Japanese and Realize

After walking around in East Village and wondering what to have for dinner, Alex and I walked into Zen 6. This place used to be owned by someone else and was a lot better in many ways. We had salmon don, ramen burger, BBQ eel roll, spicy yellowtail roll and vegetable gyoza. The food was OK. Ramen burger supposed to be the next big thing in NYC but this one wasn’t executed well, which fell apart easily. I probably will not go back here again.


Even though we didn’t have an amazing experience, I still wanted to make the most out of it and thought this beautiful song – Realize by Melody paired well with this meal.

Here is my Yelp review.

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BCD Tofu House and Come & Get It

Today, a family friend of ours was visiting NYC for the first time. I have been knowing her since I was a baby. It was very cool to meeting with someone after a long time. We decided to have BCD Tofu House – a busy Korean restaurant, which was located in midtown Manhattan. Everyone had a great time. Food was great.

We had scallion pancakes, spicy pork bulgogi, grilled yellow corvina, grilled mackerel, mushroom tofu soup and seafood tofu soup. A fried baby yellow corvina came as a banchan dish for everyone, which was pretty cool.

Today was also the first day after I received my new iPhone 6 Plus. I put it to the test, since the restaurant was pretty dark during the night. The photos came out awesome. I loved it.

BCD Tofu House
BCD Tofu House

I felt Come & Get It by Selena Gomez paired well with this meal.

Here is my Yelp review.

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Veggie Burger and In The End

After having a pasta lunch, Alex and I were still in the lazy mode. We decided to fry up some of the Gardenburger® Malibu Burger Organic Vegan. It was very easy to prepare by frying in the pan for 7 minutes. I had it without the buns and toppings. Instead, I had 5 sauces: ketchup, curry ketchup, garlic dressing, sriracha and Japanese spicy sauce. I liked curry ketchup the most with the burger.

Veggie Burger
Veggie Burger

In The End by Linkin park paired well with this meal.

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Thai and Burn

My coworker and his wife introduced Spice Thai Restaurant to us, which was located near the Union Square. I have been to a different location before with a friend for sushi. This location was definitely smaller and darker. Alex and I were too early for the dinner. We decided to have some drinks first. He had a caipirinha. And I had a frozen mango cocktail. They were pretty good, not too sweet. For dinner, we shared shrimp fritters, spring rolls, chicken wings, 6 o’clock spicy thai fried rice (must have), Thai volcan (it was on fire, when it was brought out), and chicken green curry among 4 of us. Everything was very good and cheap, which costed $50 in total. I heard their lunch special was better and would definitely like to give it a try.

Spice Thai
Spice Thai

Burn by Ellie Goulding would suit for the spicy Thai food.

Here is my Yelp review.

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Girl & the Goat and A Sky Full of Stars

This place was another place in Chicago, which allowed walk-ins but hard to get a seat. We were lucky to be able to seated outside. However, the weather was so bad and it started raining very hard during our dinner. The restaurant staff were able to seat us near the kitchen afterwards. We ordered the following items:

  • goat cheese & sweet corn dumplings (eggplant zaalouk . tzatziki . peach . sungold)
  • goat carpaccio (smoked trout roe . olive-maple vinaigrette)
  • grilled baby octopus (guanciale . fava beans . pistachios . lemon vinaigrette)
  • wood oven roasted pig face (sunny side egg . tamarind . cilantro . red wine-maple . potato stix)
  • roasted cauliflower (pickled peppers . pine nuts . mint)

Everything was very good here.

Girl & the Goat
Girl & the Goat

A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay could pair with this meal very well.

Here is my Yelp review.

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Avec and Black Water

Our original plan was to try out one of the upscale restaurants in Chicago, such as the Blackbird. However, we weren’t able to make reservations. Later, we found out about avec, which had the same chef as Blackbird and allowed walk-ins. We were super lucky to be seated at the bar. Even though this place was supposed to be a wine bar, they also had a very good beer selection. Our waiter recommended a Belgium beer, Atomium, to me. I loved it a lot. We also had chorizo stuffed medjool dates with smoked bacon and piquillo pepper tomato sauce, whipped brandade with garlic bread & chives, slow roasted pork shoulder with roasted carrots, oil cured olives, cous cous, mint and ricotta salata, house marinated olives, and a complementary dessert (lucky!!): roasted hazelnut dacquoise with dark chocolate ganache and coffee buttercream. Everything was very good.

We met this lady, whose daughter was a food critic of a local newspaper. She told us that the pork shoulder was the must have. We, of course, shared it with her. She let us try her dessert, which was warm creme fraiche bread pudding with summer fruits and peach sorbet. We were so full and saved the pork shoulder for the breakfast for the next day.

It was very funny, we ran into the lady on the street the day after, while we were riding bikes to the Field Museum.

Avec Restaurant
Avec Restaurant

I thought about Black Water by Wolf People would pair very well with this meal.

Here is my Yelp review.

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Bon Chon and Roar

I am always a big fan of Bon Chon Chicken and their well known Korean style friend chicken. The chicken were deep fried and came with two different sauces: soy garlic and spicy. They were crispy outside and tender inside. We had one large and one medium orders for four of us. We also had potstickers and rice cakes. I enjoyed both the food and the company very much. Oh yeah! I also tried lychee flavored shochu for the first time. It tasted like fruit juice.

Bon Chon
Bon Chon

They played Roar by Katy Perry last time when Alex and I were there. I thought it was very well paired.

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Family Fun and Tacky

We took nieces home after the helicopter ride and hanging out in Manhattan. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law prepared a lot of yummy food for us. There was ribs (no photo, sorry!), baked chicken and steak (see photo below). Ribs were seasoned with black pepper and salt. They were falling off the bones. Steak was very good with the special homemade Thai hot dipping sauce (fish sauce, Thai chili, lime juice and cilantro).

Nikki is a very talented artiest. I am hoping to see more of her work. Hopefully, some of her work will be printed on t-shirts soon.

Near Bay Ridge
Near Bay Ridge

We watched a lot of songs by Weird Al on YouTube. We actually watched Tacky twice. It was so fun!


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Dumplings and Lively Up Yourself

Homemade dumplings were perfect for a Saturday night. I made it with Chinese preserved vegetables, which my parents bought in China in June this year, and pork. They reminded me the pork buns that I used to have in China every morning. They don’t need any sauce to dip with. However, out of a habit, I made a soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha, and green onions.

I had Buckler non-alcoholic beer with the meal. I think this is the best non-alcoholic beer in the world.


I paired Lively Up Yourself by Bob Marley. Very relaxing. It reminded me this Japanese place Alex and I used to go to in Northern Jersey. They always played Bob Marley’s songs, when we were there.

Let me know how you think about this pairing.

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Soba and Alibi

After a short run to Hoboken (about 2 miles), Alex and I decided to have そば (soba noodles) with spam. YUM! We put lettuce, mushroom, scallions, toasted black sesame seeds, soy sauce and hot sauce.


We paired そば with アリバイ (Alibi) by シド (Sid), which is Alex’s recent most favorite Japanese song for working out.

Please let me know what you think about this pairing.

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