Murasaki: Ramen to Warm the Soul

MurasakiOne of my favorite parts of living in Buenos Aires lies within its endless galerías, long, narrow little centers that usually boast a wide array of shops: electricians, watch repairmen, random specialty stores packed to the gills and lacking completely in natural light. They offer a taste of adventure in this urban jungle, concealing gems that only the most brave of conocedores are fortunate enough to know about. For the explorers of the culinary variety, these galerías often are home to miniature restaurants or cafés as well.

Galería Larreta sits right on calle Florida, at the start of the pedestrian street best known for its leather hawkers and currency exchange shops. It was apparently the center of the go-go movement in the 60s and boasts a massive marble mural (try to say that five times fast) by artist Luis Seoane.

Bypass the shops and head straight back to Murasaki, a Japanese restaurant that serves not only fresh sushi, but also steaming bowls of magical ramen that will warm your heart and soul. Now, the cult of ramen isn’t necessarily news here, but discovering hidden treasures tucked among the porteño landscape always renews one’s faith in what this city has to offer.

If you’re looking for something BBB (bueno, bonito, barato), you’ve come to the right place. Sushi can be ordered individually, letting you choose from a range of sashimi, nigiri, rolls and temaki. The menu also offers up classics such as gyozas, yakitori, and tempura, but the star here is the ramen/udon section. Splurge a little for the fresh ramen and go to town – you can order broth with either a miso or pork base; both are delicious but I think the pork edges out the miso by a hair.

The egg yolk wasn’t as runny as I would have liked, but I think they assumed I would be put off by it (um, wrong, but I’ll let it slide). Be sure to jack up your broth with all of the spicy add-ons the waitress brings to the table – it really takes things up a notch.

Slurp up the rameny goodness and enjoy this pause in your busy day. Since you’re basically sitting inside a miniature labyrinth, no one will find you at your new hiding spot. Come to think of it, if you’re a) having an affair, b) hiding from your friends/boss/real life responsibilities, or c) a hermit, you’ll like Murasaki even more.

For those who might enjoy a little more social exposure, there’s another location a few blocks away at Viamonte 500.

Gyoza at Murasaki

Florida 971, local 32 – Galería Larreta
Open Mon-Fri 8am-8pm
Open Sat 9am-4pm





Food Porn Friday

The first Food Porn Friday of 2013 – kind of a big deal. Big shoes to fill, lots of expectation for the 51 weeks that remain. Yikes. So what better way to kick things off than with one of the greatest things you could ever eat in your life? Thankfully it’s something I was able to scarf down just last week when I was in Mendoza visiting Chef Mun‘s new digs at Casarena Bodega. Mun and Cary hosted an incredible surprise dinner for my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. My only demand? That the spicy tuna on crispy rice make an appearance. I swear it’s made with crack. Thanks again for a most memorable meal! (*more to come on what was definitely one of the greatest dinners of my life, get ready)


Great BA Restaurants for Eating at the Bar

I haven’t given Planeta Joy much love lately. It’s a great website/magazine/community that covers trends and tips in the BA food/wine world, often compiling superlative lists that save you time and legwork if you’re tired of the trial & error aspect of the vast world of the Buenos Aires food scene.

However, I loved this list of “The Best Restaurants for Eating at the Bar” because one of my favorite things to do at a restaurant is forgo sitting at a table entirely and saddle up at the bar instead. Check out the full article for more information, but here is are the essentials of what you need to know… Continue reading

Review: Taste! BsAs

Last week Buenos Aires Delivery & Guía Oleo teamed up to host the second installment of its gastro-centric event, Taste! BsAs – a night that showcased 25 local restaurants offering free food to all. Held at the auditorium above the BA Design center in Recoleta, the event was literally bursting at the seams with guests but was overall a great night.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a pre-event sneak peek & tasting with other bloggers, journalists and photographers – which turned out to be a serious blessing. Once the doors opened to the general public, things got a little crazy and having time to enjoy each stand wasn’t in the cards. It was so nice to try places I had never tried and even revisit some old favorites. I hope that next year they’ll have a space that is adequate for the thousands (literally! what a great turn-out) of attendees, which will make it a better experience for everyone. Other than that, Taste! BsAs was a super fun event and I’m already excited to see what’s in store for 2013 (what can I say, I like to plan ahead).

