Wednesday, January 28, 2009

a review: Momoyama Japanese Restaurant

I don't have an official review of Momoyama, or as we refer to it Yoyo Mama. Particularly, due to the lack of pictures. Lauren and I just went there on Tuesday this week and it was good. A little bit on the pricey side for what you get but good. The hibachi was ok, I would probably get sushi next time. The sushi was above average. I still think across the board, Akai Hana is cheaper and just as good, but Momoyama now holds my #2 roll over all, the Crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll. And #1 roll in the triangle, narrowly beating out the Crunchy Shrimp roll over at Akai Hana. I still think Akai Hana is the go to place until Momoyama drops their prices a little bit, but glad to have it in the neighborhood. Go and check it out!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Guest Blogger: Rochelle from

Two of my good friends are hitting the dusty and not so dusty trail soon, and will be travelling in a big truck across the US and down to Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a good farewell, I figured I would put up a guest post which pertained to food. To read more about their adventures and this particular trip, check out

-The Food Monster

Good Eats and Drinks in New York City

Trip to New York City: September 12 -15, 2008
A short trip to New York City always reminds me how much I love to visit. Nick and I flew up to NYC for a long weekend, and we ate/drank at a few restaurants that are definitely worth checking out:

Spuyten Duyvil
359 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY, USA
ttp:// (pictures shown are from this website)

Josh Barton, a Durham native, introduced us to the Spuyten Duyvil. You can find Josh working behind the bar about 3 nights a week. Thanks to Josh’s stellar beer recommendations, I sampled some of the best beers I have ever tasted (this, I am sorry to say, now blows the World Beer Festival in Durham out of the water… and I am going to this year’s fest October 4th). Thiriez Xtra and Thiriez Blonde (France), La Choulette Framboise (France), Fantôme Saison (Wallonia), Green Flash Imperial IPA (California), Monchshof Schwarzbier (Germany), Ivanhoe Pale Ale (England), Caracole Saxo (Wallonia), Mahr’s Bräu Ungespundet and Mahr’s Bräu Pils (Germany), De Dolle Ara Bier (Flanders—this is the hoppy Belgian beer) are some of the beers I tried.This is the only bar I visited with clientele that closely resembled Durham folks. Everyone was pretty down to earth and wearing casual clothes. This may be the result of such an inconspicuous location. The Spuyten Duyvil does not have a sign on the front door. In fact, I am sure that many of the people in the bar did not even know the bar’s name.
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If you want to grab a bite to eat before hitting the bar, you can walk across the street to Fette Sau. A fantastic barbecue joint with family style seating, Fette Sau is owned by Joe and Kim Carroll, who also own Spuyten Duyvil. Fette Sau allows you to select a sampling of different meats for one dish. I ate brisket, beef ribs, pulled pork, sausage, and a side of pickles. Yum!

What is also noteworthy is their impressive whiskey selection - I did not try it, but Nick highly recommends it. Check out Beef Aficianado (an NYC beef blog) for pictures and detailed information about the meats.

Fette Sau
354 Metropolitan Ave Brooklyn, NY 11211

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Just last week, I mentioned to Nick that I missed the noodle dishes we had while traveling in Japan. And then we went to Momofuku. Momofuku served the best noodle bowl I’ve had since Tokyo. I recommend the Momofuku Ramen ($16) - includes pork combo and a poached egg, although their menu changes daily. Momfuku also has a ssam bar and a restaurant called Ko, which is American food. Check out their website for more information.

171 First Ave, between 10th and 11th
(pictures shown are from this website)
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I can’t wait to visit New York again once we start the South America trip. And Domino will be with us too! We have only had our dog for 3 days, but I missed him a lot while we were in NY. If you have any links to great restaurants and bars in NYC, please feel free to comment.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Anotherthyme a review

Friday night is a big date night here in the triangle. My girlfriend and I decided to join the crowds and head out to a well recommended establishment, Anotherthyme. Cute play on words, I know, especially after I read more about its predecessor, Somethyme on their website. The recommendation I got was, "... great food, you will probably get terrible service, but great food."
I neglected to tell Lauren about the bad service part. Off we went. The drive wasn't too bad, and Durham is either up and coming, or up and came and now blooming. The amount of money that went into the historical downtown district was worth it. Nice restaurants, restored Tobacco Warehouses complement the new buildings like the Durham Performing Arts Center. Get out to see a show if you haven't yet. That's for Anotherthyme. On to the restaurant.

We showed up 5 minutes before our reservation at 7pm and were promptly greeted and seated. Anotherthyme has a normal menu along with a specials of the week menu, which gives it some spice, if you are interested in never eating the same plate twice.

