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Simul Parikh

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About Simul Parikh

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  1. The goat cheese tart looked good, I just completely forgot to order it. And that porchetta also looks good. Okay. Going back and not getting any pizza.
  2. Finally made it back, with my ski buddy from Chile trip who works in DC but lives in Park City (I cannot think of a better life situation) and my .. fiancee... I don't like that. Let's go with .. lifelong slam piece. That works much better! The side dishes are really good. The suppli were divine. Burrata was on point and not ludicrously priced. Cantabrian anchovies were very tasty. Should have had more than 3 small slices of bread for the burratta and fishies. The dehydrated bread thing with heirloom tomatoes didn't work. The juice from the tomato is supposed to rehydrate the bread, but it doesn't and ends up being amazing heirloom tomatoes on a cracker. This pizza is not for me. I don't get it. The toppings are too inconsistent and patchy. You can see a lot of bread in between. It really annoys me when you try to separate/slice pizza, and at the point of cut-through, the cheese slides to either one slice completely or the other. The crust is pretty good, and they have a hot ass oven, because that blistering/char is pretty sweet. One of my pieces had a straight up tumor bubble, like a neglected head and neck caner (in a good way). I did like that. We got a Margharita Extra and Puttanesca. The Margharita was the one that really shit the proverbial bed with the cheese. It just came apart too easy. Also, I didn't order that one, but the only reason it's "extra" is the cherry tomatoes. That's not an extra I need, but maybe it's the one I deserve. The puttanesca ... this one straight up angered me ... This is my favorite type of pasta sauce. Mine is probably the best you'll ever taste and I'm merely being objective, but I'm always willing to try other's (in pasta form, pizza form, whatever - olives, capers, anchovies, red pepper, and tomatoes together are a heavenly construct). It came with broccoli rabe on top. I swore it was the wrong pizza, flagged the waiter down, and was like - "We ordered the puttanesca". He said, yah, that's the one. "Yeah, but what's this green stuff?" He said, the menu says broccoli rabe. I couldn't fathom this to be true. I got a menu back, and bam, rapini listed as one of the toppings. Bob's your uncle! It tasted like broccoli pizza. That should tell you how I felt about it. I could spend another paragraph about what puttanesca is to me, what it should contain, how it should taste, the origins (was it really the hookers tempting clients with their "tasty sauce"?). Not the point. They can't call that pizza puttanesca. They cannot. It's a crime against humanity. If not humanity, then at least me. Yet, after all that. I loved the place. It is just so darn cute. I'm going to go back soon, and not get pizza. Or maybe just one. But not that one.
  3. When TS does his first review (I think "First Bites"?) it's after just one visit, but the full on 'starred' review is after several, right? Maybe his first time, he had all hits, and the next few times, not so much. Some people include value in their review and some don't. I agree, at the higher end, he seems to put a premium on it, but the restaurants he thinks are the best are not inexpensive by any means. I like Sietsema's writing and passion for DC restaurants, but I find the reviews to be inconsistent. Just never know what he's going to like and why he's going to like, or vice versa, and whether I'll come close to agreeing. It's a 50/50 shot. The recent hyping up of a trio of seafood restaurants was interesting - Salt Line, Fish, and Millie's - none are great, Fish is straight up dismal in terms of service and value, yet he loves them. I still have no idea why All Purpose is considered great, I'm totally confounded. But, he also loves high value/high quality places, too, like Little Serow and many other. The dude at the New York Times, seems much more consistent, but who likes reading that LOSER rag anyway.
  4. Hmm. We had a decent meal there. Spicy wasn't spicy, though. Not sure if the little white girl made them dumb it down, or if the food just isn't meant to be that spicy. We had sitsig, palabok noodle dish, tinolong manok (chicken soup). A little boring/bland, but felt light and healthy - not oily. Maybe we should have ordered what you did? It looks weird b/c it's a former Applebee's space. And the bar seating is strange - deeper into the restaurant, the floor slants so depending on where you are sitting, the seat feels high/low compared to the bar. I wonder if I just don't like food from the Phillipines. Have not tried Bad Saint yet, but every other experience has been 'eh'.
