Welcome to The Lunch Belle, a food website/blog that views the New York City + Los Angeles dining scenes through the lens - and belly - of a highly opinionated, critical, adorably quirky, and culinary-obsessed thirty-something year old.

Just consider me your one-stop NYC - and, most recently, Los Angeles - shop!



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Entries in News you can actually use (84)


Calling all oyster fanatics in Boston, NYC, and San Francsico...!

Picture it: Last Thursday eve, the ultra-exclusive 20th floor of the Hotel on Rivington was abuzz with free-flowing rose wine and freshly-shucked oysters.  What could possibly be more fitting for the launch celebration of Pearl, an oyster app?   

Photo credit: Jean Hsu

What's so cool about the Pearl app is that it can help shape your repertoire and oyster-ordering experience with an alphabetical catalogue of (oyster) names, plus where they're from, and "laymen" keywords to describe the way they taste.  At least for me, oysters are like wine in the fact that they acquire their distinct flavor directly from the environment(s) in which they hail: While I love my West Coast wines (shout out to Napa!), I prefer oysters from the East, due to their brininess and higher salinity content.

Oyster index!With the Pearl app's user-friendly navigation, there are so many fantastic features!  A few, for example: You can like/unlike oysters (a great record-keeper for future reference), and find out which varieties your favorite restaurant is shucking that day!  How f'ing rad is that??

Which oysters is your favorite restaurant serving today?Pearl wasn't the only company launching a new product at last Thursday's soiree: Kevin Joseph, of NY Oyster Week and the founder of Empire Oyster, and Chef Rob McCue introduced Spirited Pearl, which are beautiful liquor-filled (tequila, vodka, whiskey, etc) spheres used as oyster-topping accoutrements.  As you slurp, each "pearl" bursts with the intense flavor of its respective spirit, thus enhancing the mollusk's natural merroir.  My favorite?  The gin Spirited Pearl (as seen in the photo, below)!

(Photo credit: Jean Hsu) A gin Spirited PearlWhat does the future look like for Pearl?  Founder, Sam Asher, sees his company eventually expanding to include a broader range of seafood.  And meat!  He wants to be able to connect people to the specific foods they are seeking - and help lead the consumer/end-user to restaurants that are proud to feature these unique products in their kitchens!  Truly, a symbiotic relationship.

(Photo credit: Jean Hsu) Sam Ash, founder of PearlIn a world with so many processed and unnatural products in our foods, it is nice to know that there is a focus and a future for oysters - nature's true "farm to table" food.  Each mollusk is a precious vessel carrying the flavors of its waters within.  I find it incredible that one can experience the flavors of the New Zealand's Kaipara Harbour at a restaurant located merely blocks from their West Village apartment! 


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


*This event and article were attended/written by Jean Hsu and edited/formatted by The Lunch Belle


Ice cream and same-sex marriage

This just in from People Magazine:  To celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision that ruled same-sex marriage legal throughout the United States, the Vermont-based ice cream company chose to rename their iconic Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream I Dough, I Dough.  'Ben & Jerry’s is proud of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision against discrimination as it boldly stands up for equality for same sex couples everywhere,' said Jostein Solheim, CEO Ben & Jerry’s, said in a statement. 'And at Ben & Jerry’s, there’s only one way to celebrate: with a scoop of I Dough, I Dough, Marriage equality never tasted so good!' he added."

Congratulations to all and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!  #lovewins


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


Kitchen serenity found: A virtual 'culinary guardian angel'

OMG.  Have you ever been following a recipe, seemingly swimmingly, when all of a sudden there's a method that comes out of left field?  You know what I'm talking about.  Something along the lines of, "...next, you will French the lamb chops."  Um, hello!  How the fcuk do I 'French' a lamb chop?

Rather than look through a myriad of cookbook indexes or scour Google/YouTube (sorry, I just don't have time and you probably don't, either), I have an AMAZING app/website that I want to tell you all about called TalkToChef, a virtual cooking hotline/chef 911.  Here's how it works:

  • When you're having a recipe "freak out moment," take a deep breath. 
  • Walk away from the cutting board/stove/oven/mixer.
  • Get a tissue and stop crying.  Blow your nose.  Get a hold of yourself, for god's sake!

