Monthly Archives: December 2012

Kristabelli – KBBQ

I’ll see your stainless steel Korean bbq plate, and I’ll raise you one crystal grill Korean bbq plate. Oh, did I mention that I’ll throw in an underdraft system that keeps the smoke away from your clothes? And how can I forget that the beef is all wagyu-style, perfectly tenderized without marinate?

Yes, after all the press about this new upscale Korean bbq place brought to New York by the man, the legend, JYP himself…you know I had to experience Kristabelli. Much more than the typical kbbq joint on 32nd street, this was an experience. Each piece of meat was cooked to perfection on your table by an uniformed waiter utilizing all the smokeless advantages of infrared ray-grilling technology.

Address: 8 W 36th St (between 6th & 5th Aves), New York, NY
Price: we got stuffed for $35 / person
Hours: Lunch: 11:30am-2:30pm; Dinner: 5pm-11pm (upstairs bar/lounge probably stays open longer)
Wait / Reservations: Don’t ever make reservations ktown – there are way too many options nearby

dining roomthe grill

The grill and the dining room

starter disheswagyu strip steak

An individual set of starter dishes for everyone. The unmarinated wagyu strip steak brought out while the grill is heated

tofu salad

Tofu salad with salmon roe topping was delicious

beef dabubapseafood soondubu

More side entrees while waiting for the main dish – beef dabubap (cooked bibimbap basically) and seafood soondubu (tofu stew) –> individually portion’d out

moar meat meat

Wagyu beef (supposedly on par with kobe-style) and pork slices with assorted vegetables —> waiter cuts up and cooks for you, the crystal grill retains heat between cookings so food is faster to your tummy and there is no black burnt spots on pieces sitting as you digest


Sesame, vanilla, multi-grain ice cream balls with almond flakes on the side

Pho Xe Lua

One of the best perks of being at Penn is the ease of accessibility to Chinatown. What’s so good about Chinatown? Besides the super fishy smell on the streets that is reminiscent of a used and abused beaver, it’s basically a consortium of cheap noodle shops with insanely large portion sizes. Pho Xe Lua was no exception. For 6 bucks you can get a large noodle soup and for an extra 3 dollars, you can get an XL noodle soup with extra meat and they are extremely generous with the extra meat.

Address: 907 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Price: $6-7 for pho, ~$10 for dinner entrees
Hours: Mon-Tue, Thu, Sun 11 am – 10 pm; Fri-Sat 11 am – 11 pm

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Home Cooking

Haven’t had a chance to go out to eat in a while, but I’m planning to more than make up for that during winter break when I go home to Shanghai and pig out. But for now, here’s a pic of some pasta that I made myself. Loaded it up with 1 pound of ground beef, frozen vegetables, Ragu tomato sauce, and some extra fiber multi-grain penne.

Address: Charlie’s bedroom
Price: Market competitive
Hours: All night long


Brunch: 44 & X

What’s better for a lazy Sunday morning than greasy food dressed up in a disarmingly appetizing presentation? Luckily, we found a cute place without a long wait, reasonable prices, and slightly cramped quarters (last night’s gossip from strangers totally satisfying the voyeur in us). Best part: great lighting for pictures!

Name: 44 & X
Address: 44th and 10th Avenue, New York, NY
Price: ~$15 / person
Hours: Brunch Sat-Sun 11:30am to 3pm
Wait / Reservations: Only losers make reservations for brunch, wait was 15 minutes for busy morning

pancakes and sausage and lots of maple syrup

Why you need at least two people for a satisfying brunch…because then you can sample all four of the brunchy staples – pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon.

scrambled eggs and bacon

“Can I eat now?”

mini muffins

These muffins were actually the best part

Verdict: probably better places in brunch-crazy NYC, but this place gets the job done swiftly and painlessly