Stay on the edge

The edge of the Four Seasons Miami.

This year marks my first experience with Miami Spice, the two-month restaurant promotion of Miami restaurants. Justin and I rolled up to Stubborn Seed (post coming soon!) only to divert from the Miami Spice menu and order a la carte instead.

The following evening we walked to the Four Seasons Miami and found a glorious waterfall at the front of the hotel with lights showcasing the EDGE Steak & Bar logo. We took an elevator up in the Four Seasons Miami where we immediately came face-to -face with a dimly lit bar that reminded us of New York restaurants. Orb lightbulbs dangled from the ceiling adding that hint of a Brooklyn vibe.

Before arriving, we looked at both the Miami Spice and regular dinner service menu. We made the decision to both go with the promotion, especially since the Miami New Times published the eatery on its top 10 listicle. We tried the Hamachi Tiradito as well as the Lamb and Apricot Terrine for appetizers and both ordered the Creekstone Farms Rib Eye since it was likely neither of us would ever order a 20-ounce steak, which is what’s served during regular dinner hours. We finished the evening with one of each dessert: Creme Fraiche Panna Cotta and the Dark Chocolate Opera Cake.

We currently live in a world where an increasing number of eaters note that restaurant weeks and promotions, such as Miami Spice, no longer hold true value as venues skimp on dishes or opt for cheaper experiences that divert from its true offering. EDGE Steak & Bar luckily doesn’t fall under the storm and actually adds a beacon of light as many restaurants shift its marketing for special public events. The Miami Times hit home with this one; Edge is a top ten Miami Spice restaurant.

 

 

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EDGE Steak & Bar is located inside the Four Seasons Hotel Miami at 1435 Brickell Avenue.

Slurp, slurp

The tonkotsu broth simmers for 18 hours to achieve its full flavor.

JINYA Pike & Rose opens today in North Bethesda, making it that much easier for Marylanders to enjoy a warm bowl of Japanese noodle soup. Last night, I attended the preview opening party where waiters passed salmon poke and spicy tuna tacos, tempura brussel sprouts, takoyaki balls, pork gyoza and crispy chicken. JINYA served mini-sized ramen bowls, so that guests could taste all three different broths: Spicy Creamy Vegan, Tonkotsu Black and Chicken.

Upon my arrival, the friendliest bartenders served two cocktails: Garden of Todai, a modern take on a margarita, and the Temple of Love, a contemporary rendition of a classic Manhattan. I snagged a high-top seat by the large windows (natural lighting is everything!), which turned out to be the perfect spot to grab appetizers and chat with the party next to me.

As someone who enjoys a solid bowl of miso ramen, I was excited by the opportunity to try all three noodle soups. When else would I ever have the opportunity to order a vegan bowl? Surprisingly this dish turned out to be one of my favorite bowls of ramen to date. I deemed it a vegan eater’s dream because of its equivalency to a porky flavored bowl. In a world where an increasing number of people decide to pursue a vegan lifestyle, there’s increased competition for the best food and JINYA comes as a top contender.

While I didn’t care too much for the chicken ramen out of personal preference, my sister Jenna enjoyed it with a hint of spice tossed in. She deemed it delicious, while I nibbled on a few bites before pushing it away. When it comes to the tonkotsu ramen, however, it went missing after three minutes. The porky flavor consumes you without enduring an over-the-top richness. After all, this is the restaurant chain’s speciality as the chef simmers it for more than 18 hours to achieve a full flavor.

Hopefully Marylanders won’t be lining up for hours as Virginians did for the Mosaic District opening. To be fair, the first 100 people to visit JINYA today earn a free bowl of ramen. Doesn’t that mean a line is inevitable? There’s no better way to kick off a grand opening than with high demand for noodles, even in this summer heat.

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JINYA Ramen Bar Pike & Rose is located at 910 Prose Street, North Bethesda, MD.

24 hours in New York

Exploring the big apple.