  5. Hawaii

    Went to Hawaii for the third time in last 3 years, and island hopped this time. Had only done one island at a time the last few times (Big Island and Oahu). So... there is now a direct to Oahu from Dulles and it takes 10 hours. Gets you in at about 1pm. HNL is quite a dumpy airport and infrastructure is not good. Do not rent a car from Advantage. The line is 2 hours or so mid-day peak season. I actually had to waste the reservation I had, and walked over to (the lineless) National to get a car. Was worth it not to have to wait. We were starving, and went to Ahi Assassins for lunch. We got two types of poke - wasabi and lunatic, as well as a plate lunch with marlin tonkotsu. There isn't anywhere to sit, so we took it to the hotel and ate pool side (at The Modern, nice place). The poke was fresh and delish. They catch it that morning. If they don't catch anything, they don't serve it. I liked the tonkotsu, but gf did not like it, felt it to be a bit chicken nuggety. For dinner, had a reservation at Sushi ii, which is in a Korean strip mall. Table wasn't ready so had a drink at the karaoke bar close by, and then went back to the restaurant. We did the omekase there, which is not priced out - you just eat til you're done and then they price it a la carte. It was the best sushi I've ever had. We got monkfish liver, halibut, Japanese striped jack fish, Goldeneye snapper, black throat sea pearch, steelhead trout, snow crab with sauce from innards, scallops with sea salt, slightly seared salmon belly, new zealand langostine, i think salmon roe, boston bluefish chutoro (medium fatty), and then said uncle. They finish you with miso soup with the langostine dish. Fantastic. So fresh. Every piece was my favorite, but the last one especially so. Chef is fantastic, from LA, and this place just rocks overall. Jet lagged, so went to bed early and then went to a place I've been craving since I went last year - Marukame Udon. What an unbelievable place, hand pulled noodles, delicious broth. You could charge 3x this in DC and it would still have lines. I got bukake with egg and she got the curry noodle with beef with an egg, we also got tempura. I think total was less than $15. I want this place again today. And for breakfast at least once a week. I love it so much. Then, started on a North Shore tour and after snorkeling we were hungry again, so stopped at a shrimp plate truck - Aloha Shrimp. Very cute 10 year old in the truck taking our order. Quite professional, as well. His face lit up when I asked for it spicy. This was a solid shrimp plate, I'd say equivalent to Giovanni's, but it's hard to say without them next to each other. When you're on the North Shore, gotta go to Matsumoto's for shave ice (why isn't it shaved ice?? really rattles me). I bungled my order, and it ended up soupy. I think it's because I added the red beans in addition to the condensed milk and ice cream. Dinner was at a very neighborhood/locals joint, Side Street Inn, the new one by the zoo, not the original one downtown (kind of dumpy). The plates of food are humungous here, we got the roast pork which was too fatty for my taste, and the fried rice with chinese sausage. Delicious, but wasted half of it, you can't get smaller orders. Now that is fried rice as it was meant to be. We next were going to Kauai, and before we went to the airport, went to an empty cafe for Acai bowl at Blue Tree Cafe. Damn good. Pefect way to start the day. Took the quick ride to Kauai, and after seeing some waterfalls and what not, stopped at Tiki Tacos. They are huge. One is enough, but I got two for some reason. Fish ones are fantastic, chicken great, too. Not mexican style, just sort of Hawaiian style. Did more touristy things, stopped by the famous Tahiti Nui bar at the top of the island, and then went over to the St. Regis in Princeville. Here, I did the thing with the ring, and we weren't so hungry afterwards, just sort of giddy, but we got the crab cake with ginger and the grilled Romaine hearts. Don't remember what it tasted like, but they did also give us a complimentary glass of sparkling Rose and didn't even charge for Valet. We drove back to our