My aggressive dieting over the past year-plus has meant that I've eaten A LOT of salads at a lot of places across the Western half of Long Island. Usually, I'm going to go for a Greek salad type deal topped with well-done chicken breast, one that's ideally big enough to last me through the rest of the day so that I don't need to eat a proper dinner. (Yes, I'm aware that this flies in the face of everything one reads about "keeping the metabolism furnace going throughout the day," but normal diet methodology has never worked for me, so fuck it.)
To that end, Gyrolicious definitely works for my diet, in that the "large" salad is absolutely massive and very filling, and they don't skimp on the chicken. Honestly, it's not rocket science; 9 times out of 10 that's all I'm asking. I also had a bite of one of their gyros (pictured above) which I can report are standard-good. The wings are small and frozen, but still tasty, and the dips I tried (hummus, babaghanoush, spiced feta / tirokafteri) were all fine, as well.
So, the food's solid, at least what I've tried of it. (Their menu boasts a lot of standard Greek restaurant choices that I doubt I'll ever try.) All in all, this is pretty much a textbook "B" place, but I'm going to downgrade it slightly because of the variance in quality of service, at times ranging from "attentive" to "lackadaisical" the few times I've been. But, yeah, decent place; nothing more, nothing less.
Over the past year-plus, Meal Corner has featured WAY more lunches than dinners. This has not only been due to wanting to save a little money here and there, but because of dietary issues - generally speaking you're going to spend more money AND consume more calories if you're routinely eating out at dinner. On the other hand, sometimes you just gotta treat ya'self, and my recent meal at CoolFish was well worth the indulgence.
I'd driven past the CoolFish sign in Syosset countless times, wondering exactly where it was actually located; turns out it's unassumingly nestled in one of the industrial park-ish thingies south of Jericho Turnpike. When we entered, we noticed that the place was packed, which was a good sign - turns out that three or four different offices had chosen to have their Christmas parties here on this night. Although the staff seemed a bit overworked, we were pleased with the attention afforded us - really have to give them due credit here.
We ordered the ceviche, which was intriguingly listed on the menu as "chef's choice." I generally automatically order ceviche whenever I see it on a menu, so I was eager to see what the chef would whip up for us. Unfortunately (possibly due to the overwhelming amount of customers), what we were served (above, bottom picture) wasn't really "ceviche" at all, instead basically chopped shrimp in a cocktail-type sauce with a little bit of extra tartness. Disappointing, but still not really all that bad, and, most importantly, this would be the final culinary misstep of the evening.
When at a restaurant call CoolFish, one should probably order fish, amirite? Top picture above is my entree, seared Chilean sea bass, served in a rich lobster fricasee sauce over sauteed spinach and creamy mashed potatoes, topped with smoked tomato relish. Second picture down shows a halibut daily special, perfectly cooked, on a bed of broccoli rabe. Third picture shows the brussels sprouts with bacon side dish.
These were likely the best fish entrees I've eaten since my meal at Panza Restaurant in Old San Juan Puerto Rico, nearly exactly a year prior on Christmas Eve '12. So, with the exception of the "ceviche" (which truth be told really wasn't bad - it just wasn't really "ceviche" per se) great food, and solid service. Highly recommended, and I'm eager to return.
After still yet another great meal at Surasang Korean Restaurant, it's time to finally give these guys the credit they deserve for being one of my favorite go-to Long Island restaurants. Having eaten here many, many times I've learned what they excel at (quite a lot), and what they they don't do that well (a few items), so let's have that, shall we. Also, the majority of the menus that are posted online for Surasang (they don't have a website) are nearly entirely inaccurate, so here are several dishes that they actually *do* serve.
The pictures above were taken over the course of three or four separate meals at Surasang during the past year-plus. The top two photographs detail what, to me, is Surasang's de facto specialty: spicy Korean stews. First picture is of the Yook Gae Jang, a tasty stew with brisket, scallions, cellophane noodles, and egg. This is one of my favorite Korean dishes (I've also had it countless times at Dokebi in Williamsburg), and Surasang's version is frickin' delicious. Second picture is of a spicy tofu stew, with similar ingredients as the Yook Gae Jang - also excellent. You'll notice that these stews are served in hotpots, appropriately bubbling hot. (Not pictured is the Kalbi Tang - again, prepared similarly, except the main ingredient is short ribs, served bone-in. Also highly recommended.)
Third and fourth pictures depict some of Surasang's stir frys. The third photograph is of a shrimp stir fry dish, which I felt was very tasty if a bit too heavily breaded. Fourth photo is of an excellent squid stir fry, which is more indicative of most of the stir fry dishes I've had at Surasang, served in delicious sauce and with crispy, fresh vegetables.
The final three photos show an assortment of their appetizers. The dumplings are incredible - lightly fried and crisp, and although I like the flavor of the sauce that comes on their chicken wings (sweet but with a little 'hey now'), the wings themselves don't ever seem to taste terribly fresh. The last picture shows a typical assortment of traditional Korean appetizers that are brought before your meal, free of charge. These dishes rotate, although they usually include several types of kim chees, pickled vegetables, lightly fried squash, marinated eggplant, sprouts, and the like.
I should mention that the service at Surasang is excellent. The owner and her son are always friendly and personable when we stop by for lunch, and they always seem to have Korean dramas blaring on the television. I should also mention that if you're in the mood for Bi Bim Bahp, Surasang's is some of the best I've ever had. (Haven't tried the bulgogi here, though.) So, stop by if you want some really great Korean food - you'd be hard pressed to find Korean this good in the North Shore / Nassau County area.