Little Bamboo Harlem: Fusion Sushi Bar and Lounge opens on Lenox Ave.

The latest addition to Lenox Ave in Harlem is the chic new fusion sushi bar and lounge Little Bamboo Express Sushi Bar. Opened Jan 16th on 119th Street & Lenox Ave, this Neo-Retro styled restaurant is making waves with Harlemites.

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On the left side of this new Harlem restaurant is the sushi express bar and small but very eastern dining area which will made you feel like you’re in Japan for sure.

On the right side of walking in the door, is the very chic “Neo-Retro” bar and lounge area (a mixture of east and west) that inspires a good time.

The Food:
Serving Rice bowls with your choice of rice and “protein” (Beef, Chicken, Edamame Falafel, Shrimp and Salmon) and sauce (Teriyaki, Lemongrass Green Curry and Peanut-Red Curry).


6 piece Sushi rolls and Sashimi 2 piece. Special 8 piece rolls, like the Tuna Amazing roll, Coconut Shrimp roll, Harlem roll (with black pepper tuna, lettuce, cream cheese topped with soy caramel). Little Bamboo also offers Vegetarian Rolls, such as the Amazon Roll, Peruvian Roll, Kimsha Roll and the Tropical Soul Roll.

The salads they offer include the Bali Salad, Salmon Quinoa-Seaweed Salad, as well as vegan salads like the Vegan Salad and the Green Papaya Salad.

Bar Lounge:

At the bar you can enjoy a host of beers and red and white wines, and specialty  signature drinks like the “She’s so beautiful” and the “Harlem Swing”. Owner Jodi Solomon who is always helpful and walking around with a smile, has created another wonderful and fun place to eat and drink in Harlem. Little Bamboo is bound to be the latest Lenox Ave hot hangout and party spot.

The Pocket Square: from Practical Tool to Men’s Fashion Accessory

The pocket square, or more correctly the “handkerchief” has come a long way from being used to protect from foul smells and fanning oneself, to the manly fashion article that it is now.

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Some have linked the handkerchief as far back as ancient Egypt and Greece as being used to display one’s wealth, while others have said that King Richard ll who ruled England from 1377 to 1399 was the first person to wear a handkerchief as a fashion item, but there is no evidence of that on record. However in Europe around the 1400’s the handkerchief had become very popular with the upper classes for more practical uses as a tool. Used once again as a status symbol at this time to denote wealth, made from silk with elaborate designs in various sizes and shapes, scented to combat the foul smells, from lack of bathing in that period.

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With the advent of the “two piece suit” in the 19th century, which became the norm with gentleman, they did not want their handkerchiefs getting soiled by other articles that they carried in their pockets, so they started to place it in the breast pockets of their suit jackets.

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In the early 20th century it became even more popular with men, along with different “folding techniques” and made in different fabrics and designs for the well dressed gentlemen in America and Europe. During that time it was used more as a “functional” item, and the practice began to wane for a time. In the 1960’s male movie stars revived the practice, and every man started to wear them again, and it regained its place in men’s wardrobes, but now mostly as a fashion accessory. Now days it can be seen worn by elegant classy gentleman as a stylish part of a well dressed men.

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The Origins and History of the Necktie.

There has been a point in every man’s life when he pondered, why do we wear ties? What is the reason for it? How did it become such an integral part of a man’s dress? Let’s now examine the origins of how the man’s tie became what it is today.

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Military Origins:
The earliest predecessor of the tie was discovered in Xian, China back in 1974. When the first emperor of China, Qin Shih died in 210 B.C. hundreds of terracotta solider sculptures, was found buried with him to protect him in the afterlife. Around each and every statues neck was found “neck cloth” which is not found anywhere else in Chinese culture at this time. In ancient Rome around 113 A.D. the Emperor Trajan’s column was erected to commemorate his conquest of Dacia which show thousands of soldiers wearing an assortment of neckties, just like the Chinese there is no other record of anybody wearing neck wear in Italy at that time, nor anywhere else. The theory is that they were worn as a special symbol of honor.

132811135_81nAround the middle ages we find this same type of isolated wearing of “neckties” involved with soldiers in the military. The Croatian soldiers during the 30 years war to show their support of France, wore before King Louis Xlll, colorful “knotted neckerchiefs” around their necks which caught on with the French soldiers and began to be used to protect the soldiers ruffled shirts and buttons, and by the time of Louis XlV came to be king, these “neckties” became very popular with men in France wearing them in different fabrics and colors. It is said that the French word “cravat” for “tie” was a variation of the word “Croat” because the style was taken from the Croatians.

Soldiers in traditional military uniforms attend a guard exchanging ceremony at St. Mark's Square in Zagreb

Soldiers in traditional military uniforms attend a guard exchanging ceremony at St. Mark’s Square in Zagreb October 16, 2010. Croatia celebrates Cravat Day by staging a ceremony of traditional military units wearing cravats on St. Mark’s Square, in front of parliament and government buildings. The day honours a local belief that Croatian soldiers were the first in Europe to wear cravats, a traditional kind of neck cloth, while performing their military duties. REUTERS/Nikola Solic (CROATIA – Tags: MILITARY SOCIETY FASHION)

Royal History:
The cravat was considered the proper prototype of the modern day tie that we wear today, however a few hundred years later is when it started to turn into the long strip of cloth that we know now. After King Charles reclaimed the throne in England in 1660 the fashionable cravat made its way into English society, as the exiled aristocrats who followed him brought this new fashion craze from England to the English colonies, and became the fashion statement of the well dressed gentleman. Around the 18th century men wearing a cravat around the neck became the standard for all social classes.

