Discovering a Pleasant Purgatory

Utah may not be known for the bar scene, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t gems in the town of Salt Lake City. Take Purgatory, a place where you can go for a drink, a meal, or both. They opened in 2017 nearby a mortuary which will make you think twice now about its name. But hey, if this is where I need to go to cleanse my soul then order me up a few drinks. Cause I’m going to enjoy this place the best way I can, at the bar.

That’s the main thing you’ll notice when you enter the establishment. But along the wall and toward the back, there are tables for your dining needs. And for those looking for libations and fun, well, there’s plenty of bar games inside and out in their open area. The place is full of energy. And since it’s still relatively new, you and your friends may still find room here for a get together without waiting forever to waited on. We didn’t. After we ordered, the drinks came out fast, then the food. The portions were large, especially when we were looking for small late night bites. We got toast for goodness sakes. What we got were full on dinner meals. This place was definitely not your average bar food kinda place. That’s pretty cool. Just gotta be mindful next time I order food here.

I hope this place doesn’t get too popular because I do want to come back without dealing with elbow to elbow crowds.


62 East 700 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
+1 (801) 596-2294

Verdict: Great spot for late night eats followed by drinks till closing.


Late Night at Ssäm Bar Momofuku

On the list of restaurants to try is Momofuku. If it isn’t on your list, it should be. David Chang has several restaurants in New York with others worldwide, each one catering to a genre in Asian taste. I wouldn’t come close to saying it’s fusion or even experimental. I’d like to think of it as the classic journey of an artist, pushing the boundaries of modern mediums. Here at Ssäm Bar I got my first glimpse into his work.

Reservations were a must, especially with our party of eight. Booking a month advanced, there were two openings, 5:30pm or 10:00pm. Of course the later time worked with our West Coast time frame for dinner. So we chose that. And with our group size, we had to go with the $75 prix fixe menu. There were wine pairing options for an additional price of $50 and up. We decided to order off the drink menu, a decision I personally didn’t regret. I had found myself a new favorite drink!

The courses themselves were brought as plates for sharing, family style. Something we weren’t quite expecting, but we’re all friends here. So that didn’t stop us from enjoying every spoonful. Each dish was brought out all at once so no one was left waiting for their dish. The staff was well synchronized on that. However, dinner was long and spanned over 2 hours. It was a good two hours though. By the end of it, we were so stuffed, I forgot to take pictures of the dessert, a Trifle – honey ice cream topped with broken bits of deep fried mantou. Oh it was so amazing that our typical non-dessert eaters were caught finishing the bowl.

Yeah, I loved it, even though half the dishes were a miss for me. Setting aside all the hype, I have to admit, each dish was unique. They were taste combinations I’m not going to easily find, except at other Momofuku restaurants. Great. Did I just sign myself up for more adventures? I better start making reservations.

Ssäm Bar – Momofuku
207 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
+1 (212) 254-3500

Verdict: Come with a small group to order off the menu or a larger one to try the pork shoulder. I’ll see you next time pork shoulder!


Late Night in Dotonbori

Thanks to numerous delays on our flight, we arrived to our hotel in Osaka around midnight. That didn’t leave too many options for food. I should have taken into account the long train ride from the airport. It was close to an hour on the express. Still it would have been late and I was starving. So where else to go but to Dotonbori, a food and nightlife spot I love.

By this time, shops were closing and people were staggering the streets finding something to quell their buzz. That came in the form of takoyaki which we lined up for. It’s always an refreshing being the sober ones now and then. But don’t get me wrong, if we arrived earlier, we would be the ones having trouble ordering and ignoring the signs saying seating was closed inside. Ah, looking in the mirror can be quite revealing.

After getting something in our stomachs we searched for a sit down and eat sort of place.

Around the corner we found a local late night sushi shop. It was pretty busy but we secured our seats at the bar. In fact, I think those were the only seats. No plates or fancy hosts. This was a local cigarette smoke filled shop people go to for continued libations. It was a block away from the main streets of Dotonbori and thankfully, they had an English menu. Though we did do some point and order from their case of fish. I still need to get the names of some of the fish. It was fun nonetheless. The atmosphere was lively. Everyone had some level on inebriation in them. And it wasn’t long until I got my beer. What can I say, I’m on vacation!

2-7-16 Higashishinsaibashi Chuo-ku
Osaka, Japan

Verdict: You must visit Dotonbori, you’ll have plenty of good food available. The sushi place I’d pass on, unless nothing else is open.


Late Night Animal

I was heading to Los Angeles for the weekend and after a long drive, I decided to stop by a restaurant I always wanted to try out, Animal (or for you Yelpers). The place might be a little hard to find having no sign, but if you look for people lining up on Fairfax, that might be it. Usually, you want to do reservations, but thank goodness they have bar seating. There are about seven seats, and sadly enough, I only needed one. Luckily though, they had exactly one open. Keep in mind it was 10:30PM. Really should have called my friends who live around the corner (Sorry E/T) but I had no idea what time I’d get in. This was Martin Luther King weekend after all.

Inside, the place was dark. The staff was quite attentive. My drinks were always filled and place settings constantly cleaned and set up. I started to wonder if bar seating got better treatment due to the proximity of the workers. Everyone was willing to help no matter who they were. Food came out as quick as they were cleaned up. Dishes didn’t come out right after another, but I wasn’t complaining relaxing with my beer.

I took recommendations from a waitress, who steered me away from their popular ox tail poutines, which I have to say, was a good idea after seeing it. Where are the cheese curds? Anyways, I picked two less than spectacular dishes and then went with her quail suggestion. bingo. I am now a fan of quail. I never thought I been. But after hearing the hype about State Bird Provisions and only experiencing less than spectacular quail at other restaurants, this place changed my mind. Could have done without all the condiments. A few worked, a few didn’t. Must be what the chef wants you to do, find the perfect combination.

Glad to have finally tried this place out. Ah Los Angeles, how you remind me of the good eats here.

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