there's been a lot about BEACON already, and if you're bored of it all, click through...otherwise, here's my take on the food only from lunch today (pictures and other comments, click below):
we started with the GREEN BEAN AND SMOKED TOFU SALAD, which was a little too tart, especially since i was expecting a sweet, creamy dressing. perhaps it was the banyuls of the BANYULS-SESAME DRESSING (and i admit i had no idea what banyuls was until i did a little research on the web). i wouldnt order it again. however, even though they werent sensational, the CRISPY VEGETABLE SPRINGROLLS i would order again. they were screaming hot, straight to the table from the fryer, so the paper thin skins were still flaky crisp. the filling was a little squishy for my taste, but perhaps that was better for soaking the fairly thin sweet and sour sauce. i prefer only vegetables inside, none of the other stuff (cornstarch or flour?) that is meant to make everything stick together into a solid mass.
who knew that the SAUTEED MUSHROOM salad would be so pornographic? the shiitake, porcini, and other mushrooms were tossed in with the greens, but the mass of hoshi meki mushrooms lounging on top with its enormous mushrooms heads sprawled out was just looked so x-rated. the rest of the salad is innocent. like the green beans, the yuzu dressing was tart. however, the it didnt seem quite as sharp; a kick came instead, from togarashi-spiced almonds. what i thought were diced pineapples around the edge of the plate turned out to be manchego cheese, not melted, but warmed enough only until just glossy opaque.
i was pleasantly surprised by MISO-MARINATED BLACK COD. the flesh fell apart into slippery flakes that were sweet and mild, and not at all overpowered by the miso. i couldnt identify the yellow sauce on the plate that i was expecting to taste like mustard, but was sweet. the greens beans were in perfectly perpendicular lincoln log stacks, and tasted like they had the same yellow sauce. this is the flavor i was expecting on the green bean salad in the beginning.
we couldnt resist ordering a side of FRENCH FRIES. and thats all i need to say about that.
even though it was lunch, i had to order a dessert, even if only for a taste. the dessert menu is a mix of zen-asian, japanese, and american. is the RICE KRISPY SUNDAE american because its a sundae, or is it asian because the rice krispy treats are made with...rice? thats stretching it a little too far. we ordered the COCONUT RICE AND MANGO BRULEE. i dont like creme brulee because i like desserts that i can bite into, but this one, with the coconuts and rice, had some chew. i doubt id order it again, though, and probably pass on beacons dessert menu altogether.
overall, beacon has good food, a clean atmosphere, and not too expensive at $28 per person. but it's nothing worth my conversion to asian (con)fusion-ism. it's a nice place to take a client or a friend for lunch because it's close to my office, but i'm not so sure beacon will be a regular nighttime destination for me unless i'm already in the area.