk though to get to the restaurant, you’ll find a few great graffiti works on the brick walls. Perfect for that Instagram-photo-moment!

At the very, very, very end, you’ll find this beyond charming turquoise blue, wooden door surrounded by countless vases with plants and flowers.

www.freemansrestaurant.com


Ristorante Morini

Curiosities Insider Interviews Natalie Klein Ristorante Morini

“Ristorante Morini is another restaurants with great food and crowd! It’s always one of place I love to go when I’m passing by New York City!”

The place is an upscale neighborhood Italian restaurant serving various seasonal specialties and fantastic old-country wines.

Plus, if you’re the type that enjoys experimenting and tastings. The they explain:

“Ristorante Morini’s beverage program complements the depth and breadth of the menu, with a large emphasis on Italian wine of various selections from Europe and America. The vibrant downstairs bar is host to an inventive cocktail list, crafted by the talented Altamarea Group mixology team.”

Locations: 1167 Madison Avenue

www.ristorantemorini.com


Rare Vintage

Curiosities Insider Interviews Natalie Klein Rare Vintage

“Rare Vintage is a vintage shop with the most amazing gowns! The very best of two centuries of fashion can be found with a highly edited collection.”

You’ll be able to find the very best of two centuries of fashion with a highly edited collection.

The store was founded in 2007 by Juliana Cairone. Juliana is Diane Vreeland’s grand daughter. At a very young age was exposed to amazing pieces of “art” by renowned designs.

Today, most of the items are bought from private collections found in the four major fashion capitals – New York, London, Milan and Paris. Items are unique, in great conditions and were statements in their own decades.

Location: 24 West 57th Street

UNFORTUNATELY THIS STORE PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

Milk & Honey

Curiosities Insider Interviews Natalie Klein Milk and Roses

“One of the top secrets in town with the best dry Martini is called Milk & Honey! The bar is “against celebrity-obsessed nightlife” and has a list of strict house rules to follow.”

We just love secret places and we’ve written about other speakeasy spots through out the website.

Not only the experience of searching for it is super exciting, but once you do find it and walk in, it feels like your entering a parallel universe.

Usually they are hidden behind secret doors, or in basements, and even in the back of other venues, that you can access only with a secret code through a little entrance.

We love it!

Location: 134 Eldridge Street

UNFORTUNATELY THIS STORE PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

Lastly, Thank you, Natalie, for sharing your best NYC gems tips exclusively with us!!!


Photo Credits: Courtesy of BOF and all the venues
*Last Update on March/2020.*

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