Asics Cloud Pop-Up

Dreamland in Manhattan.

While wandering around a busy Soho street, my friend and I stumbled into the Asics Cloud Pop-Up shop. Not only can you try on the latest Gel Kenun.

The various colorways hang against the walls, as well as a DJ booth set up in the corner. The biggest appeal, however, are the colorful clouds hanging from the ceiling. Once you delve deeper into the room, you find an entire wall covered with clouds lighting up in similar patterns to that of lightning bolts flashing through the sky.

Behind the cloud mural, a dark room hosts photographed cloud walls and a city-covered floor. Once laying in the bean bag sofa, you peer up into a giant circular mirror that makes you feel like you’re on top of a New York building.

Visit the pop-up through the rest of the month at 63 Greene Street.

Make a mark on St. Marks

Stopped for dinner at Yakitori Taisho and satisfied my sweet tooth cravings at Spot Dessert Bar.

I couldn’t leave New York without stopping by St. Marks. I made my way to the East Village to enjoy classic Japanese skewers.

We ordered hot saké, okonomiyaki and 30 skewers. Both dishes fed four of us with a variety of vegetables, meats and seafood (3 pieces per skewer, 2 skewers per type) grilled to perfection.


A few steps away, we fled to Spot dessert for three of my favorite desserts (4 for $30.95). When I lived in the city, I regularly satisfied my sweet tooth with a late-night bite. This dessert bar is my go-to whenever I want something sweet.

The golden toast is crispy, honey coated bread sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with a scoop of condensed milk ice cream and whipped cream on the side. The inside is fluffy and light, making this one of the most popular dishes.

The coconut monkey bread topped with coconut ice cream isn’t your average tear and eat dessert. Brown sugar syrup fils the bottom, so I suggest grabbing your fork instead of using your hands.

We also ordered the Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake, but I didn’t grab a picture since I normally eat this whenever in town. In my eyes, it’s the best of the desserts.
  

Finally, the Yuzu Eskimo is usually the dish I order when I want something cold and citrusy. Chocolate ganache and a strawberry syrup fills the bottom of the plate. The pieces are small enough to pick up with your hands, but feel free to cut them in half to share.

Whatever you decide to order at Spot, you can’t go wrong.

 

See more of my New York adventure below!

Yakitori Taisho is located on 5 St Marks Place in Manhattan. Go early because the establishment does not accept reservations and you could be left outside waiting for more than an hour. 

Spot Dessert Bar has several locations throughout the city, but I went to the one on 13 St Marks Place. They do not accept reservations, but you’ll usually be seated quickly.

Skip mimosas for a hot noodle bowl at Ivan Ramen

While bottomless options pop up in NYC, I still opt for a steaming bowl of ramen.

It’s been awhile since I last updated my blog. Since then, I quit my job and ventured to New York, Atlanta and Atlantic City.

My recent trip to Manhattan included trying a steaming, delicious bowl of my favorite Japanese dish at Ivan Ramen located in the Lower East Side. I made a reservation through OpenTable and managed to meet a friend who recently moved to the city.

Since it was a Saturday afternoon, I managed to choose a signature bowl from the brunch menu, which the eatery offers solely on the weekend (no lunch available). The Tokyo Shio Ramen came with a chicken-based broth, nothing too memorable, but nothing disheartening. The noodles’ earn points for solid not-too-soft texture. I threw an extra egg ($2) in the bowl and left with disappointment since it didn’t come seasoned. The dish came loaded with scallions and a slices of pork chashu. The broth’s seasoning left brown coloring on the edges of the white bowl making it not as “pretty” as one would hope.
  

It’s not cheap ($15) and there’s even a bottomless 90-minute all you can drink option for $35. A friend ordered the Tonkotsu Tsukemen (below). A great option for summer, the cold noodles paired with a lightly seasoned broth. It could use more depth, but here’s to trying. Maybe it pleases an American, but not my fairly diverse palette.

The ambience comes mixed with a contemporary, street-like vibe. It’s somewhat confusing because you can’t decide if this is a trendy establishment or a keep-to-its-roots joint. It’s a good place to catch up with a friend who isn’t a huge foodie or a meal with the parents.


Will I go back? No. Will I try the Slurp Shop in Hell’s Kitchen? Why not. It can only go uphill from here.

Ivan Ramen is located on 25 Clinton Street in the Lower East Side of NYC.