Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Barack (Attack) wins!

The Barack Attack (left, in blue) defeated the McCain Terrain with 174 votes to 166 votes as the best tasting maki at RA Sushi. (Photo: RA Sushi)

Who cares what the polls are saying . . .

The people have spoken—and chowed down—and they've picked RA Sushi's Barack Attack maki roll over the McCain Terrain. Barack Attack (layered with smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber and artichoke rolled in rice and seaweed and topped with crunchy blue tempura bits, finished with a sweet eel sauce and wasabi mayo) defeated the McCain Terrain with 174 votes to 166 votes as the best tasting maki.

Beginning Friday, it'll be "inaugurated" on RA's menu for $10, with $3 of every order benefiting Rock the Vote. You'll be able to get the Barack Attack until Oct. 3.

Oodles of noodles bar doesn't impress this writer

"The pork belly ramen in pho broth was better," says Michael Nagrant of Urban Belly's menu. (Photo: Hungry Mag)

Hungry Mag's Michael Nagrant takes a swipe at newcomer noodle bar Urban Belly and owner-chef Bill Kim:

"Here’s a guy who’s stepped down from his gourmet pedestal to bless the masses with an 'affordable' take on soul-satisfying Asian comfort food and the Korean treats of his youth. It’s a pretty tempting legend. Walk in to the cave-dark confines, compliments of a drab paint job, of Urban Belly, and you’ll see Kim manning the pass with his black hair flopping over a 'Karate Kid'-like Daniel-San do-rag, calling out table numbers and slurping on noodles to taste before he expedites his creations."

Hot stuff on a cold night


The local salsa scene is alive and thriving, as I discovered Sunday night at Hot Salsa Kitchen's party at Buzz, in River North.

Red-hot Latin music ranging from Afro-house to samba kept the floor pulsating with skilled and not-so skilled dancers for hours. And the most beautiful thing of all?! Those dancers came in all shapes and sizes and ages and ethnicities.

You can hit up a salsa party almost every night of the week, including tonight for Hot Salsa Kitchen's crazy popular dance event at Alhambra. Deejays Luis "Rollins" Rivera and Dwight Burr spin, and if you arrive early you can work on your moves during a complimentary dance lesson. 9pm-2am. $10.

If you're looking for something more chilled out, NoMI continues Cellar Notes, with this week's tasting: Blend Your Own Wine. Advanced sommelier Fernando Beteta will be on hand to guide guests through a tasting of different wines. It's also an opportunity to learn how to taste and evaluate wines based on the subtle nuances in flavor, acidity, clarity and color of each selection. 5:30-7:30pm. $30.

And Rockit Live! at Rockit Bar & Grill is the place to be if you're looking for karaoke. A live band will back you up if you dare to hit center stage. 8pm-2am. No cover.