Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Welcome to the Neighborhood Dragon King's Daughter!

Good food. Hot sake. Open late. Less than two blocks from my house. To say that I am pleased is an understatement.

Last week, Roommate and I finally got around to trying out the new Dragon King's Daughter, owned by the Maido folks and located in the former Karma Cafe. I can't tell you how nice it is to have a new restaurant option besides pub food that is open past 10p on this slab of Bardstown/Baxter.

Roommate's eyes were bigger than his stomach-- he wanted to order three entrees for the two of us-- but I reined him in, and we ordered a beef taco entree and the sashimi pizza. Both were good and reasonably priced. That being said, we both loved the taco (which our waiter served, unbidden, with their ginger dressing which made it even better), but we both had the same reaction to the much-lauded sashimi pizza. The sashimi is lovely and fresh and good, but the flatbread it was served on was too thick for my liking. When I want sushi/sashimi, I want something light and healthy-feeling. All that bread felt heavy to us, and we ended up eating the fish and veggies off the top of most of the crust. A cracker crust may have made the difference.

I can't say enough nice things about the staff. Our waiter was friendly and thoughtful and committed.

If I'm making a wishlist for Dragon King's Daughter, here's what's on it:
(1) Put your awesome sashimi pizza on a thinner crust
(2) Adopt Maido's brillant and unbeatable Happy Hour specials.
(3) Delivery??? Please, please, please!!

DKD's menu features appetizers, soups, salads, pizza (all Japanese inspired), tacos (likewise a Japanese fusion menu), and a few sushi rolls. They're open from 11a-midnight every day.

Love them!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Desiring a Streetcar

Whenever I tell someone that I am a New Orleans transplant, inevitably that person says something along the lines of: "Wow, that must have been culture shock." And that inevitably leads to me spouting off all of the reasons why Louisville is kind of like New Orleans in a lot of subtle, but important (to me), ways. Great arts scene. Good music. Good food. Very neighborhood oriented. Walkable. Victorian architecture. Blue oasis in a sea of red. Wonderful bars (and late night closing). Not to mention the whole fleur-de-lis thing.

Today Broken Sidewalk features an article about a proposal for a Bardstown Road streetcar from the Douglas Loop to Baxter (and beyond!). And all I can say to that is: YES, PLEASE!

I miss a lot of stuff about New Orleans and on that list of myriad loves is the rattletrap sound of the streetcar clattering down St. Charles. It's a sound that became all the more significant to me (and I daresay all New Orleanians) after Katrina because it was silenced for so many months. I still remember the first day that I heard the streetcar resume its abbreviated route after all of the post-Katrina repairs. I cried. (Of course, EVERYTHING made me cry in the months after Katrina)

Not only does a streetcar make excellent sense for commuters and neighborhood consumers, but the St. Charles streetcar is one of New Orleans's biggest tourist attractions. In Louisville, too many convention-goers don't venture much further than Fourth Street Live, and Lord knows none of us want Mr. and Ms. Convention-Goer to return to their hometowns thinking THAT'S what Louisville has to offer. No more than your average New Orleanian wants tourists to go home thinking the French Quarter IS New Orleans. (Not that you can compare the two: historic national park vs. Cordish chain mall)

A Bardstown streetcar would bring tourists and conventioneers to the "real" Louisville and plunk them right down in the middle of a sea locally-owned businesses. That means dinner money spent at Ramsi's rather than TGIFridays. That means cocktail hour at Avalon and not the Hard Rock. That means a book for the plane ride home bought at Carmichael's and not at Borders.

I'll say it again: yes, please!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dragon King's Daughter Opens to at least One Rave Review

As of yesterday, there was still no sign out at the former Karma Cafe at 1126 Bardstown, but this weekend Dragon King's Daughter opened and began featuring their very diverse and interesting menu. According to @kycoffeeguy on Twitter, the service and food were both great at their opening reception. Follow his Twitter review and yummy pictures here.

Am so excited to give this place a shot. Wish I could find a web presence for them so I could check hours and whatnot, but despite the fact it's owned by the Maido folks, there's no mention of it on the Maido website.

In other Highlands restaurant opening and sushi news, Renbarger's Brewhaus opened this weekend and is now offering $5 bottles of wine and sake on Mondays. And sushi. Still haven't caught up on the lastest episode of "Southern Belles." My Tivo runneth over.

Anything's Possible!

I've long been an admirer of the aesthetics of the Possibility City website-- cute, quirky, not-too-hip-- kind of like Lou. And, truly, they were pretty nice about playing along when I had my little snit fit over their "Friends of Lou" campaign. So I'm wicked happy to report that during my prolonged hiatus, Possibility City added Loueyville to it's Blogs Around Town section.

Rock on, kids. Thanks heaps.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Correction: Wet Willy's turned Dublin Cellar now Renbarger's "Southern Belles" Brewhaus

Silly me.

Turns out the newest incarnation of Wet Willy's-- Renbarger's Brewhaus, set to officially open this weekend-- is not (necessarily) a German-themed beer garden as I previously suggested. Metromix reports that that the Brewhaus is actually the baby of Russ Renbarger of "Southern Belles: Louisville" fame.

Russ is the womanizing "bad boy" who, as of last week's episode, finally hooked up with Hadley-- the one woman who might be able to put an end to his hound dog ways. No mention of the couple's current status in the Metromix articles, but it does pitch him as the most popular guy in Louisville based on his astronomical "friend" counts on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.