airbnb in Poipu and then realized we were starving, so we got some nachos at Keoki's Paradise. Not great. We had to get more Acai bowl, so went to a cute outdoor place in Poipu called Little Fish, shared a bowl and a bagel breakfast sandwich. Tasty. We had a hike to attend to, but for some reason, with the heat decision making lapsed and ended up getting a fried chicken plate lunch from the grocery store. At the top of the mountain after a rigorous hike, it actually hit the spot. Made it back, and wanted to try to cook, but the fish market in Poipu was kind of lame, so ended up getting Italian at La Spezia. Cheese plate was great, and she loved the tomato soup and her Veal Scallopini. My bucatini Amatriciana was good, nice thick hunks of pork but a over sauced. Woke up and found a pop up juice bar, Anake's, that had ... acai bowls! This one was probably the best one we had. After doing more outdoor things, we had lunch at the famous Puka Dog. The veggie dog was cardboard-esque (as veg dogs are wont to be), but her beef-pork Italian sausage was better. They put too much sauce and the bun overwhelms it. Did one of those sunset sails with Holo Holo Charters, and that was really nice. They had a so-so dinner buffet - including teriyaki chicken, furikake rice, and haupia pie. Not bad. Not great. Had second dinner over near Puka Dog at a Thai place, Bangkok Bowl (Colorado chain at some ski resorts) and the green curry with chicken was mediocre, and extra spicy was mild-medium at best. Woke up a little hungover on our way to Maui, so headed to this diner / cafe with no seats near the airport. Hanalima bakery - it hit the spot. She got loco moco, and I got a kim chi omelette. Then, a blueberry biscuit that was so so. Hopped over to Maui, and then wanted to go right to the beach. We found some spam musubi at a convenience store and took it over to the beach, ate, and snorkeled. We had a great Fish Market near us, so the next two dinners were fresh fish (Uku one night and Ahi the next). Delicious. Dessert was at Maui Brewing, they had a coffee ice cream that is worth the calories. Made breakfast at the airbnb, and after outdoors things, we went back to the fish market to get a plate lunch (Kalua pork plate and a shrimp taco). This place is fantastic, and could have had most of our meals there, since there isn't much but overpriced crap on the Lahaina side of Maui. Cooked the Ahi for dinner. She's really getting to be quite a cook There was a Friday street festival, and made a mistake by going to "one last bar" where we ended up becoming friends with the owner and did way too many shots celebrating us. That morning, we needed gentle food, so got another loco moco for her and kung pao chicken at Ono Kau Kau. I'm not proud of what we had just eaten, but it was necessary and there are days when you gotta do what you gotta do. Went on another snorkel tour - The Malolo - do not utilize this company, it is lame. We ended with our last meal as we started - poke from Tamura Liquors - a wine and liquor store chain that has fresh poke. Had the Ninja and the spicy ahi. Fan freaking tastic. A great trip!
  6. Cuban Sandwiches

    Had a great "modified" Cuban last night at Garden District. Pulled pork, ham, slightly sweet mustard (or was their some bbq sauce in there), pickles, and stretch, stretchy cheese (not what I'm used to in a Cuban) on pressed bread that was ever so slightly sweet. Very tasty! Made to order, it took almost a half hour. This place just does it for me on a night like last. We were on our way to the Drunk TED Talk at Blackcat. The concept is funny. The execution not as much. Plus it's in the Backstage room, super crowded, no easy access to the bar, and it was a sweatbox. There was one good lecture about St. Augustine, free will, and how having boners defies directly conflicts with that (i.e. being hornt up leads to bad decisions) by the excellent Elizabeth Bruenig.
  7. Italy

    I'm sure it's somewhere up thread, but Katie Parla is a great resource for Rome.
  8. It's so bad... ugh. Red Rocks in Old Town for Neapolitan style, Valentinos for NY style... Fireworks in Arlington is pretty good. Otherwise, a desert.
