BlogDH goes to Asian Cafe

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Like many Brown students, we were bummed to say goodbye to Spats– a go-to bar and hangout spot on Angell street. Needless to say, when Asian Cafe announced its opening, we knew we had to try it. We sent five of our most adventurous writers to give Asian Cafe a try in the name of journalism.

For your reading pleasure, we’ve compiled a number of our thoughts to give you an insight into the holistic Asian Cafe experience.

Initial impressions:

  • “I was skeptical about the cost efficiency of all you can eat for $20. Would I really eat more than twenty bucks worth of sushi, tempura, etc. in one sit down, with no take-home allowed? Potentially, if I were trashed, and hadn’t gorged myself with Annie’s Mac and Cheese a few hours earlier. Nonetheless, I threw my fucks to the wind, and ordered a couple of pieces of raw sushi, seaweed salad, sweet potato tempura, and ice cream (duh). I considered consolidating all of the tables orders onto one of those Mad-Libs esque menu sheets (what is an adverb that also tastes like spicy yellowtail?), but I figured, ‘nah, the restaurant’s got this.’”
  • “Spats was an important place for me on campus — not because I ever went there, besides the time that I was kicked out for ‘disorderly conduct,’ but because my Dad had decided upon my move-in to Brown that Spats was where it was at. Every time we talked on the phone he’d ask ‘so how’s my fave place Spats with the 20 oz. beers?’ Needless to say, I felt an obligation to welcome the new restaurant on the block.”
  • “There were around twenty to thirty people already in the establishment, which was encouraging. No one seemed too upset…yet.”
  • “I miss Spats.”

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Clubs we NEED at Brown

Yeah, everyone gets it, we are hipster chic, trendy, and douchey, so our clubs should embody whats makes Brown Brown. There is the Anime Society, the Aerial Arts Society, the Swan Ballet Club, the Bulgarian Club, the Brown Noser, BlogDailyHerald (Pulitzer Prize-winning I may add…pending further review), the Brown Daily Herald, and so many others. Luckily, just like my fat cousin always says, “there is always room for more.”

Because my GPA already sucks, I have spent the last 36 minutes of my FYS drafting the ultimate list of clubs that I don’t want but that I NEED on campus A$AP. And. Here. We. GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

The Model UN Hecklers

This is just like Model UN, but instead of participating in a UN-inspired, student run forum, in this club we heckle and and prank those involved in Model UN. This is not an attack on Model UN; they’re great. Rather, this is me airing out some personal issues from high school due to a particularly competitive and arrogant Model UN squad that loved to talk about Model UN, the dances and how many guys/girls with braces they made out with. In high school there was nothing I wanted to do more than to let off a stink bomb, kidnap a Ecuadorian delegate, turn on the lights at one of the dances, or just streak through one of their “worldly and important” meetings. So why not do it now?!?! This club would heckle and mess with the Brown Model UN group as well any high school Model UN’ers who come to campus.

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Chow Down Brown: Blue Cheese, Sushi, WTF

This isn't actually at the Blue Room, but it IS a model for all sushi everywhere.

Many of us had our first fateful encounters with Blue Room sushi at the beginning of last fall. There it was, a beacon of grab-and-go snackage, the keeper of light and healthy lunches and our ticket out of insurmountable lines. There was something idyllic about tucking into a cucumber and avocado roll while sitting on the Main Green as a respite from shopping period. And judging by the always ransacked cooler, it’s still a big hit. But recently, a line was crossed.

I introduce you to the Spicy Steak Bomb sushi roll. (What?) It seems like the sushi equivalent of attention-grabbing preteen antics… but it’s not. All year, Shanghai’s supplied us with California rolls, Manhattan rolls, salmon tempura, and now this? The roll itself consists of rare steak, which might even be good if it wasn’t topped with spicy blue cheese mayo. Yes. This sounds like a stoner’s end-of-the-night secret indulgence. Let’s get one thing straight: blue cheese does not belong in spicy mayo. It just… doesn’t. It gives rise to other more probing questions, like where does the soy sauce come in? What about ginger? At some point, the hectic compilation of random ingredients will get too weird for even itself, like some culinary Frankenstein, and something bad–very bad–will happen. Maybe that’s where the “bomb” part comes in. Nothing good can come from this, friends. Just… no good.

As it is, it’s a little goofy to charge $7.75 for pre-made sushi, especially when avocado rolls are listed on Shanghai’s website as $3.75. Whether that’s the Blue Room’s fault or Shanghai’s, it needs to be fixed. But, for heaven’s sake, steak + blue cheese + spicy mayo + seaweed + sticky rice = seriously, seriously questionable. At any price.


Amuse-Bouche: Sakura

Photo cred: Flickr

Finding a good sushi place is a bit like a blind date: gossip and Google-stalk as much as you like, but all your predispositions could be immediately shot to hell. The grimy hole-in-the-wall joint may be way more than meets the eye; the polished, pristine hot spot might end up being vapid and shallow. It’s a crapshoot, and you can’t really know anything’s true nature until you try out. This is not without its problems. Ingesting raw seafood and exorbitant prices both require a fair amount of baseline trust. Every foray raises the opportunity to meet the love of your life or to send you home, downtrodden and destitute. This week, I went on one such venture to Sakura and left pretty satisfied.

Inside, it’s sort of bewildering, as there isn’t really one main dining room but rather clusters of tables scattered across a misguided floor plan. Best if you get a spot in the room with kotatsu–low-to-the-ground tables with floor cushions as seats–which automatically make everything feel more legit. Even better if you plop down at said table with booze, since Sakura is BYOB (no corkage fee) (!!!). Continue Reading