Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lotus of Siam NY...

So, after scouring the net for information for the past week, reading multiple useless paraphrasings of the original New York Times article that appeared last week, and even visiting the lights-on-but-nobody-home restaurant, Grub Street finally got me an answer.

Lotus of Siam NY opens at 24 5th Avenue with a tasting menu on Thursday, November 4th, then starts with its full menu on the 11th. Seven courses of Saipin Chutima's best for only $65 doesn't sound too expensive to me, but convincing someone to buy it for me might not be easy. So I give a shout to all my Las Vegas restaurant critic friends, buy me the meal (including tip) and you get the scoop on your blog first for the West coast crowd.

If there aren't any takers I may have to wait until after I get paid next Tuesday to take in the sublime offerings of this Las Vegas institutions New York outpost. I recently wrote of how much I would miss it. I must recant. I will relish the opportunity to dine in the New York outpost as much as my wallet allows.

Brian William Waddell is a foodie, beer geek, and author. His numerous blog posts range from food to politics. He also has a book of poetry, Fractured Prose, available here, and is ready to publish his second poetic endeavor.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Goodbye Las Vegas!

I've now officially been a New Yorker for one week. I have found a job, a place to live, and a few decent places to eat. But I want to take this time to talk about the restaurants that I will be hard pressed to replace even here in the Big Apple. I will miss a few Las Vegas places immensely.

Settebello- New Yorkers think their pizza places trump all others. But in my book this Henderson based Neapolitan style pizza joint beats anything I've had here. With their wood fired oven and fresh toppings the pies here are smoky and earthy in a way coal fired and gas ovens just can't match. I may find something to match it here with a little searching, but I don't think I will find a place to beat it.

Aburiya Raku- Japanese restaurants are not exactly rare in New York City, but finding a place of this caliber with a price point to match will not happen here. This robata grill restaurant offers some of the best small plate options I've had anywhere and it does not break the bank. A party of two can easily get out of here full for under sixty dollars sans alcohol. This is the place you must go if you can get off the strip in Las Vegas.

Bluefin Sushi and Roll- Literally a mom and pop place, this standalone sushi place in a strip mall truly stands alone when it comes to quality and value. I can't count the number of times that I visited Bluefin, but it was more often than any other restaurant in Las Vegas. Before I found this tiny sushi bar about a year ago, I spent countless dollars in sub par establishments just trying to find that one place I could call my home away from home. I could probably pay my NYC rent for the next six months with all that dough. Flawless cuts of fish on well made rice and friendly service make this a can't miss local haunt.

Lotus of Siam- It seems there are Thai places on every other block in New York, but I haven't found one to compare to Lotus, yet. Even usually mundane dishes like Pad Thai are an experience not to be missed at this now large establishment in the same mall as the famous Green Door sex club. The service is spotty, but that cannot overshadow the sublime food and wonderful wine list. The execution and recipes here are top flight.

These four places are all Las Vegas Valley originals that are great at their respective cuisine. Sure, being on the East Coast means no In-n-Out, but we have Shake Shack and some other burger joints which are as good, albeit more expensive. There are other places I wish I could have brought with me, but the restaurants listed above are the best at what they do in Las Vegas and could compete with, if not beat, anything out here.

Brian William Waddell is a foodie, beer geek, and author. His numerous blog posts range from food to politics. He also has a book of poetry, Fractured Prose, available here, and is ready to publish his second poetic endeavor.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Because I Should...

That's why I should be the Next Food Blog Star, because I should. Because I'm better than the rest. Because I said so. I suppose the judges may not just take my word for it though. This would be an extremely fun competition for me if they did.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you can tell this is not a normal post. It is my first entry into Project Food Blog, which I've spoken of on my Facebook page. If you don't know what it is, and want to, then Click Here, if not just click the vote button on the right and we'll call it good.

Restaurant reviews are my particular specialty, and nothing will change that. But I'm a little different than most food critics. While most "critics" are actually chef groupies who just want to be as admired as the chefs they admire themselves, I have no interest in personal glory. My photo will never appear attached to my blog. Arguably, with just a little digging anyone could find my face, but I don't want it to be readily available. In the event I advance to the video challenge, I am already developing creative ways to hide my identity. My full name never even appears in connection with this blog or my Foodbuzz profile.




My reviewing repertoire ranges from flagrantly flavorless fast food to succulent and savory superstar chef selections. I have eaten the best fast food burger and the worst pasta dishes known to man just to tell my loyal (because I force my friends to read it) readership whether they should eat it or not. From Asian to Yemeni (sorry, I couldn't come up with a "z" nationality or style) there is no cuisine too high-brow and haughty, nor too low-brow and naughty, for me to dive into headlong.

I don't just review food though, I do cook occasionally and when I do it is an event worthy of a blog. Two reasons for this: 1. I rarely cook. 2. When I do I don't mess around, it's a full on epicurean undertaking.

I also like to rant about the failings of humanity as it relates to food, love as it relates to food, and anything else that relates to food or the consumption of food.

In short, I am the next Food Blog Star because I live and breathe food, and love to share my experiences with anyone willing to read or listen.

Brian William Waddell is a foodie, beer geek, and author. His numerous blog posts range from food to politics. He also has a book of poetry, Fractured Prose, available here, and is ready to publish his second poetic endeavor.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Food & Bar

Bars with "exciting" food options rarely live up to the hype. On the other hand, a restaurant that puts a large amount of energy into its bar program is something that will excite me almost every time. First Food & Bar is one such place. They put the food first in both name and in execution, but they certainly don't neglect the bar.

The place is loud. Not the patrons, the music. It's loud, but it's supposed to be. It's a rock and roll place for a rock and roll crowd. But all that volume fades to background noise once you receive your food and drink. Then you realize why this is "Food and Bar" rather than "Bar and Grill."

First is not without faults in its food however. When you go, stay away from the entrees. Uninspired execution is present in the main dish section of the menu to a degree that leaves sauces which look beautiful on the plate somehow completely lacking in flavor. The small plates, however, are inspired in concept and deserve all of your attention. From a breakfast on a stick to potstickers that taste like a really good Philly Cheesesteak, I have yet to find a small plate I couldn't recommend. Desserts are not an afterthought for the kitchen and they shouldn't be for you either. Save room for a short stack of fresh made, delectable doughnuts.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night, First is the top option in my book for Strip dining with a little edge and excitement.

Brian William Waddell is a foodie, beer geek, and author. His numerous blog posts range from food to politics. He also has a book of poetry, Fractured Prose, available here, and is ready to publish his second poetic endeavor.