East Coast Eats

A week ago, I was sauntering the streets of NYC and Washington DC catching up with friends and trying to make the most of my downtime from the law convention I was attending. This post is dedicated to my food adventures during the five days I was in/on the East Coast (thanks for telling me proper grammar Abby Wolf!)

6.6.18 - NYC 

1. Buvette 
First stop for brunch: Buvette. This place was mentioned in Crazy Rich Asians, and Kevin Kwan (the author) is apparently a fan of West Village/Greenwich Village area. I came here with my NLC Sac ELP (entrepreneur life partner Rose - missing Liza Chu!) We sat in a somewhat cramped corner on the outdoor patio since the weather was nice.

Kevin Kwan has mentioned that he gets the Golden Assam tea, a pain au chocolat, or the eggs with salmon. I planned on getting dessert after this meal, so I only ordered the Assam tea and the eggs with salmon.

The Golden Assam tea is apparently from India- and came in this quaint teapot. To me, it just tasted like lipton, and was not worth $6.

The salmon was basically lox and had creme fraiche on top. The eggs were super fluffy and slightly liquidy, and the crostini was nicely seasoned. A lot of protein for a breakfast dish. ($16).

There was also an avocado toast, topped with greek yogurt and a poached egg. Nothing too special.

Overall, I thought Buvette had a nice French cafe vibe- but I'd come only back to chat over a cup of coffee rather than eat.

2. Dominique Ansel Bakery 

This raspberry meringue with lychee filling inside was fruity and fairly light- but still very sweet. The meringue on top was disappointingly hollow- reflective of the deceptiveness of the attractive city life.

The famous and original Cronut - this was a seasonal Honey Banana Walnut Jam flavor. It was way too rich, oily, and a bit too decadent for my taste.

This standing tart featured miniature strawberries and had the lightest and airiest filling.

3. Num Pang - Chelsea Market

I had mostly come here to try to sneak into Food Network/the Chopped Kitchen, but decided not to trespass and just eat lunch after walking around the High Line. My cousin Julie told me to get Tacos No 1, but the line was long so I decided to instead support the SouthEast Asian inspired "Num Pang"- which I believe means bread/sandwich in Cambodian (my culture!)

I shared a tiger shrimp coconut banh mi, a chicken rice bowl, and a slaw. The banh mi was probably the best thing - the baguette was nicely grilled, the shrimp was very sweet, and all the components went well with each other. The chicken had a nice southeast flavor with hints of lemongrass, but the bowl was a little all over the place and had too much rice. The slaw had some nice pickled veggies and was refreshing.

4. Chalait - Chelsea Market

My matcha latte with their homemade cashew milk was very grainy and nutty- would not recommend. The matcha strawberry lemonade however was super tasty!

5. Butter 

Butter is owned by Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, who is a judge on Chopped and also one of America's Iron Chefs. She happened to be in the restaurant the night I was there- I got a pic with one of my favorite Food Network personalities!

The restaurant overall had a contemporary vibe, appropriately matching the cuisine here: "New American," basically American with a hint of Asian Fusion. My friend Lisa and I also fit in the theme of hip Asian-American.
#Yappies (or just young Asian professionals?)

I started off with a Calamansi Vodka drink with mint and watermelon ice cubes- extremely refreshing.

This is one the fanciest ways I've seen butter served.

The scallops were cooked well, and even though I don't particularly care for shellfish I liked the mussels and clams- the sauce mellowed out any ocean flavor and the texture of the shellfish was spot-on.

The duck had interesting flavor but was overall a little too dry. This was disappointing.

6.7.18 - NYC -> DC

6. Brooklyn Bagel Company

This was near Penn Station, and I tried the Rainbow bagel because I never had one before! It was basically a normal bagel- but with food dye and a few blueberries. I guess it's a decent deal for $1.40. I regret not getting it toasted with eggs and bacon or something.

7. Doughnut Plant

This was also closeby the train station, and they have a bunch of square donuts. I didn't expect it to be $4- holy shit this is an expensive donut. I got a coconut square, and it had a surprise coconut filling inside. A solid donut, but definitely not worth $4.

6.8.18 - DC

8. The Pig

After some unremarkable food at my convention (a girl literally brought Chipotle instead of eating the lunch one day, #ImwithHer), I was excited to take a break to catch up with my friend Rita and get Happy Hour. For food, we got bone marrow topped with mustard seed, and deep fried pork belly baos. The bone marrow was rich and went well with the pickles and mustard. The bao was a little too dry and the pork belly underseasoned.

9. Milk Bar - Logan Circle Flagship

I tried Milk Bar before and thought it was overhyped, but I'm still a fan of Christina Tosi and wanted to try her famous birthday cake. I got a Babyquake (mini milkshake) which had a few bits of cake pop mixed with cereal milk and it was nice on a warm day in DC. The birthday cake itself was pretty and slightly higher quality than a box confetti cake. It's not even my birthday, but I wanna lick the icing off.


6.9.18 - DC -> NYC

10. Flip Sigi

I arrived back to NY at night, and went to West Village to try Jordan Andino's Filipino take on Kogi. 

I tried the "Jordan Juice" which was Calamansi and vodka- refreshing but would've liked mint and watermelon. The Cali Burrito had pork belly, fries, and avocado, and it was super-bomb. The Sinigang rice bowl was very disappointing - little flavor on the short rib and I didn't taste any garlic in the rice. 

We also got a Longanisa Poutine which was really good drunk food. The mozzarella cheese was tasty. Unlike my previous NYC dinner I didn't get to meet the Chef- maybe the chance is better on weekdays! 

11. Spot Dessert Bar 

Walked here from West Village pretty much for the matcha lava cake. Someone commented "is that how you use a spoon?" NO IT'S NOT. 

The cake itself was pretty decadent and the matcha ice cream was nice - I really liked the graham cracker crumble. I love chocolate and matcha and the two paired very well together.

12. Totto Ramen 

I finished dessert at 11:15, and rushed to Totto to make it at 11:50 PM before they closed at midnight. I was pretty damn full from my previous eats, but still managed to take bites of the pork belly bao and some chashu ramen.

I wanna say this in the Top 3 Ramen I've had. The broth had something special about it- and all the components were very good. (My #1 is Santouka Special Pork Set, and #2 is Daikokuya Kotteri). 

6.10.18 - NYC

13. Whole Foods in Columbus Circle

I got some Vitamin Water, some eggs, turkey bacon, and kale salad to help heal my body from all the alcohol I had the night before. Vampire Weekend was playing on the radio, and it all just felt very New York.

14. Rosemary's 

This was a quaint brunch place in West Village, and it was pretty much basic white people food, i.e. eggs Benedict, bread, potatoes, etc. I had a lamb panini, and the meat was tender and not too game-y and the bread was nice and crispy. I didn't understand how to eat these olives.

Time has flown since Mock Trial at UCLA! 

15. Bibble & Sip 

My last snack in the city were Creme Puffs from this Alpaca Themed Cafe in Times Square area. I got a black sesame and matcha. These are WAY better than Beard Papa and some of the best Creme Puffs I've ever had. I scarfed them down before my flight back to CA.

There's so much to eat in so little time, but I'm glad I got to cross off a lot on my to-eat list and am excited to eat even more on my next trip back. Am I missing any must-eat places in NYC or DC? Let me know so I can add more on my to-eat list! 


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