 

Napoleon Bonaparte, who was in the habit of wearing all black, sported a white cravat at the battle of waterloo in honor of the duke of Wellington. This was also the time men started to refer the “cravat” as a “tie” as it is tied around the neck for the very first time.

 

The industrial revolution during the 18th and 19th century led to the modern tie, as the conservative knot was more practical on the factory floor and also this was around the time people started to wear ties to show their affiliations with different groups. A member of the Oxford university rowing club in 1880 created the very first “school tie” by removing the ribbons from his boaters hat and “four in hand” tied them around his neck and started the trend, and from there the idea caught on and developed into wearing ties to identify with various groups and clubs.

 

Also in the 1880’s saw the morning formal dress for men in the “ascot tie”, which became the standard as it was made famous by the fashionable King Edward Vll, who loved to wear it at the horse races, and all of Britain followed his lead. Thus it got its name from the famous horse racing event in England “The Royal Ascot” or “Bow Tie” usually worn with a pin in the middle.

A tie maker from New York “Jesse Langsdorf” started cutting the fabric of ties at a forty five degree angle, while utilizing a three piece construction, which allowed when tied in standard knots to drape evenly without twisting and giving us the modern look that we all wear today. No matter what size the knot, skinny or short, nor what fabric or color, the modern tie is still made in the basic “Langsdorf” design. Interestingly enough, Psychology relates the men’s tie as a “phallic symbol”.

 

Harlem Shake Continues to Evolve as a Harlem Icon.

I was at Harlem Shake a couple of months ago speaking with Jelena Pasic for a restaurant review, but was unable to finish it, as Jelena had to run to a meeting and was going out of town for the holidays.

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Jelena gave me a call and invited me to a private event at Harlem Shake, the “Burger & Wine Festival” in partnership with Mozel Watson of Pompette Wine & Spirits. This was in fact a perfect opportunity for me to finish my review and sample some of the fare offered by Pompette, as I was planning to feature Mozel Watson of Pompette for The Elegant Classy Gentleman.

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While this Restaurant review is for Harlem Shake, I have to cover the “Burger & Wine Festival” as it was quite unique and fun!
Harlem Shake opened on 124th Street and Lenox Ave (a prime location indeed!) in April of 2013 and became an immediate success. Owner Jelena Pasic and executive chef Pedro Ramirez took a great idea and transformed it into a Harlem icon in a relatively short time.

Interior designer Dennis Decker who moved to Harlem over a decade and a half ago, designed Harlem Shake, modeled on the vintage 1940’s soda shop/diner concept.

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In the initial interview with Jelena, she served me the hot honey chicken sandwich, which was quite tasty and spicy without taking away from the flavor of the dish itself. Next she had me try the Kale Caesar Salad, with chick peas and croutons which is not only healthy (the health benefits of kale is well known) but also satiated my appetite, along with their signature lemonade.

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At the Burger & Wine Festival, Mozel paired his great wines with Jelena’s delicious fare to the delight of all that was invited.

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The fried fish slider, which was cod fish covered in tartar sauce and slaw, was paired with a nice white wine, Veuve Ambal, Cremant de Bourgogne.
The classic fried chicken, brined in buttermilk with creamy slaw and pickles, was paired with a 2014 white wine Felines Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet.


A 2013 Riesling, Dusko Blu from Germany was paired with the hot honey fried chicken, served with Mike’s hot honey and pickled jalapeno.
A wonderful red wine, Barrique Pinot Noir 2014 was interestingly paired with Harlem Shakes Classic slider, which is made with sirloin patties, cheese onions, pickles and Harlem Shakes special sauce.
The “Hot Mess” a classic favorite is made with bacon, relish and chipotle mayo, and Pickled hot cherry pepper. This was paired with a red wine, Max Carmenere, Errazuriz, 2013.
Another red wine Heartland Shriaz, 2012, was paired with Harlem Shakes “Sonoran Dog” which is a deep fried hotdog bacon wrapped with pickled cheery pepper, bacon relish, vidalia onions.
Harlem Shake also offers veggie burgers for those Harlemites who don’t eat meat, as well as great salads, a host of delicious sides, beer and wine. Harlem Shake is a wonderful place for everyone to hang out with friends, or a date in a fun laidback and friendly atmosphere.


I myself was very impressed with the huge effort and thought that was put into this event; which shows how talented and creative minds engage in a labor of love, and bring it to the Harlem community. Harlem Shake continues to evolve along with Harlem itself along with great people and new comers like Pompette.

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Harlem Shake gets four and a half stars for food, service and ambiance. The collaboration of Harlem Shake and Pompette to create “The Burger & Wine Festival” event gets five stars. This event perfectly illustrates (especially for wine lovers like me) the importance of pairing the perfect wine with your food to enhance your dining experience.
This concept in its simplicity is worthy for its elegance.

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Harlem Shake and Pompette will continue the Burger & Wine festival with an event open to the public on Saturday February 20th from 4-8pm. $45.00 per person at Harlem Shake 100 West 124th Street Lenox Ave. This event is more than well worth it! RSVP: http//burgerandwinefestival.eventbrite.com
For photos of the private event: #Harlemburgerwinefest

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