New York’s best of NY issue gave Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick a few mentions


Shalom Japan

Here’s the skinny:

Best Bread Pudding
Shalom Japan
310 S. 4th St., at Rodney St., Williamsburg; 718-388-4012
As an expression of their Japanese and Jewish heritages, chef-owners Sawako Okochi and Aaron Israel bake their daily challah with sake kasu, a by-product of sake production often used in Japanese cooking. What to do with the leftover loaves? Bread pudding was the obvious answer. Okochi soaks the challah in custard (which includes E. Guittard dark chocolate, ripened bananas, and Battenkill Valley Creamery milk and cream) overnight, and then bakes it “low and slow.” The result’s a dessert that’s soft and gooey on the inside, with a crispy exterior. It’s served piping hot between a spoonful of crème fraîche and a pool of whiskey-­caramel sauce.

Best Condiment
Battery Harris
64 Frost St., nr. Lorimer St., Williamsburg; 718-384-8900
The owners here proudly display on a chalkboard their jerk-sauce recipe (in proportions that reflect just how much the restaurant goes through: 15 pounds scallions, eight ounces house-secret jerk dust). The recipe’s the result of much tinkering of traditional ones, but “what separates us,” says co-owner Etan Fraiman, “is we use fresh ingredients,” not onion or garlic powder. Also: Since the sauce’s heat dies quickly, the kitchen churns out a new batch every three or four days. You can (and should) try it on everything: Happily, the fiery, bright, habit-forming stuff is bottled and served with every meal, for dousing to your heart’s desire over dishes like Jamaican patties and jerk pork buns. [Read more…]

Our favorite 50 albums of 2013


50. Dirty Beaches – Drifters / Love is the Devil
49. Jessy Lanza – Pull My Hair Back
48. Fuzz – Fuzz
47. Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus
46. Diarrhea Planet – I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
45. Fidlar – Fidlar
44. James Blake – Overgrown
43. Cuushe – Butterfly Case
42. Foxygen – We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic
41. Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
40. Majical Cloudz – Impersonator
39. Grouper – The Man Who Died In His Boat
38. The Mantles – Long Enough to Leave
37. Bent Shapes – Feels
36. Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle
35. California X – California X
34. Camera Obscura – Desire Lines
33. DJ Koze – Amygdala
32. Drake – Nothing Was the Same
31. Sonny and the Sunsets – Antenna and the Afterworld
30. Ezra Furman – The Year of No Returning
29. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II
28. Various – After Dark 2
27. King Krule – 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
26. Segue – Pacifica
25. Joanna Gruesome – Weird Sister
24. Thee Oh Sees – Floating Planet
23. Speedy Ortiz – Major Arcana
22. Mikal Cronin – MCII
21. Nils Frahm – Spaces

[Read more…]

The Top 50 Albums of 2012

50. Teen: Electric
49. Sun Araw: The Inner Treaty
48. Cat Power: Sun
47. Tallest Man on Earth: There’s no Leaving Now
46. Matthew E. White: Big Inner
45. Port St. Willow: Holiday
44. Flying Lotus: Until The Quiet Comes
43 Eternal Summers: Correct Behavior
42. Wild Nothing: Nocturne
41. Actress: R.I.P.
40. Metz: Metz
39. Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, M.a.a.d City
38. Andy Stott: Luxury Problems
37. Dum Dum Girls: End of Daze
36. Japandroids: Celebration Rock
35. Sufjan Stevens: Silver and Gold
34. Magic Trick: Ruler of the Night
33. Miguel: Kaleidoscope Dream
32. Jessie Ware: Devotion
31. Sonny and the Sunsets: Longtime Companion
30. Beachwood Sparks: The Tarnished Gold
29. The Babies: Our House on the Hill
28. Grizzly Bear: Shields
27. Iris DeMent: Sing the Delta
26. The Sea and Cake: Runner

25. King Tuff: King Tuff

24. Frank Ocean: Channel Orange

23. Jimmy Cliff: Rebirth

22. Lower Dens: Nootropics

21. Lambchop: Mr. M

20. Lotus Plaza: Spooky Action at a Distance

19. Woods: Bend Beyond

18. Allah-Las – Allah-Las

17. Weird Dreams: Choreography

16. The Shins: Port of Morrow

15. Wye Oak: Civilian

14. Spider Bags: Shake My Head

13. Fiona Apple: The Idler Wheel…

12. Lone: Galaxy Garden

11. Action Bronson: Blue Chips

10. Frankie Rose: Interstellar

9. Spiritualized: Sweet Heart Sweet Light

8. Ty Segall: Slaughterhouse/Twins

7. Diiv: Oshin

6. Beach House: Bloom

5. Tame Impala: Lonerism

4. Mac DeMarco: 2

3. Dent May: Do Things

2. Grimes: Visions

1. Chromatics: Kill For Love

Best EPs:
Mac DeMarco: Rock and Roll Night Club

Daniel Rossen: Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP

The Antlers: Undersea