Thursday, June 21, 2012


It's that time again: the end of the academic year. For us that means a brand new set of interns and no longer being at the bottom of the hospital totem-pole, but it also means losing some of our favorite prelim-interns as they move on to the real part of their training. Tonight, in celebration/mourning of Mike's move to Georgetown next week, a group of us went out for Korean food in Coolidge Corner.

The place that we chose was Yasu - a restaurant that has a menu which consists of both Korean BBQ as well as Japanese sushi.

After we were first seated, it took a very long time to get any sort of attention from the wait-staff. Korean restaurants (at least on the West coast) are notorious for giving poor service to non-Koreans, and demonstrating blatant favoritism towards their own people. I didn't expect this to happen to our group though, since one of us was Korean, and another one reportedly *looks* Korean. Unfortunately it was still a good 10-15 minute wait before we could even order drinks, and it was at least another 20-25 minutes before we were able to order our dinners

The food itself was mediocre, but also not bad.

3 out of the 7 people (including the guest of honor Mike) ordered the regular bibimbap, which came with a starter of miso soup:

 Oddly enough it was served with the rice on the side, rather than on the bottom of the bowl with all the toppings over it. It also had an alarming amount of lettuce. I didn't even know that bibimbap was supposed to have lettuce! This is what it looked like after Christina was through mixing everything together:

 Ammara ordered the bibimbap in the stone bowl, which is actually how I've always typically seen it served:

Her sister was the only one to order sushi off the menu, and ordered Dragon Roll #2 (their menu has 3 different kinds of Dragon Roll): consisting of avocado, tuna, crab stick, and cucumber (basically a California roll covered by slices of tuna and extra avocado)

I'm not certain what JD ordered - in fact even he wasn't certain what he ordered - but it consisted of noodles, thinly-sliced beef and tofu in a spicy soup

 As for myself, I decided on a cold dish, given that it was well over 90 degrees outside, and muggy as a rainforest. My dish was Korean buckwheat noodles in chilled beef broth. To this I later added some chili sauce for an extra kick, but overall I thought it was a decent choice for what turned out to be a hot HOT day:

The food overall was far from amazing, and the service was below average, but if you're craving Korean or Japanese food (or both) and are in a pinch - Yasu is a tolerable choice

Bye bye Mike!!! We'll miss you

Overall rating: 5/10

1366 Beacon Street
Brookline, MA 02446

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chocolate Bark

I was sorting through old pictures from the last year, and re-discovered these images of chocolate bark that my friend Laura and I made for the BIDMC surgery resident's Thanksgiving party.

It's been a long time coming, but here they are. I'm pretty proud of our handiwork - the chocolate bark looks delicious - no?

The bark was surprisingly easy to make (granted I was mostly delegated to chopping and cracking pistachio shells - given my propensity to burn things). Laura made the overall process appear pretty simple, and there aren't many ingredients involved.


16 ounces (454 grams) semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup (60 - 120 ml) dried cranberries or cherries
1/4 - 1/2 cup (60 - 120 ml) dried papaya or apricots, diced
1/2 cup (120 ml) shelled salted or unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Note: Can use other types of dried fruits and nuts if you like

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Melt about 11 ounces (300 grams) of the chocolate in a clean and dry heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of barely simmering water. 
 -Stir frequently so the chocolate will melt slowly and evenly, and then remove from heat. Wipe the bottom and sides of the bowl to remove any moisture. 

3. Stir into the melted chocolate the remaining 5 ounces (155 grams) of finely chopped chocolate (in three batches). 
-Make sure that each batch of chocolate is thoroughly melted before adding the next batch. Use a rubber spatula and be patient as this will take a little time. As the chocolate cools it will start to thicken and lighten in color. 
-Test the chocolate to see that it has reached the proper temperature by either measuring with a chocolate thermometer 88 - 91 degrees F (31 - 33 degrees C) or you can place a small dab of melted chocolate on your lower lip and it should feel about body temperature (not too warm or too cool). 
-If the melted chocolate is too warm, add a little more finely chopped chocolate. 
-If the melted chocolate is too cool, warm for just a few seconds in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of barely simmering water. It is now ready to use. 

4. Spread the melted chocolate into a 10 - 12 inch (25-30 cm) circle on the parchment lined baking sheet. 

5. Sprinkle top with the dried fruits and nuts and gently press into the chocolate. Set aside to firm at room temperature for a few hours or refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

6. Cut or break the bark into small irregular pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Makes about 20 pieces. Preparation time 1 hour.

I'm including a picture of Laura's AWESOME tea kettle. Just because

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Ever since I went to Genki-ya, I've wanted to see more of what Boston has to offer in the Japanese-food department. Tonight we decided to pay Oishii a visit: from what I've been told it's one of the better places for Japanese food in the city.

I was a bit nervous about driving to a neighborhood that I'm not familiar with - given that my brand new RAV-4 had a nasty run-in with a cab last night... but yummy food is always worth the risk, so armed with my GPS I decided to venture into new territory.

It was TOTALLY worth it

Oishii is a tiny restaurant - no lie - it probably only seats about 10 people at any given time, and seating is only at the sushi bar. Since there were only two of us though and we had headed out a bit late, we didn't have any issue with being seated promptly.

For the appetizer we had the unagi nuta (Louis had tried this before and already knew how delicious it was): chunks of eel with a large dallop of caviar on top and some delicious sort of sauce that seemed to be composed of a type of mayo infused with a little lemon juice and a hint of sweet

As for the rolls, I chose the caterpillar roll: eel with avocado and cucumber, and extra avocado on top - because anything with avocado in it is guaranteed to be good!! It didn't disappoint

additionally, we ordered the spider roll: deep-fried soft shell crab with cucumber

Last but not least, we had some udon, which was probably one of the best udon dishes I've ever eaten - hands down. The soup was what made it awesome - rich and savory and just a little sweet from the carrots that were stewed in it

One word: Win!!!

Overall rating: 8/10

612 Hammond Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I had been craving good sushi since moving to Boston - especially over the past 2 weeks, during which time I've been subsisting mostly on Dunkin' Donuts...

Today after wearing ourselves out from tennis/chasing down rogue balls/almost pegging children in the sandbox with said rogue balls/yelling "SORRY!!!" many many MANY times, we went out for dinner at Genki-ya in Brookline.

Although it's probably not one of the most famous sushi places in Boston, the location was convenient for us, the restaurant has plenty of space (= no waiting time for a table, even on the weekends), and they have plenty of "fancy rolls" to choose from.

My pal Ammara ordered the seaweed salad for an appetizer:

Both she and I ordered the Double Spicy Tuna roll (pictured in front), and I also got the Rich Salmon roll (pictured behind):

Louis chose the Fashion roll:

as well as a side of Udon:

Not going to lie - I was starving by the time we got dinner, and I scarfed down my rolls pretty quickly. Some credit has to go to the rolls though - they were good. Maybe the fish was not *quite* up to par as compared to the salmon and other seafood that we get in Seattle, but that may also be secondary to the degree of freshness. When it comes to seafood - the West coast beats the East any day :D

Overall rating: 6.5/10

398 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446