Gum Wall | Seattle, WA

 

IMG_3828Seattle is mostly known for it’s great outdoors, the first Starbucks, and a lot of its local and sustainable food.  But low and behold in an alley below Pike Place Market, a wall incarcerated with wads of polyisobutylene belonging to different perpetrators is known as a tourist attraction called “Gum Wall.”  This local landmark began in 1993 when theater goers of the Market Theater would stick their gum on the wall.  Theater workers tried to scrape off the gum but gave up to no avail.  The gum wall was named a tourist in 1999.  Did I mention that this is one the germ ridden tourist attractions?  Make your mark in Seattle next time!

Gum Wall

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Gum Wall
Pike Street & Post Alley
Seattle, WA 98101

 

 

Divulging Dieci | New York, NY

At first glance, you might walk by this establishment in the East Village, but down the set of black lacquered stairs, lies the secret DieciDieci is a hidden gem in the middle of 10th Street bringing innovative dishes with elements of Japanese and Italian infused together.  There are only 25 seats in the restaurant – creating an intimate environment that is enhanced by a personable staff.

Miso Seared Foie Gras

Miso Seared Foie Gras

Dishes:
Sea Urchin Scrambled Egg with Sturgeon Caviar
Miso Seared Foie Gras (Duck Miso and Simmered Daikon)
Lamb Bolognese
Berkshire Pork Belly Pork Buns
Filet Mignon Steak with a Truffle Soy Reduction and Mushroom Couscous

Sea Urchin Scrambled Egg with Sturgeon Caviar

Sea Urchin Scrambled Egg with Sturgeon Caviar

Dieci is the perfect date spot if you’re looking to impress your date or looking to discover new flavors that appease your palette.  We started with the sea urchin scrambled egg dish which was adorned with sturgeon caviar.  The textural composition of this dish worked so well with the uni being so smooth and the scrambled eggs having a similar texture.  I loved the pairing of something so ordinary with the foie gras of the sea.  Next, was the miso seared foie gras.  With the foie gras ban in California, I felt inclined to try this dish since I couldn’t get it back home.  The seared foie gras I have usually comes with a piece of toast and some type of fruit, but Dieci’s version was served with a piece of simmered daikon.  The daikon was a nice touch to the foie gras with its umami flavor where the piece of foie gras was the star and not the daikon.

Berkshire Pork Belly Pork Buns

Berkshire Pork Belly Pork Buns

The pork belly buns were juicy and delicious with two pieces of pork belly and a fluffy white bun.  As an entrée, the filet mignon was tender and flavorful.  When I think of ramen, I usually think of a piping hot bowl of noodles or shin ramen noodles but Dieci’s ramen was made with a lamb bolognese.

Ramen: Lamb Bolognese

Ramen: Lamb Bolognese

Filet Mignon Steak with a Truffle Soy Reduction and Mushroom Couscous

Filet Mignon Steak with a Truffle Soy Reduction and Mushroom Couscous

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Overall, Dieci was a great dining experience and something I definitely would recommend whether you’re visiting New York or living in New York, looking for a new culinary adventure amidst the plethora of cuisines available.

Dieci
228 E 10th St
New York, NY 10003
(212) 387-9545
www.dieciny.com

 

Meiji Jingu Shrine | Tokyo, Japan

Located in Shibuya, right off the Harajuku JR stop, the Meiji Shrine a popular tourist attraction for those looking for a tranquil escape in the fast paced and action packed streets.  The Meiji Shrine is the most famous Shinto shrine in Tokyo, dedicated to the 122nd emperor of Japan.  The Meiji Shrine is located in a vast forest with over 120,000 trees and an immaculately kept garden.  One of the popular sites in Meiji Shrine is the large walls adorned with sake barrels.  When you first approach the large Torii Gates, the ritual is to stop at the cleansing station where you take a large spoonful of water and wash both of your hands before entering the grounds.  You can even follow the likes of a local, writing your prayers and wishes onto a piece of paper and tying them onto a tree.  When you arrive at the shrine, you can toss a few yen into the offering box, bow your head twice, clap twice, and bow once again.

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During my visit to Tokyo, I was able to capture a special exhibit of ice sculptures.  These sculptures were quite captivating with all of the intricate details carved by the artists.  By surprise, I was able to capture a glimpse of the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.

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Meiji Jingu Shrine
1-1 Yoyogikamizonocho
Shibuya, Tokyo Prefecture 151-0052, Japan