The Ya Ya Beaners were there with their La Boca Roja sauce, which never disappoints. Bonus for the mini tequila shots. (Also, sorry I broke a bottle of sauce because I am a spaz).

Taj Mahal never lets me down. Fluffy samosas, fresh nan, amazing sauces. Loved seeing them there.

NOLAChef Liza Puglia was serving up her famous red beans & rice. Could eat it for days.

La Fábrica del Taco had perhaps the most colorful and festive stand of the whole group.

Sushi had a strong representation, with nice colorful pieces from several restaurants.

I loved the Green Monster‘s table! Amazing veggie burgers with creative sauces. Me likey.

A bit blurry but … Atlanta Wing Factory cranked out quality wings (spicy and sweet).

My favorite? Nazca, serving up traditional Peruvian flavors. I need more ASAP!

Of all the dessert-y stands… Top It was the star. Love me some pomelo froyo.

Thanks to BA Delivery & Guía Oleo for a great event! I wanted to try the deep dish pizza as well as some other spots so let’s hope more restaurants will want to participate next year. Now I’m hungry …

7 Spots for Ethnic Fast Food in BA

Good morning and who’s hungry for lunch? Just me? Ok fine. I’m loving Planeta Joy more than usual lately, thanks to the upcoming Buenos Aires Market and the classic “Best Places in BA for _____.” It never fails me.

So imagine my happy surprise this morning when I saw some new-to-me options for a quick and “exotic” (in Porteño terms, of course) lunch in la Ciudad de la Furia. I just tried one of them last week and was really impressed.

Head over to the website for the complete list but here’s a quick rundown if you’re busy checking out whatshouldwecallme (I know you are).

Arabic: Hola! Sinor Shawarma – Honduras 5328
Thai/Asian: Thaisu – Paraguay 406
Venezuelan: Arepera Buenos Aires – Estado de Israel 4316
Frenchish: Mineral – Reconquista 757
Mexican: La Fábrica del Taco – Gorriti 5062
Chinese: Ambiente Wok – Marcelo T. Alvear 997
Japonese: Sushi Roll – Paraguay 508

Last week I tried Thaisu and was impressed, to be honest. Authentic, nice portions, affordable (with Club La Nación to boot) – definitely a place to check out for a downtown lunch. I like Fábrica del Taco but think it’s a bit pricey, though the hot sauces are delicious. Sushi Roll is closeby so I will be checking it out in the next few weeks.

What about you? Rants, raves? Something that Planeta Joy forgot to put on their list?

Photo Credit: Planeta Joy

Food Porn Friday

In an ode to the sushi/salmon/life shortage here in Argentina due to increasing import barriers, let’s just drool over some incredible sushi today, shall we? Behold – spicy, crunchy salmon & mango roll, topped with seared salmon, white tuna, avocado, crispy rice powder and a honey wasabi sauce. Wow that’s a mouthful. I need it.

Photo Credit: Food Porn Daily

Food Porn Friday


Happy Friday once again, everyone! Inspired by the post on BA Delivery (and an article in La Nación, if you read Spanish) about the increasing shortage of golden nuggets like Chilean salmon and other fish used in sushi, I’ve decided to continue the suffering. Restaurant Sukiyabashi Jiro is the only one to have been awarded 3 Michelin stars. Its chef is 85 years old (and a total badass por supuesto) and diners lucky enough to eat there pay $400 a person to be served just 20 pieces of sushi. Think food porn in its purest expression, at its most simple and refined – The documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” was released last week, so today’s post will be Photo + Trailer to really get you drooling. Makes you wish you could just hop on a plane to Tokyo right now, doesn’t it?

Photo Credit: Eater