  • Now, grab your iPhone and get on the TalkToChef app, or log-in to the website via your PC.
  • Once you're on the app/website, press/click on the Hotline button located in the center of the page.

  • Select a cuisine, cooking method, and/or diet.

  • Et voila!  TalkToChef will send a push notification to all of the chefs in the database who are competent to answer your specific question.  And, within a matter of seconds, you will be connected with an expert via video chat!

  • After receiving the valuable culinary advice, you can rate, review, and voluntarily tip the chef, plus share your experience on social media!

Pretty cool, eh?  So go ahead and save yourselves the time, blood pressure meds, and tragic 'Kim Kardashian crying face.'  Download this invaluable app and/or make TalkToChef a "favorite" website on your PC.  You'll thank me later, either after a mere kitchen emergency or for simply being able to conquer more challenging recipes (after all, you've got a virtual guardian culinary angel on your side)!


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


Hey New Yorkers, The Lunch Belle is hiring!

Calling all passionate foodies in NYC:

I'm searching for a local NYC foodie with a passion for penmanship to represent The Lunch Belle at all of the events, restaurant/bar openings, tastings, and food shows that I cannot physically attend (due to the fact that I'm currently residing in LA).  In return, I will ask for a kick ass re-cap/review of your experience that will be posted on the website, giving you full street cred!

If you or someone you know is looking to gain exposure in the culinary blogosphere, please send me an email and we can discuss opportunities: Lindsay@TheLunchBelle.com


Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle


LA Woman

My dear readers, 

Believe it or not, I recently moved to the City of Angels.  The good news is that I'm keeping this site live while I simultaneously work on something Los Angeles-centric.  Have a look-see: Beverly Hills Bites.  

The hope is that I can eventually merge the two websites together.  If you have any brilliant ideas to make this transition easier, please advise!  I'm a total stress case.  In the meantime, thank you for stopping by and I appreciate your continued patronage!


The Lunch Belle / Beverly Hills Bites


Completely unBAREable

As if packing up the past 10-years of my life in NYC and moving to the West Coast wasn't stressful and difficult enough, Completely Bare wanted to wedge that proverbial knife even deeper...

In February, after having been a client for the better part of a year, I purchased a 6-pack of laser hair removal sessions from Completely Bare.  For those of you who don't know about laser hair removal, you have to wait 6-weeks in between sessions.  So, if you do the math, it would take 36-weeks to complete a 6-session package.  To date, I've completed two sessions and have my third on Friday. 

Rewind 1-month ago: I recently returned to NYC from a long weekend in LA.  I had just made the incredibly emotional decision to move across the country at the end of May, when my lease was due to expire.  In closing out and scheduling the cancellations of my utilities and other services, I contacted Completely Bare to see what I could do about my three remaining sessions (remember, one has to wait 6-weeks in between sessions).  The conversation between me and Carol, one of the managers, went something like this:

Me: "Hi Carol, I'm moving to LA at the end of May.  After my session on May 23rd, I will have three remaining.  I am not going to be able to use them, as I was informed that you do not have West Coast locations."

Carol: "OK, I can offer you one of two solutions.  You can transfer your credits in to another person's name, or we can extend the time frame to a year and you can use them when you come back to NYC."

Me: "Thanks, but I will not be coming back to NYC every 6-weeks or even 3-times in the next year.  I do not have to travel for work, and I certainly cannot afford to return merely for laser hair removal sessions.  If I send you a copy of my California lease, can I get some sort of refund?  This was not something that I planned when I had initially purchased this package.  Clearly."

Carol: "Sorry, but even giving you the two options I offered is normally something we don't do.  I cannot offer you a refund."

After trying to sell my remaining sessions to friends and coworkers, no one bit.  So, in utter desperation, I put a listing on (gasp) Craigslist.  I cannot afford to eat hundreds of dollars!  Thank you, Completely Bare, for making this process Completely UnBAREable.  Shame on you!



Until we eat again,

The Lunch Belle