21 April 2006


I was always wondering about a strangely named eatery when I drove by in the Northwest DC.
While of a customer site visit in tanleytown, we went there for lunch, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this is a cool, NY style sandwich place, a little "soup nazi" like, but not as bad. You see people ordering their sandwiches through a little window, and then move to the cachier with a little slip in their hand. Very strict protocol.

I tried The Californian - Homemade chicken salad, fresh avocado and alfalfa sprouts on a kaiser roll. Pretty good. THe place is described by the patrons as the local favorite - so next time you are in the vicinity- stop by, dont be afraid of the weird name.

11 April 2006

Did we spot a rare bird?

A couple of weeks ago Elena and I walked around this lake in the park in Gaithersburg (Seneca Creek State Park), and saw two huge woodpeckers. They were awesome - with big red tops and all. We looked at them till they basically flew on - and pretty much thought nothing of it. This morning i was looking at the Yahoo news photos - and HOLY CRAP! I think we spotted the rare Ivory Billed Woodpecker thought to be extinct until just recently - which was spotted again just recently in the South. I need to go on an overnight expedition to the park to see if they are still around there. Of course there are a couple different types of woodpeckers that look somewhat similar...
Legend:1. Red-cockaded2. Hairy3. Downy4. Pileated5. Red-bellied6. Red-headed7. Sapsucker8. Flicker9. Ivorybill (extinct)

Source: Tom R. MacKenzie U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service1875 Century Boulevard, Suite 410Atlanta, GA 30345(404) 679-7291Fax: 404/679-7286

I sent an email to this guy - let's see what he thinks...

24 March 2006

Louis VIX

January and February were a drag for discovering new music and nothing new was discovered. March is the complete opposite. I am probably just catching up with what everybody already knows…. Like SXSW ended last weekend, but only this week I found out that their website has a “SXSW Music Player”. I know, I am barely hanging on.

Anyway, one of my new fav bands of the moment is Louis XIV. They probably have the edgiest lyrics out of all the indi bands I've been listening to recently. You sort of feel dirty if you pay attention to the lyrics. One blogger said “I’m sure they’re all lovely people, though for some reason — possibly based on their lyrics — I find myself hoping they wash their hands before eating.” Check out the first verse of “Finding out true love is blind”;

Ah chocolate girl, you're looking like something I want
(finding out true love is blind)
Ah and your little Asian friend she can come if she wants
(finding out true love is blind)
I want all the self conscious girls who try to hide who they are with makeup
(finding out true love is blind)
You know it's the girl with a frown with the tight pants I really want to shake up
(finding out true love is blind)

Is it wrong to like them? Regardless of how un-PC their lyrics are, their beats are so contagious that you find yourself glued to their music. It’s like reading Lolita. You know that what you are reading is wrong, but you just can’t help but to continue reading only to find yourself more perturbed that you are actually enjoying reading this book.

19 March 2006

Bratty high school cheerleaders

Recently my friends and I went to Rasika. Everyone was eager to try out their food and drinks. We didn’t have reservations and figured we wouldn’t have any luck getting a table, but would be able to snag a seat in the lounge or the bar. Unfortunately the host insisted that the seats in the lounge and the bar required a reservation as well. What?! Has anyone ever heard such nonsense? We made our mistake by talking to the host when we came in. Instead of talking to him we should have acted like hot shit and just sat at one of the many available tables in the lounge area. Since we couldn’t get a table we left. But now the moral dilemma – even though they acted like bratty high school cheerleaders we all want to go back and try their food. Oh the peer pressure of a couple good reviews. So what to do?!

21 February 2006


I am boycotting places that don’t offer veggie options. First place added to the list is Bar Rouge. Not only did they not have any veggie options, but their drinks were terrible. Keith and I each ordered a pomegranate martini that was supposed to have vodka, pomegranate juice, and cranberry juice. What we got were two juices with a drop of vodka. Maybe Belvedere vodka is supper smooth, but I doubt that even the smoothest vodka in the world can pass itself for tasting like pomegranate and cranberry juice. After this disaster we wondered over to Halo where we knew we wouldn't be disappointed. That place should be called Holy for its drink and the incredible Happy Hour.

19 February 2006

Science Club

Couple of us checked out the Science Club about a week ago for Happy Hour. It’s a cool new spot with a rather unfortunate name. Maybe it is not the name that’s the problem, but the execution of the theme. It didn’t feel well thought out, but more like an after thought. The Underground Bar in the basement of the Science Club had this random bookshelf with some beakers, pipettes, and other random science stuff in it. It looked like it was just randomly placed there. It’s like after everything was planned out they realized they needed to throw in some science related stuff so the place lives up to its name. I say ditch the science junk that’s just a distraction and keep everything else as is. It’s a well designed placed that looks nice. Who needs the random beakers and microscopes laying around?

I loved the all veggie menu. Let the carnivores suffer for a change.

08 January 2006


I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Blacksalt restaurant over the last year and have always been tempted to check it out. Boris and I had dinner there Friday night and it was excellent. The restaurant is really nice and well designed with a modern look to it. Definitely make reservations if you go. The place was packed and even though we had reservations we still had to wait about 15 minutes to get our table.

As we were waiting for our table, I was debating whether to order wine, but I saw someone get a cosmo that was the perfect shade of pink (I knew that it would be good). So I quickly got me a cosmo. It was excellent. They used some vodka I’ve never heard of before, but it added a nice aftertaste to the drink (Boris said it tasted like paint-remover).

There are a lot of options on the menu: tapas, appetizers, salads, small entrée plates, and big entrée plates. For appetizers we got wood roasted shiitake mushrooms and Vietnamese mussels. The mushrooms were amazing. They had the perfect mix of vinegar and oil. I’ve never tasted mushrooms this good. The mussels were also very good. They came with a fermented black beans, cilantro, scallion, mint, and bean paste sauce, but I feel like if mussels are fresh then they can’t be bad. For the entrée I ordered the wild Maryland rockfish with mushrooms and butternut squash and cauliflower puree. Boris got poached pompano (neither one of us has ever heard of this fish before). Both of the fish dishes were well prepared and very yummy.

I was very impressed with Blacksalt – the food was great, the service was great, and the atmosphere was great. My one complaint is the French influence in the food. I don’t like heavy buttery sauces and many of the entrees at Blacksalt came with some sort of creamy sauce. To me that distracts from the fish and overpowers it especially if the fish has a very mild flavor to begin with. (I prefer the California style of cooking.) But don’t get me wrong, I’ll definitely go to Blacksalt again especially since they were very accommodating when Boris asked for no butter sauce with his entrée.