If you’ve kept up with me the past week you’ve noticed I’ve been a busy little bee running around the slippery snow covered streets of NYC. I’ve been to New York a number of times, but for some reason this trip was probably the most eventful trip to the Big Apple I’ve taken thus far, and probably the most detrimental to my waistline. I had a new goal, a new outlook perhaps on discovering our East Coast sister, much similar to my take on discovering things in our very own metropolis. The best way to explore and find appreciation in a city is through their restaurants, bars, and local hangouts – my recent trip to New York city was finding all this and then some. I found New York is pretty easy to appreciate as a curious Angeleno, here’s some of my finds from last week I think you too would enjoy:
It does not snow in Los Angeles. Sure we can kinda see it on the mountain tops over yonder but it never falls in our backyard. Generally speaking us Angelenos aren’t too keene on being cold – it’s technically “freezing” in LA if it drops below 55 degrees – so the warm weather is a pretty big reason as to why most of us live here. New York when it’s cold and windy is just New York when it’s cold and windy; it’s kinda rough. But when it’s SNOWING… New York becomes a magical place you don’t mind freezing your ass off in because when the hell else do we ever experience snow!! Never did sliding around on ice and tip toeing on a snowy sidewalk seem so fun and interesting.
2. Brunch at Hundred Acres
I thought WE were brunch masters… New York brunchers are a force to be reckoned with. If you’re in the Big Apple on a Saturday or Sunday morning/afternoon, trust me you want to partake in a New York brunch. I had the pleasure of dining at Hundred Acres in SoHo last Saturday and it was arguably one of the most delicious, most interesting brunch menus I’ve ever encountered. You’ll feel right at home when you’re plate of Chilaquiles is placed in front of you, in all its steamy, Mexican, mouthwatering perfection. Hundred Acres could easily be the hottest new Santa Monica or Los Feliz brunch spot; lots of light, lots of taste, a great menu, and lots of people. One thing to consider about brunching in New York is make sure you’re drinking an alcoholic beverage, don’t be that guy who isn’t and make others feel bad about themselves.
Address: 38 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012
3. A Beer, Cider, Or A Glass of Mulled Wine at Jones Wood Foundry
Angelenos can appreciate this place because it’s literally nothing like anything you’ve ever seen in LA and it’s everything you’d expect a restaurant/bar to look like in New York. It’s covered head to toe in dark rich wood, it’s got a long skinny bar, a dining rooms that require you to walk downstairs, and an old English pub feel. It’s a mandatory request of mine that I visit this quintessential Upper East Side hideaway, it has so much charm it’s almost too much to handle all of its cuteness. You’ll really feel “New York” sitting at that long bar enjoying one of their many amazing beers, ciders, or a glass of their warm, and unbelievable mulled wine while chatting with the local regulars. My pseudo uncle “Lock” being one of them.
Address: 401 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021
4. Spinach Gnocchi at Malatesta Trattoria
Angelenos and New Yorkers love their food, especially their Italian food. Who ever said they didn’t like a good bowl of pasta or a big slice of pizza is full of shit and has probably never been wined and dined at restaurants like Osteria Mozza, Colori Kitchen, or Malatesta in New York. One thing foodies can agree on is there are few things better than homemade pasta, especially authentic hand made gnocchi. I actually don’t care where you’re from, the Spinach Gnocchi with Gorgonzola sauce from Malatesta in the West Village is something everyone needs to have once in their life. My significant other confessed to me as we shared this beautiful dish that, “if I had to have a last meal, ever, this would be it.”
Address: 649 Washington St, New York, NY 10014
5. Whiskey Cocktail at Analogue
Another area Los Angeles and New York both excel in is the craft of cocktail making. The bar is set pretty high in Los Angeles, we have places like Sotto, Goldie’s, and Seven Grand to keep our taste buds entertained, but hear me out when I say our East Side counterparts are giving us Angelenos a run for our money. There are so many incredible bars in New York, where ever you are at any given moment turn left or right, walk a few feet and ta-da you’re probably in front of an amazing bar. Maybe you like me find Analogue in that case, a great little classy, jazzy, number in the Village who specializes in Whiskey business. I ordered the “New Yorker”, they didn’t offer the “Angeleno”, and never felt more at home.
Address: 19 W 8th St (between 5th and MacDougal) New York, NY 10011
6. Meatballs at Meatball Shop
The Meatball Shop is listed for the sole purpose of petitioning the idea that they stop opening new shops in New York, and start sharing the wealth in Los Angeles. We like meatballs too ya know… Meatball Shop. Angelenos, if you’re in New York do yourself a favor and stop by one of their locations and have a ballistic time (their words not mine).
Many Locations, but my favorite one is located at: 64 Greenwich Ave New York, NY
7. Macaroons At Ladurée
The only macaroons you’re probably aware of (if you’re an Angeleno) are the macaroons from Bottega Louie, that is of course if you even know what a macaroon is. The original gangster of macaroons hails from the streets of Paris and graciously gifted Americans a shop (now recently two shops) in New York. Ladurée is not to be messed with. Macaroons are not to be messed with. If you love these fluffy little over priced pieces of joy as much as I do make your way over to one of two of their locations to stand in line and watch them place these fragile little buggers into the cutest boxes you’ve ever seen, just like you would at Bottega Louie but like more French…
Addresses: 864 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021 / 396 West Broadway New York NY 10012
Feel weird and insecure when you try to hail a taxi? (“am I doing this right??”) Can’t differentiate the “light on” and “light off” passenger policies of a yellow cab? Don’t know how much to tip let alone how to pay for your ride?? GOOD NEWS ANGELENOS. There’s Uber in New York too! Save yourself the stress, feel at home, and get where you need to go fast.
9. Shake Shack.
I know we take a lot of pride in our world-famous burger haven known as In n Out, and we can tease the rest of the US as much as we want with our fortunes but New York doesn’t seem to care. Why? They’ve got Shake Shack. And it’s fucking delicious!!!! No, it’s no In n Out, but Shake Shack isn’t trying to be. If you are a burger, fry, and shake appreciator you will understand their similarities and general appeal.
10. Making Custom Lipstick at Bite Lab
This is also on the list as a cry to the corporation that is Bite Beauty to please for the love of God bring a Bite Lip Lap to Los Angeles. New York can’t have all the fun?! No one in New York even WEARS lipstick hello… I don’t actually know that but they certainly weren’t wearing it as much as I was! Luckily I stumbled upon this amazing little store walking around Prince street in SoHo – I’ve been a huge fan of Bite since its first appearance in Sephora (they make amazing long-lasting colors) so I excitedly went in the store to find more things to buy. To my surprise, the main point of the store wasn’t just to purchase lipsticks from a line they’d already created… it was to create custom lipsticks just for it’s fans. I’m sorry, but that is just genius, like out of this world genius. The Bite Lip Lab admittedly could have been in Podunk Louisiana and I still would have considered this to be one of the coolest places ever but fortunately it was in one of the hippest parts of New York. If you’re an Angeleno visiting New York, there’s a good chance you’ll end up in SoHo, so get over to the Bite Lip Lab (AS SOON AS THEY OPEN) put your name in, and make a custom color. A full post about my whole experience is definitely coming soon. Maybe then we will convince Bite to come over to the warm side…
Address: 174 Prince Street (Soho) New York, NY