We started off with a plate of "Crispy Calamari ~ with Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa & Cilantro Aioli" ($7.50)The tiny Calamari, about the size of jawbreakers, were perfectly cooked, lightly breaded, and the sauces provided two great flavors. I only wish there were more sauce served with it. It was some of the best Calamari I have had. A

On the the entrees. Forgive the pictures, it was low-light with little more than candlelight, and Lauren strongly discourages the flash at restaurants. Lauren had the market price ($23.95) Seared Pumpkin Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna. The tuna came cooked medium, and was divine. Served on a bed of greens, Yicama, and naval orange sections, it was quite the combination of flavors. I'm not one for Yicama, but thoroughly enjoyed the Tuna with the Citrus. Lauren enjoyed it all and even brought home half.

That was probably in part due to the fresh bread that was warmed and served with a pad of butter. We went through 8 pieces (2 baskets) of this complimentary delight.

My plate was disappointing. I ordered the Indonesian Curried Vegetables. ($16.95) It tasted like a bunch of nicely cooked vegetables thrown onto a plate with a tiny bit of great tasting chicken, and a tablespoon of a rich curry sauce on top. The cashews were huge and didn't feel like they belonged. Nothing really gelled with the dish. The rice was mostly overcooked. And I was really expecting more curry sauce. It lacked in the full flavor I have come to expect for dishes with curry in the title. I was just glad the rest of the plates were great.

We also ordered a cute half-bottle of Collovray & Terrier St. Veran, Burgundy, France '05 ($18). I'm not a wine expert but enjoyed it, as did Lauren.The service left a little to be desired. Although, I must say it got better as the evening wore on. As soon as the waitress saw how fast the water disappeared the first time, she kept up, while still giving us space.

Other than the Curried Vegetables, I would recommend this restaurant as a great place for date night in Durham. We are both looking forward to trying the other places in town.

Got a recommendation, email The Food Monster at

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Akai Hana - The Sushi spot in the triangle

I was worried that after leaving Los Angeles, the city known for great Sushi, that I would come back to my favorite NC spot and it be a big disappointment. Luckily, that was not the case.

One night after work, my girlfriend and I went to our favorite Sushi restaurant in the triangle, Akai Hana. Unfortunately, their website is listed as a possible attack site with Firefox, so I won't be linking it until it is fixed.
We started things off with a bowl of Miso Soup for each of us. See picture above. It isn't the best Miso Soup in the world, but it has it's own unique spin on it, and helps fill me up so I don't need to order too much Sushi. But that is afterall, the reason for the visit, so let's get on with it.
My favorite type of roll is Crunchy Shrimp, so I always order at least 1. This time we ordered 3. Looking at the plate from the top left, they are every other roll. The second roll in is my girlfriend's favorite, Spicy Tuna. The fourth roll in is a Philly Roll, anything with cream cheese is alright by me. The last and final roll is a Yellowfin. Which turned out to be a slight dissapointment. I'm not sure if they didn't get enough this week, but it wasn't near as filled out as the Spicy Tuna roll.
It turned out the Crunchy Shrimp Rolls were just as good as I remembered them, and only Niko Niko in Los Angeles has anything on Akai Hana. I recommend going during lunch to make sure you are able to get a table as soon as you get there. It can get packed in the evenings.
Akai Hana
206 W Main St
Carrboro, NC 27510
(919) 942.6848

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Carousel Restaurant

I was looking to eat at a nicer middle-eastern restaurant than a Falafel cart, before I left Los Angeles. Von Scrumptious recommended Carousel Restaurant on Hollywood and we were not disappointed. They officially serve Middle-Eastern food, although I believe that it is also Armenian, or at least Armenian influence.Von Scrumptious, her brother Peyton, and man friend Joe, and I were all in attendance. Although I can't find exactly what we ordered on the menu (I believe it is slightly different than their Glendale location, which also has belly-dancing), I believe there were several Kebabs, including, Lamb, Sausage, Filet, and Vegetarian The food came out partially family-style. Your meat and rice were on your plate, but the feta, olives, and several other accompaniyments were all on one large platter. There ended up being much more food than the four of us could eat, every dish I tried was well seasoned and worth a second look. I would highly recommend this restaurant for an evening of delight!Carousel Restaurant
5112 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 660-8060

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Sun Sets on Los Angeles

Well, I finally got my computer up and running here in North Carolina and am starting to look back on some photos I have recently taken. You can look forward to a series of foods from a Christmas party my girlfriend and I hosted in NC, and one final L A eatery. I will leave you today with a few crazy sunsets I captured in my last few weeks in Los Angeles.

It is also time again to update the Food Monster banner for the New Year, if you would like to contribute a design, please email us at
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