Tag Archives: austin

Six Course Delight

The first quarter of my MBA has officially ended, and I decided to celebrate my treating myself to a super-expensive meal at Austin’s Uchi.  There’s only one time in my life that I remember being busier than I am now, and with the second quarter starting tomorrow, the six-courses culminated a weekend all about fun and relaxation.

Uchi makes food that literally explodes in your mouth.  The yellowtail tun sashimi has the richness of the tuna mixed with a tart lemon, oil, soy sauce and sweet mandarin slices to balance out the flavor.  The serrano peppers on top give just a hint of a kick, and the sprouts and roe add texture to a mouthful of delicious fish. There’s something sweet about the miso infused rice platter with egg yolk seared in a melt pot.  The pork belly fatty and amazing, although I couldn’t finish for the sheer amount of food.  And dessert tied up the meal in a lovely nutty, tart bow.

But more than just a great meal, I experienced 2.5 blissful hours away from MBA, friends, and stress.  I took the time to savor every bite and experience the plates of art that are clearly made by masterful chefs with a passion for serving an experiment in food.  With little exaggeration, tonight’s meal was performance art and as soul-fulfilling to eat as going to the Austin Museum of Art (still on my to-do list).

I added more pictures below.  Definitely worth a visit.  Make reservations and plan on spending about $60 (or if you’re me, twice that).  I left out one course because it tasted too good for me to remember to take pictures. :)

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West 6th and Dirty 6th

Austin’s party scene effing rocks!  Sure general advice has been as such, but it’s something completely different when you walk down 6th street (either west or east) on a Friday or Saturday night (in this case, both).

Something I learned this weekend:  there are actually two distinct cultures floating around 6th street.  Both west 6th and east 6th (‘Dirty 6th’) are start a few blocks from Congress and 6th.  Congress is the street that leads right up to the Capitol building.  West 6th has a slightly older crowd, i.e. late 20s and tends to be slightly less crazy (read: doesn’t have as many cops floating around and the streets aren’t blocked off from cars). There’s still a flood of people, but somehow everyone gets in without too much of the pretension of a line, and drinks are about $4 a pop.  No wonder it’s so easy to get so trashed in Austin.  Everyone is so incredibly nice!  If you go, check out Annie West and The Ranch.  For those serious party goers, there’s always the boom boom room (if you can find it ^-*).

Dirty 6th is some much more touristy with a staple younger crowd, mostly in college and some who look like they just graduated from high school.  The smell of weed proliferates the several block area that’s blocked off from traffic and a stream of people wander in and out of bars called “Shakespeare bar” or “Shan-gri La,” although neither has anything to do with its name.  Only the Coyote Ugly is true to its name.  The rest is an amalgamation of bars, big screens, patio space, and people over-pouring from it all.  Even Leslie in his fabulous flower top that highlights his ample breasts and very short shorts makes his appearance.  Food trucks (stands would be a better description) advertise thin slice or “Big Tri Hotdogs,” and a dude dressed as Super Mario offers his services as a bike rickshaw.  As the club scene breaks down at 2am (why don’t more cities pick up the New York tradition of being open pass then?), the noise quiets down slightly and you notice the street art.  Bars cease advertising their location by blasting music from down the block, and you hear the lone drummer playing his pots and pans.  Or the supremely sweet melodies of the alto sax comforts you as you trudge home from a night of too much debauchery.  A hipster artist in a pixie cut is making the most out of her $1.99 box of chalk.  You see that the Copa really does have salsa music and the people standing just outside are silver-haired regulars, who don’t care how hip the place may be.  There’s a halal falafal place right next to the surf n turf, and the decorated cows that dot Houston are replaced by giant guitars.  My favorite (and one that I couldn’t get since the iPhone 3G lacks a flash) is called Twinkle Twinkle, inspired and very loosely based off of Van Gogh.  There’s a waff of geese poop emanating from the Red River, and you realize that Austin is quite cool in the evening.

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Currently, I’m at my local coffee shop listening to some sweet, ‘I don’t know how to classify it’ other than jazzy, dixie-ey with bits of Michael Jackson the early days. :)  There’s no doubt that I’ve made the right decision to move here.

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