Dinner in New York City

Various loaded at Babrs 510New York City is invigorating, even on a cold rainy day in the end of October.  I am on the East Coast this week for a family wedding and all the other parties that go with that life affirming occasion.

After arriving at JFK, late Wednesday afternoon, we immediately headed for Manhattan’s Lower East Side near SoHo (South of Houston St) to check out the hip fashion scene and purchase vegan (non Leather) shoes for my nephew. At 5:30 we headed up to the famed Kalustyans, one of my all time favorite stores, to lay in a supply of rice, including, aromatic Egyptian, Pink Madagascar, Red Wehani and Turkish Baldo.  Kalustyans is an inspiration to me, its shelves chock full of rice, spice and everything nice since 1944.

After Kalustyans we went up to 79th and Amsterdam, dropped off a package at a friend’s co-op and then headed back down to 46th street between 5th and 6th to Le Marais,  a venerable (for those of you outside of New York, yes there is such a thing) kosher steak house.  Lucky for us there is a valet parking lot Continue reading

Gjelina Restaurant


It is autumn in Los Angeles.  The intense blue sky was crystal clear and particulate free courtesy of the hot Santa Anna Winds.  Although summer has clearly passed and the days are becoming very short, this day was quite hot, in the high 90’s.

I made dinner reservations at Gjelina some 3-4 weeks ago, highly recommended unless you want to take your chances at one of two large communal tables that are always full, based on the buzz from some of my foodie friends.

Located on the artsy, restaurant studded Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, Gjelina is so happening, there is no name or address numbers posted Continue reading

More East Coast Holiday

200px-ChickentandooriShalom Bombay

On my recent trip to the East Coast, my goal was not only to visit my sister, but also to explore intriguing, ethnic, kosher, dining spots.  After a hard day of shopping, what better way to finish the day then a stop at an authentic, Indian food, hole in the wall in Teaneck, New Jersey?  We arrived late, hungry, and tired, but the delicious food soon had me re-energized for the long drive home.

papri-chaatWe started our meal with Papri Chat, crisp crackers served with chopped potatoes, onions, mint chutney, and tamarind sauce, delivered to our table by a cheerful Indian girl with long chocolate-colored hair and a pleasant manner.

As in our Turkish restaurant experience, our strategy was to order too much, taste everything and pack up the leftovers.  The waiter resisted our ordering tactic and thought we were a bit eccentric, however, the customer is always right and we prevailed.

Vegetable Samosas, burning hot, with a trio of sauces, including tamarind sauce, green mint chutney sauce, and minced red chili sauce, were crisp and spicy with a melt in your mouth-filling.   Tandoori Chicken , red glazed, tender, and infused with Goan spice and flavorful Lamb Vindaloo were were luscious eaten atop basmati rice.  The beef stewed in a Rogan Josh curry with vegetables was soft and gelatinous in its thickend red gold juice.

We ordered a unique, house speciality, naan bread stuffed with nuts and dried fruits along with Vegetable Biryani or rice that contained green chili, cauliflower and cashews.  How could anyone eat so much food?  I enjoyed the food so much one mouthful just followed another, although we did pack up a lot of leftovers.

As a point of interest, while researching the topic of Samosas, I discovered that they are an Indian version of a Boreka!!!sig

Piyaz Turkish Restaurant

Piyaz Restaurant


Piyaz Restaurant

Greetings from the East Coast.  Sunday I embarked on my bi-annual visit to my sister in New Jersey.  Our get together ritual includes a week long shopping, eating, and seeking out unique food emporiums, adventure.

Queens was our destination today, since we would pass it on the Van Wyck expressway from JFK to Long Branch, New Jersey. We exited the expressway to check out the 5 towns, including Lawrence, Woodmere, and Cedarhurst.  To my delight, several eateries on the main drag were advertising Borekas on their billboards. The heat of the day was becoming oppressive with the high humidity making the air heavy and we returned to the car after trying to buy an unsweetened iced green tea.  I guess they don’t drink that here.  It was time to head to our real destination, Piyaz, a Turkish restaurant.FRESH LIMA BEANS 020

Piyaz is the only kosher, authentic Turkish restaurant in the United States.  Piyaz has been open less than a year.  It’s bright and cheerful ambiance and spotless appearance made me hopeful that the food would be tasty.  The name Piyaz comes from a Turkish salad with white beans, lettuce, parsley, onions, and green peppers.  Although the two of us ordered enough food for 4 to 5 people we didn’t order the Piyaz.DSC_0125

Our waiter, a handsome, fresh faced, young man from Odessa, was eager to please.  We ordered a combination plate Continue reading

My Weekend in Chicago

MK Restaurant, ChicagoArtichokes as the farm market

Posted on August 16, 2009by theborekadiary | Edit

Of Rats and Rabbits

In August we were in Chicago for a wedding and wanted to dine alone since our anniversary was approaching.  It was not by mere chance or a hotel concierge recommendation that we found our way to MK Restaurant, but by my diligent foodie research on the Internet.

MK restaurant is named after its chef and owner Michael Kornik , and is one of Chicago’s best.  We arrived at the restaurant after a short walk from our hotel, its location close by  coincidence.  The moment we walked in my expectations rose, looking at the thoughtful interior, described in one website as sensuous minimalism. The restaurant’s multilevel, reclaimed warehouse look, with exposed rafters, and large gabled skylight ceiling gave a very Chicago-like feeling to the place.

Michael Kornik is a classically trained chef, who adores using seasonal local produce and a live charcoal grill.  The restaurant  boasts an extensive wine list and creative cocktails that compliment the food.  Our extremely attentive waiter and assistant started off the evening with an amuse bouche Continue reading

Restaurant Review: Tierra Sur

Restaurant Review:

Herzog Wine Cellar’s Tierra Sur


Chef Todd Aaron Showcases Local Produce at Winery

This last Thursday the 23rd of July was another in a long string of perfect blue skied, mild summer days in Los Angeles.  I picked up my husband in front of his office and allowed ourselves just under 2 hours for the brief, but what we thought would be bumper to bumper rush hour traffic drive to the Herzog Wine Cellar’s restaurant Tierra Sur.  Much to our surprise the traffic soon thinned out and our drive to Camarillo was only an hour and ten minutes.

After entertaining ourselves for a bit at the nearby outlet mall, we drove to our ultimate destination down several side streets, or should I call them farm back roads through beautiful cultivated land part of .  Soon we could see the Herzog winery building down about half a mile away in the midst of  abundant fields.  We smelled wood fueled fire for grilling meat Continue reading