XOCO torta and churros

clockwise l-r: crispy pig ears, torta, pernod & grapefruit oysters, NAHA foie gras


1. The Purple Pig– waiter was a lil biatch who walked around like he was stoned, but in the end it hardly mattered.  We came for one thang and one thang only:  the fried crispy pig ears.  Don’t diss it until you’ve put your mouth around it.  It’s the perfect symphony of crisp, salt and oil.

2. Naha– I’ve had a lot of oysters, but these were amazing.  These Cortez Islanders were topped with a Pernod and grapefruit sorbet.  Think about that for awhile and you’ll get how awesome that is.

3. Lao Tze Chuan– I always like to show off my Asian-ness when I get the chance, in hopes my people will see that I’m one of them and they’ll return with giving me their “secret authentic” menu.  Here in Chinatown, everything’s pretty much from an Asian mom’s kitchen anyways.  But they still only spoke English to me, which kind of hurts…

4. Takashi– Another random Japanese Michelin guide winner that my brown friend picked. Food was amazing, but every dish came with a 20-min instructional tour from the waitress (chef recommends you use the dressing from the squid to eat with greens, blah blah blah). Woman, just let me eat.

5. XOCO– Rick Bayless’ interpretation of Mexican street food.  Which tells you he’s a modest man, because this hardly belongs on the streets- it belongs in my belly.  (This was our second time to see Rick in two days; after seeing him through the windows of Naha and now in the XOCO kitchen, I do declare us BFFs).