First of all, do you know how hard it is to eat 3 cakes in one day? You think for one New York Minute that you’re the queen of all desserts, that you will always have room for 10 cakes in your stomach, but when face to face with frosting, you find that the buttercream beats you down to a pulp and you’re no different from the average depressed Joe? Oh, so it’s just me. Ain’t that just the way the cookie crumbles.
For those of us not in the New York know, it’s fashion week here, meaning everybody and their mother is throwing a fabulous-as heckie party to celebrate abundance, while the rest of us plebeians don our gayest apparel and take to the streets, hoping our style is up to snuff so that a blog (or GQ) will feature our meager fashion. By no means am I a celebrity when it comes to clothing–the closest I’ve ever gotten to a designer was when I was standing 10 feet away from Diane Von Furstenberg, and that wasn’t at a party or anything… it was an interview. Your boy is a struggling creative, and where do struggling creatives go to make ends meet? Retail. Even so, I still can weave together an outfit like it’s the last I’ll ever wear. It also doesn’t hurt that my chronic addictions are clothing and cakes, unlike most men my age, which is alcohol. A good knit wool gives me the same buzz a tequila shot can, and the sweater will still love me the morning-after.
Today was a production day for a new video series for the blog called RCBx3, chronicling my food adventures across NYC with two of my best gal pals, but production was cut short due to the Mother Gaia being her usual cruel bitch self, legitimately raining on our cake parade. The goal, as you’ll find out later, is to taste ten of NYC’s best cakeries and find out which is the best to devour whilst drowning your deepest (or skin deep) sorrows. Consolation cake only requires sadness and two hands, hankering to eat. After a fulfilling chocolate ganache covered, sexy cream-cake at Harbs Coffee and Cakes, we traipsed out in our rain-soaked stretch denim to find our next location, Maman. Maman, in Chelsea, as it turns out, is located inside the Samsung store, which apparently was hosting a high-profile party, featuring Ariana Huffington as a speaker. For the record, if you walk into any New York establishment like you own it, you may not get all the way in, but I assure you, you will be able to use the bathroom. I do it all the time at Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, and nobody has once stopped me to ask if I was meeting someone in the restaurant. Which yes, I do have a pseudo-friend that I meet everywhere, and that is Courtney, because it is one of the most prominent names of the American white woman. After a jaunt in the restroom, we set out, bloated in our skinny jeans (this is where the stretch denim comes in handy), and out to find real, legitimate food. Food for the people–food for the underpaid, meaning under 20 dollars.
This lead us to Chelsea Market. Chelsea Market is a lot like the American version of Diagon Alley, but instead of the halls being lined with magic shops, they’re lined with restaurants, in the true style of America. Britain has magic. We have McDonald’s, which let me tell you, nothing is quite so magical as a happy meal.
I’m honestly the world’s worst food blogger, because every time I go somewhere with the intention of blogging about it, I’m too busy shoving food in my mouth before I even think to take a photograph. Long story short, our frolic for food lead us to Izakaya Mew, in Koreatown, which, if you do not have a good eye, you could legitimately walk past and never experience the beauty that is hole-in-the-wall, down-home Japanese food. It’s in a basement on 35th street, right off 6th Avenue in Manhattan, and all the storefront says in the ambiguous word ‘Mew’, leading me to think that I’ve finally discovered the missing link to all Pokemonkind.
How on Gaga’s green Earth is anyone supposed to know where this place is? Allow this image to guide you.
Now, just because I said Izakaya Mew is a hole in the wall, it doesn’t mean that it’s not a popular joint among certain circles. Even dives have a cult following, just look at that Guy Fieri show, or any crappy hometown bar you might have back whence you were born. I’d recommend getting there pretty early (they open at 5:00 pm), or calling ahead and making a reservation, because if you’re wearing tear and rain soaked, cake stained Levi’s, you’re going to want to sit down right away, instead of wait for a table for “Paularrin”, which is my friend Paulina’s ship name for us. “Darlina” sounded too much like a real name, she said.
If you’re looking to spend less than 20 dollars a person for a ton of food, look no further than this restaurant. You can get a sushi roll (love the Volcano roll), an order of wings, a seared tuna salad, and an order of house marinated eggplant for 55 dollars. The grilled whole Mackerel is only 10 dollars, and definitely worth ordering.
The seared tuna salad with a creamy yuzu dressing and pine nuts is a must at 11.95.
The wings were covered in a homemade sweet chili sauce, made with orange, chili paste, sesame, and assorted other spices (possibly star anise and cinnamon), making a savory sweet spiced orange wing, perfect for sating the hangriest of foodies. Any of the sushi rolls are exceptional, but the Volcano roll is deep fried in tempura batter, and smothered in oyster sauce and spicy mayo, creating what can only be described as explosive decadence… or orgasmic, but who loves fish that much?
The udon soup bowl is massive, so if you order one, order it to share or get ready to eat soup for days, like it’s the Winter of 1914 all over again. Courtney was about to cut down everything and everyone that stood between her and her pot of soup, leaving the restaurant looking like a scene out of Penny Dreadful, before having a giant cast iron pot of Udon plopped down in front of us, with 4 bowls, left to our care earlier. We wondered why on earth we’d need four bowls–little did we know, Courtney ordered the table enough soup to feed all of the tiny nation of Liechtenstein.
All in all, it was a satisfying as hell day. Of course, we never did make it down to Soho, where the bulk of fashion week was happening to try and get my garb featured and blow this humble little blog up, but we had an incredible adventure and it brought us a lot closer as friends.
Now, I write to you, dear Roseville, from the sanctity of my bathtub. It’s not one of those luscious tumblr bath scenes, where I’m using a lush bath bomb and have flowers and a decillion candles lit, it’s just me, a drain hairball, and epsom salts, which will assuredly cause later grumpy dumpies from me using them longer than the recommended 12 minutes.
Until tradewinds and carbohydrates bring us back together,
PS: we’re fasting on Sunday in order to make room for 7 bakeries come Monday. We will be triumphant. Mama didn’t raise a quitter.