536 East 5th Street bet. Avenue A & Avenue B

This past Memorial Day weekend, New York experienced unseasonably cold and rainy weather. Summer? It felt like a redux of winter! On days like these, ramen is a #singlegirldinner go-to. 

Ashley and I knew that Ippudo would be out of the question. The wait is always horrendous there. Momofuku Noodle Bar is another no. Fuggeddaboutit! After a quick scroll-through on Yelp, we decided to try Minca in Alphabet City thinking that its out-of-the-way location would deter the crowds. However, when we got there, we were bummed to see a line out the door! What to do... Our eyes wandered next door, where we happily spotted a quiet, near-empty Japanese restaurant named Kuboya that served... Ramen!

Not only do they have a charming atmosphere–with lovely jazz playing and cute flowers on the table–their ramen is one of the best I've had in this city. They pride themselves on using the highest quality ingredients and, apparently, their signature triple-blend broth (pork, chicken, seafood) is the result of 10 years of development! It's light yet still has that rich umami creaminess. Super flavorful.

I not-so-secretly hope the lines continue to remain at Minca so that I'll always be able to get a table at Kuboya!

A Very #singlegirldinner Christmas

It was the evening of Christmas Day. I stood in front of a graffiti'ed door in Alphabet City with a bottle of Prosecco, a bottle of red wine, and a plastic bag containing crispy roast pork and BBQ ribs that I had just picked up in Chinatown. Chinese food and Christmas—it was ironic, I'll admit, but also festive and strangely apropos. Tyann's apartment was this year's urban orphanage, a place for us city stragglers to congregate. There was no buzzer so I had to call. "Hiii! I'm here!" I said into my iPhone, dancing around a little bit to keep warm. "OK, I'm coming down!" the voice responded. Ah. Kim.

Upstairs, there was a nest of activity. Tyann was flitting around the kitchen, preparing two beautiful red snappers and a sea bass to be roasted. (Tyann, and only Tyann, can pull off making dinner in a green velvet Peter Pilotti dress with no apron.) Charlotte and Preston were overseeing Spotify and YouTube with red plastic cups in hand. "Can we change this song?" said our hostess, while in full concentration on dressing the fish. Kim poured me my own red plastic cup of chilled white wine. "I had an open bottle in my fridge and decided to bring it over," she said. 

Happy holidays. Welcome to a very non-traditional #singlegirldinner Christmas, where Tito's Handmade Vodka is welcomed as though it were a bottle of Dom Perignon and vegan pumpkin pie replaces bûche de Noël as dessert. (And also where a bundt cake pan is just as good as fancy china, as seen in the pic above.) It's a gathering for those whose significant others are away with their family, those who are stuck in the city because of work, those who have a family but not really, those who are in "it's complicated" relationships, those who really are single, and those whose idea of Christmas is just being merry with good people.