By grace.g.yang · June 10, 2016
Under: My Life

Ken and I love all puppies and we were walking in the west village after having a nice relaxing afternoon and saw a puppy shop. We stopped in because we always love seeing the different types of dogs the stores carry –

I’ve always loved shiba inus and for my birthday one year, we went to a breeder to see if we should get one (we decided against it because it’s too much responsibility and we weren’t ready for it):


I grew up with a golden retriever and Ken is coming around to loving them, too (although this one bit Ken!):


We love dogs, especially Harlie:


I’m always looking on shelter websites/animal rescues as well and love the adoption events at Petsmart, but have never felt like we should pull the trigger and get a dog. We were talking about it a little more seriously last year, so maybe we’ll pull the trigger sometime this year!

Te Company NYC

By grace.g.yang · June 9, 2016
Under: American,Asian,Desserts,West Village

Ken and walked around the west village one lazy Saturday afternoon and stopped by Te Company for some oolong tea and pineapple cookies. The tea shop has a small storefront but is very charming and is manned by a husband/wife team:

Te company

The wife curates the tea selection and her husband creates snacks that accompany the snacks – he worked as a sous chef at Per Se and used to work at El Bulli as well.

The oolong tea menu is similar to a wine menu; it lists the notes that you’ll taste in the tea and also writes a little bit about where the oolong is picked from. After we picked the oolong tea, we also ordered two pineapple cookies – these are similar to the Taiwanese pineapple cakes that are a shortbread cake filled with fresh pineapple:

Te company

The wife grew up in Taiwan and this is her husband’s variation on the Taiwanese snack. These cookies were served with a healthy dose of Maldon sea salt and fresh lime zest – they were so good we contemplated getting another one!

Our tea with our cookies:

Te company

You can get refills of hot water because the pots for the tea are pretty tiny (they look like they’re from Taiwan because I grew up with a similar tea pot). They even offered to give us a to go cup when we were on our way out. The tea shop is definitely worth a visit – if you’re not a tea fan, at least try their pastries and cookies!

15 East Restaurant

By grace.g.yang · June 8, 2016
Under: Asian,Dinner,Japanese,My Life,seafood,Sushi,Union Square

After seeing Blackbird with my mom and Ken, we headed to 15 East for a late night dinner before heading home for the evening. We made a last minute reservation in the dining room (luckily it was still open when we left the play!)

We started with an uni flight – uni from Santa Barbara, Maine, and Russia:

15 east restaurant

My mom ordered the sashimi omakase:

15 east restaurant

The omakase comes with 10 pieces (but they were generous with their portions) and every piece met my mom’s expectation of fresh sashimi.

Ken ordered the chef’s sashimi omakase, an upgrade from my mom’s (more sashimi):

15 east restaurant

Ken’s sashimi was similar but was supposed to have 15 pieces instead of 10. It somehow cost twice as much (which wasn’t listed on the menu, a slightly annoying surprise that showed up when the bill was presented).

I ordered the shrimp tempura udon:

15 east restaurant

15 East is always a solid choice for a weekend dinner – hopefully next time they’re more forthcoming about their prices!

Vandal New York

By grace.g.yang · June 7, 2016
Under: Asian,Desserts,Dinner,Korean,LES

My friend Mari and I recently checked out Vandal New York, a restaurant from the same group that owns Tao, Stanton Social, and a bunch of clubs in New York and Las Vegas. The restaurant door is hidden behind a flower shop, Ovando, that sells beautiful orchids, succulents, and tulips:


The restaurant has a fun vibe and is a really large space so the weeknight we went, there were a lot of corporate parties going on. The menu is based on the chef’s travels around the world and has a lot of “street food” options, so we decided to get a little bit of everything (Mari is a vegetarian so there were some things we couldn’t get, but that’s okay!)

We started with crispy and creamy potatoes with a spicy bravas sauce and aioli:


Cubes of potatoes that were fried and had a very crispy shell and topped with a spicy tomato sauce with mayo – yum! Everything is served once it’s ready in the kitchen so we got the potatoes first and then tacos:


The Chilean sea bass tacos were topped with avocado, chipotle cole slaw, and salsa diablo. Mari and I both liked the dish – the fish was well seasoned.

Next, my favorite dish of the evening – spicy Korean rice cakes with mizuna kimchi:


The rice cakes were very chewy (but not overcooked) and had a nice kick with the kimchi.

Another favorite – the Johnny cakes:


Neither of us had ever heard of Johnny cakes before, but they’re pancake style savory cakes – Vandal makes them with broccoli and cheese and tops them with more cheese sauce.

Another fun dish that tasted really good (and I had to eat it all because Mari doesn’t eat meat!) – the New York hot pretzel with steak tartare:


The New York pretzel is flattened and the larger surface area is used as a cracker for the steak tartare with kobe beef and also had mustard seeds to add more flavor. The pretzel was a large serving so it’s definitely a good dish to share (all of the dishes were good to share so the restaurant is good for a group).

For dessert, we ordered the Vandal s’mores:


The dessert is served with graham cracker ice cream, toasted marshmallows and a chocolate cookie/cake.

We liked the restaurant a lot and thought the food and service were both great. The crowd was corporate/high schoolers but I think it might’ve been the night we went – if you check out their instagram, it looks like there are always parties there!

Hamilton on Broadway

By grace.g.yang · June 6, 2016
Under: American,Broadway,My Life,Things to do in NYC

Ken surprised me with tickets to Hamilton after I mentioned that I really wanted to see it (like everyone else in the world). He called me at work on Friday and told me he got tickets for the weekend and he already paid for them so it was too late to back out (He knows I would’ve told him not to purchase them because they were too expensive!)

We have been trying to take advantage of the shows on and off Broadway (the week after Hamilton, we went to see Dear Evan Hansen, then Blackbird with my mom when she came to visit). Hamilton was worth every penny – we have been singing the songs and listening to them on Spotify at work everyday since we saw the show!

Here we are in line to get in:

Hamilton on Broadway

The set is really cool – there are two turntables and there are times when both are being used so people are walking in multiple directions:

Hamilton on Broadway

What a great way to spend the weekend!

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