I ran around New York for 24 hours with my friend Geena. After hopping off OurBus (by the way, had a great experience), I grabbed my luggage and headed straight to Totto Ramen‘s original location in Midtown West. Previously I visited the Midtown East location, but could never make the time to wait in line at the first shop. Yelpers and New Yorkers claim the first location tastes significantly better in comparison to expansion spots.

I’m here to state: Believe the hype.

Yet instead of waiting 45 minutes during off-peak hours, I could have visited the Midtown East location with little to no wait times. Anyone who loves Totto Ramen should stop by the original location at least to fully experience why the business does so well.

My trip to the city included running into a few fashion week shops surrounded by long lines. I explored Soho, went shopping and spent an afternoon in 29Rooms. Food highlights include the fluffiest (questionably to die for) pancakes at Le Barricou and chicken liver pate at Hearth.

 

Terakawa Ramen

Summer heat can’t stop the ramen love.

My love for ramen doesn’t stop because it’s 90 degrees outside. During my trip to Philadelphia, I stopped at Chinatown for a steaming noodle bowl. We started off with the takoyaki and chicken cutlet curry. From top to bottom, we ordered the miso ramen, bibim noodle (on the new/special menu) and the tan tan ramen.

If you’re ever craving a hot bowl of noodle soup, be sure to stop at Terakawa. Your tastebuds will thank you.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of my adventures at the mosaic garden and maze exhibition!

2017 Embassy Chef Challenge

An evening of cultural cuisine, drinks and entertainment presented by Events DC.

Events DC’s Embassy Chef Challenge brought more than culinary excellency. The evening included cultural performances ranging from dances to traditional music. I held no expectations other than an empty stomach fully prepared to enjoy anything given to me. I tried cuisine from more than 20  countries and left fully satisfied. Several open bars surrounded the main entrances where performances took place. Select countries offered imported wines and refreshing cocktails that embodied countries’ favorite refreshments. I never waited more than 15 minutes to try a dish, but several countries ran out before the evening could commence. Guess I’ll be back next year to try them all!

Bomber Jacket: Uniqlo.

Shirt: Nintendo x Uniqlo.

Pants: Uniqlo.

Sneakers: Nike Vapormax in Asphalt.

One scoop of cookie dough, please

And other shots from New York.

Yes, I waited in line for 20 minutes in an attempt to figure out the mystery surrounding the latest dessert treat in Manhattan. All I can say is one bite of cookie dough tasted great; I deemed the entire scoop unnecessary. Feel free to try it yourself at Cookie DŌ NYC.

My latest trip to the big apple included a stop at the Nike store where a beautiful installation dedicated to the VaporMax awaited. I naturally fell into old habits and visited KITH where I picked up this Alexander Wang x Adidas boost. Click here to see how I created a makeup look inspired by the sneaker.

I also discovered two spots where I never entered before. The first, a pop-up shop at The Upton Collective where NAKEDCASHMERE awaits. My cousin bought his dog a beautiful cashmere sweater while I ventured upstairs to the Dirty Lemon loft where I finally tried the detoxing beverage.

The second spot I fell in love with is Fine & Rare. A new jazz bar that just opened earlier this year but just until recently began serving hot food (the building kept the gas off for awhile). It’s the perfect place for a date, a girls night out or relax with soothing music throughout the entire space.

I also checked Cha Cha Matcha and Employees Only off my bucket list. Both worthy of your time and calorie intake 😉

The final pictures come from a day of exploration in and out of Chelsea art galleries.

City skyline

New York from a Long Island City view.

I spent part of the day sipping tea at Cha-an Teahouse, a cafe that I kept on my bucket list since working at a boba shop in college. During this trip, I ate one of the best meals of my life at Hearth. My friends and I explored the 12-course tasting menu and left with full bellies and smiles on our faces.

After spending the entire day in the city, I trekked back to Long Island City where my cousin lives to watch the sun fall behind the Manhattan skyline. The illuminated pier glowed once the sun disappeared, but it made for a calm evening away from one of the busiest areas in the nation.