If Real Russ is anything like his SoapNet persona, he's a good fit for the Wet Willy's/Dublin Cellar enterprise which, in every incarnation, has been a bar with a great beer selection and a seriously meat-markety/sleezy vibe.

Do you think Real Russ can class up the joint?

Bats Boosting

As I mentioned yesterday, our Louisville Bats are trouncing their International League West competition-- 9.5 games ahead of second place. Tomorrow they start an eight day home run.

First up is Durham, who currently have exact same 51-39 record as the Bats. That's Thursday-Sunday. Next up on Monday is Buffalo, who are last in their league.

Don't forget to check the Bats' website for great promotions. For example, if you're a consumer of cellophane-wrapped cheese products, you can bring a a Kraft Singles Cheese Slices wrapper to the park and get two for one tickets on Tuesdays all season long.

Even without promotions, a Bats game is one of the bestest cheap funs in the city.

Friday night is $2 craft beer happy hour from 530-7pm with music by Squeezebot AND Friday night fireworks after the game. If the weather holds up, I know where I'll be Friday night. It's so nice to be behind a winning team. (Go Red Sox!)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bye Hiatus-- for now.

Hey kids, Mama's home! What did I miss?

Actually, Mama's been back in the Land of the Louisvillagers for a week now. But truth be told, I just wasn't ready to spring right out of my three-plus week long technology and communications exile. Having no cell/internet service in the wilds of Newfoundland just felt... good. Cracking open the old 'puter, figuring out why my cell phone wasn't recording messages, going through hundreds of spam emails... well, all that meant that I also had to pay bills, make doctor appointments, think about the waning days of summer. So instead, I embraced my inner slacker. Man, my inner slacker is hard core!

But, all good things must come to an end. And I've missed you, Louisville!

Newfoundland and Labrador were amazing; it's hard to believe (and heartening to know) that places like that still exist. Places where you can drive for hours and only see a handful of cars (and more moose). Places where you can literally drive to where the asphalt ends and know you are truly at the edge of the continent. Places where icebergs lollygag in harbors, hissing and fizzing and popping like a cube in your Jack and Coke. Places where people are committed to recycling, where people are unfailingly kind and polite, where people call you "ma love" as they take your highway toll or hand you a shot of Screech over the bar.

Damn nice place. Wouldn't want to live there. But damn nice place.

I'll get some pictures and more details about the trip online soon. In the meantime, seriously, what did I miss?

Here's a rundown of stuff I've missed, just off the top of my head. Sorry for the Old News, kids. It's new news to me.

  • Kaelin's is officially kaput. RIP. We've got us a new Irish Pub (or so it sounds) in its place.
  • Maybe said Irish Pub is merely keeping Louisville's Irish Pub numbers at a constant because Wet-Willy's-now-Dublin-Cellar will soon be something German. (I just don't get this place... this will be the location's third incarnation in as many years. What does it want to be?)
  • Nio's will soon be something Mexican-- and that's super welcome. Even though I'm not a big fan of Mexican food, this neighborhood is lacking non-Qdoba Mexican fare.
  • The Antique Mall is closing?? Shame that. I got a gorgeous kitchen table set there for a very reasonable price just a few months ago. And they only moved to the Broadway location a year ago.
  • J.Gumbos on Baxter closed. I wanted so much to love J.Gumbos, as a former New Orleanian. Cheap food. Huge servings. A good selection of Abita. But I just never had anything there that really tasted "like home." I should try other locations-- they're still up and running.
  • Karma Cafe will soon be something run by the Maido folks? I'm a huge, huge fan of Maido's awesome happy hour specials. Earlier this week, Roommate and I were heaping blessings upon Oishi Sushi for being reasonable, yummy, and not too far from home. But you don't get any less far from home for me than the Karma Cafe location. Keeping fingers crossed.
  • Speaking of keeping fingers crossed-- this week Roommate and I went all the way to the 'Burbs to find decently priced and yummy Chinese Food at Sesame. When, oh when, will the Highlands Chinese food vaccuum left by the burning of Cafe Mimosa be filled?? We got delivery from Mimosa at least once every two weeks. Best egg rolls and pork fried rice. Anybody have any news on Cafe Mimosa?
So, what else? Things I'm looking forward to:
  • Tonight's midnight showing of Harry Potter at the Baxter. Yes, I will giggle and squeal like a pre-teen girl. No, I will not be in costume.
  • Waterfront Wednesdays, July 29, with Josh Ritter.
  • If I weren't already doing Harry Potter tonight, I'd be all over Quill's movie night. They're showing Amelie at 7:30pm for all you folks who can't make the push to midnight. Hopefully turn out will be good, and they'll do more of these. (We inadvertantly went to Baxter Ave Wick's Monday movie night a little more than a months ago. Weird movie choices-- Weird Science and Animal House-- and way too loud AND no one there. Good idea, but there has to be a better way. Enter Quill's?)
  • Do you know how well our Bats are doing?? They're nine games ahead of the rest of their division!
  • July 21 SMC Louisville/Block5 Block Party on Main Street. Funnel cakes, everyone! Info here.
Okey doke, folks. This is me dipping my tootsies into the great ocean of Things to Do. Water's fine. I'll be sticking around.