  9. Went yesterday ... wings are tiny, as said above, but crispy and flavorful. The pork and chicken intestine laab is no longer on the menu - they have pork and then they have a vegetarian (mushroom) option. Was damn good laab, not very spicy, but fresh and light. The som tum muor (Essan style papaya salad) was very good, funky, fermented, and the spiciest thing we had. The best thing we had was the fried mackeral on top of noodles. It's eaten like a lettuce wrap. Delicious, but the piece of mackeral was too small. It's really good - comparable to early years at BG - the presentation is beautiful, food is fresh/tasty, and there are a lot of interesting things on the menu I'd like to try. It's a small menu, though, not the yooge menus that you usually see at Thai restaurants. It's really a nice space (I don't know what the oyster place that was there before looked like) - felt more like DC than McLean. It's pricier than BG/Thip Khao/Baan, but at dinner time on a weeknight it's faster to get there than anywhere else for me. The 4 courses we had came out to $50, which doesn't sound like much, but we cleared our plates with zero leftovers - and I certainly could have shared 2 more courses - so, order 6 courses for 2 people. They give a small amount of sticky rice (less than BG or Thip Khao) and I think additional costs money. It's the purple version and it's hot A F, so be careful getting it out with your hands. Oh, they have a full bar and a cocktail menu that looked pretty good, but we didn't have anything. Friendly owners, from Bangkok and not Isan Province, but capitalizing on the Northern/Northeastern Thai fad. If you want it spicy, ask for it spicy - otherwise I think they bring it down a notch. Oh, and I like the website design. Good job on that.
  10. Jeni's Ice Cream

    Agreed. What a great product! Only good thing about sis going to Ohio State (we are MI natives... it was sacrilege).
  11. Interesting that they say: "That all points to Onwuachi learning from his miscalculations at The Shaw Bijou, where the former Top Chef contestant’s high-price $185 tasting menu gained acclaim but ultimately struggled to resonate with city residents." And then only refer to their own article, while many other professional food critics, snobby forum people (haha, that's us), and the general public did not feel it garnered acclaim. I don't think it wasn't just that it "didn't resonate". It straight up "put off" people. He's a master showman and promoter. And hopefully the circus works out better for him this time.
  12. Just trying a little experiment. Got same order for Kabob Palace on Grub Hub and Eat24 Grub Hub - Food - $70.90, Delivery - $19.75, Tax - $7.09 = Total - $97.74 Eat24 Food - $72.73, Delivery - $6.99, Service Fee - $5.75, Tax - $7.27 = Total - $92.74 So, total is $5 less a Eat24, which is not insignificant. If you count Delivery+Serve at Eat 24 to equal Delivery at Grub Hub (can't get out of the service fee, so it's the same), the delivery is $19.75 at GH vs $12.74 at Eat24. The actual food cost is a little higher at Eat24, about 2.5% higher, so the tax ends up a few cents higher, too. Questions - if the delivery fee is $19.75, are you really supposed to tip on that? Or, if its, $12.74, are you supposed to tip on that? Eat24 seems to be taking a little off the top on food, and maybe that's why their delivery fee is lower. But, man, these delivery charges are pretty wild. And then for the wildcard... I checked UberEats. Food - $70.90, Tax $7.09, $4.99 = Total - $82.98. $10 less than Eat 24, and a whopping $15 less than GrubHub. No contest. Uber always seems to win... S
  13. I tried two tacos from two vendors here. Villa Moreliana - had the surtido (mixed pork) ... one of the greatest tacos I've ever had. Reminded me of street vendors in DF. $2.75 and huge. While in line, they gave a small sample taco roll up with the meats. Was delish. Charged an extra $1 for not having cash. Roast to Go - had the snout. I don't know why I got it. Read on a food blog that it was delicious. Way too chewy/cartilaginous. The salsas at these places are so fresh/good.
  14. Agree that it is fantastic! I got the noodle soup with shaved noodles and lamb. Got a few vegetable sides that were eh (kelp and something else). I agree - some of the best I've ever had, as good as in China. Chinatown in Philly looks legit, and it's huge. I didn't have much time, but plan on going back to gorge myself in that city.
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