Food has always been a passion of mine. Please join me as I hit spots around the world in search of great meals.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Rice Balls at Omslb

Omusubi - Shaking hands
Omusubi are often called rice balls in English. The word comes from a Japanese verb meaning "to take hold [of something] with one's hands."

There are so many little gifts that we are given here in NYC. I mean here in the middle of Gotham we find this little hole in the wall that serves the best rice balls in the world. Yet, this little hole in the wall is very their words, "stylish space where contemporary Western sensibilities and Japanese aesthetics are gracefully blended." I would have to concur with their take. Nice small wooden tables made for two, which can be pushed together to make a table for four. Note: this is a small space and parties of 10 are not going to fit well here. No, this is more of a hit and run type of location, but with much more class than your typical dive.

I was accompanied by my boss. Needless to say, my boss and I both attended grad school together but never knew one another there. Funny, I have worked for my boss for some time and this is the first time we have ever sat to eat food together...can we say this was our first time breaking bread? I suppose I could. In any case, the reason I'm writing about this is because I have noticed that here in NYC we don't really enjoy our meals or the people we are sitting with. Serious...think about it (I do enjoy them with General Lee, but he gets me too drunk off wine to recall stories to blog about). In any case, I was pleasently surprised at how much fun I had sitting with my boss. She tends to be high pace and always thinking two steps ahead which is great in the work environment, but sometimes the mind doesn't slow down for good conversation, not that it's not there, just the pace of one person to the next can vary and her pace throws my timing off. In any case, my boss was really cool to have lunch with. She just got married and was happy to give me bits of information on how happy she was, how she loved seeing her parents still in love and wishes the same for herself some 30 years later, how her husband is understanding to her travel, and the books she likes to read. I just found the conversation refreshing because so much of our time is consumed inside the building and that is who I know her as...which doesn't do her justice. What I found really interesting is that my boss was able to slow down at lunch and enjoy and relax and change gears so quickly. I have to practice this on the poker table because it takes me too long to get into high gear and back to low...kind of like a semi-truck.

Oh, back to the food at Omslb. These little riceballs or cakes come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Everyone has a distinct taste to it which I found really neat given that every riceball has a nice size portion of rice. There are about 30 diff. choices one has on the daily and they are in constant rotation, which means next time you show they won't have the one you tried previous. My favorite of these little morsels which are all priced under $2.00 dollars per piece is, Shrimp Pop Corn. It's a staple there and one which I have seen every visit. Try it and I'm sure you will enjoy.

Although I put soy sauce on some of my rice balls I would argue not to do so. Yes, I'm the person that never listened to that song, "so don't drown your mustard, mayonase or gew." But I think the flavors can carry themselves without this staple of Asian sauces.

They also have teas and so forth which you can try...but I'm a soda man...thus, a coke will do for me. The lunch special includes a miso soup along with three pieces for about 7.00 dollars which is a great deal!!!

I would highly recommend this place to anyone in the area or someone just looking for something new and exciting. My mind is all over the place now for I have some work to do. I took the General there the other day and he thought it was o.k. He didn't seem too crazy about the place, but I think he found it to be interesting and a place he would revisit.

In closing, may all your meals me tasty and my they taste like mom's home cooking.

Friday, October 01, 2004


No this isn't something about those damn annoying emails one gets, this is a food blog and with that said this is about food.

I mentioned that I grew up around people that loved to cook. My family takes emense pride in anything they put on the table, even if it's something like Spam. I always found it odd how people despised Spam when I loved it so much. Not to mention that it was always in plenty supply growing up. I just found that gewy stuff that surrounds it to be....well neat. I once heard that Spam is the best selling food on the reservations of America.

In some ways I feel that you can determine someone's economic upbringing by how many different dishes they could make with spam. For instance, in my house there was always Spam with eggs early morning with a side of beans...ummmm!!! Then there was Spam sandwiches for know, some cooked Spam with manoyase between two ends of a loaf of bread. Some would call that ghetto fabulous...myself, I call it good grub. So there were all these dishes that one could make with Spam (many of which I have tried) should try a few of these yourself.

To be honest, growing up I didn't even know that Spam was a poor man's food. Serious, it wasn't until college that people laughed at the fact that I loved imitation meat so much. I don't know about you, but sometimes college can be a setback in many ways. Myself, I'm still a promoter of the stuff and one day I will make the Austin, Texas - Annual Spam Fest...this I promise.

Not sure why Spam came to mind. Maybe because I was writing about family and food...Spam was one of the first dishes I learned to make back home.

In closing, many of you haven't even tried Spam or are too much of the petty-bourguise to taste the stuff. I say, "don't be such a dork" and roll up those sleeves and let that stuff fall out of the can with that suction noise that only Spam can provide when coming out of the can...good eats and I give it two thumbs up.