Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hungover Carts, Noodle Bar (Momofuku), 4th of July, and Union Pool tacos

The next morning I was hungover.  I didn't want to do anything.  I looked for another street meat cart to soak up some of that alcohol from the night before.

I sat around, caught the Transformers Movie 3d, watched the Hangover II, and slept really early that night.  

The following day would be my last day on the East, we went to another Momofuku place.  The flagship restaurant, Noodle Bar, that started it for my idol, Chef David Cheng.  

The restaurant was small and packed with about five tables and a ramen "bar".  Everything shiny wood.  An open kitchen, with only two cooks visible running the line.  One of the cooks used chopsticks to plate the Ramen noodles.  

To begin we had Kimchi that was served in mason jars and blossomed a beautiful spice, fermented napa cabbage. 

The casually dressed servers delivered our first course, the fried oysters, that were soft and fluffy, like a cloud.  Delicate flavors with great salty components.  

Then came the ramen noodles served with dashi.  The poached egg was perfect and very clean.  This was a craftsmanship that displayed the amazing technique Chef Cheng delivered.  How did he do this?  It was gourmet top ramen.  Steamy with pork and wonderful noodles.  I also love those shrimp flavored blossoms on the right.  I forget the name of those again, but, I saved those for last.  I wanted that to be the last flavor in my mouth before we left the restaurant. 

Smoked chicken that was brined and confit'd in duck fat served with thai chilli's. 

Then there was dessert, carrot ice-cream, cheese cake swirled with a surprise graham cracker bottom.   

I ran quickly to Brooklyn to get my last two clips of the trip.  It took more than an hour.  I told Lonnie that if he was paying me I'd ask him to take it out of my check for wasting his time.  I figured something out where we were all happy.  

Longer than I had hoped to blade that day, Robyn and I ran back to Chelsea to watch the fireworks from this amazing view.  Breathtaking isn't it?  It was very humbling that this holiday was normally celebrated with my family outside on the streets of L.A.  In Carson, fireworks were legal and after we had exploded a piece of America, leaving any war veteran either proud or reminiscent of a scar that they had to participate in,  we'd return inside, back to the warmth of the house, and watch the New York firework show on television.  

This year, I was seeing it live from the 44th floor.  It was the climax of my blade-cation and another milestone to all of the hardwork I do, Blading with Chef Knives.      

After the firework show, I pulled up some energy and walked my ass back to brooklyn to say goodbye to Brett and Lonnie.  The two catalyst people in my life.  Lonnie introducing me to a whole new blading world, full of creativity, and the amazing people I enjoyed watching in his movies... Then Brett opening up the doors to the world outside of California.  I met them on the rooftop and I saw one of the sheepskins from the Farmer's market I went to at the beginning of my trip.  That answered my question as to what people did with this thing.  

The view was amazing from this side of town.

We ended the night at Union Pool to get Tacos that were semi-alright.  Waiting in line there was a lady who had ordered two tacos.  Drunk she placed her glass down, laid her head on the countertop, and dozed off for a few.  The cook woke her up and offered the food she had just purchased.  She was bewildered, shocked, not even remembering that she had ordered the food.  Luckily the cook was nice enough to give her the 2nd plate she ordered. What american didn't want to party hard on America's b-day?   

While I was here I was introduced to another foodie that blogs, Katharina.  She has a really cool thing going on, check it out. 

I made it back to Chelsea around 4 a.m.  I couldn't sleep... I had an airplane to catch back west the next morning.