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Echigo and Takao report

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Echigo and Takao report

Dbird | Jun 10, 2003 07:00 PM

I've been taking advantage of my short stay on the west side to check out lunchtime sushi over here and made my way to Echigo and Takao for the first time this week-- Echigo because of all the raves, and Takao because at 1:50 today I'd phoned Mori and U-Zen and learned that both stop serving at 2 (as does Echigo).

At Echigo I ordered omakase and was started on a pretty extraordinary piece of chu-toro sushi. I admired a piece of ankimo the chef was preparing for some one else and he asked if I would like some, which I did. Shortly, he presented me with a plate of ankimo sushi, which I thought was weird-- it had just never occurred to me that ankimo would be served as sushi-- and while it was good, I realized while eating it that the rice was not. My first impression had actually been good, because the temperature was right as was the contrast in temperatures between the toro and rice-- but it was actually overcooked and glutinous, and I didn't sense any vinegar at all. So I switched to sashimi (which I had expected at the outset of my omakase meal to begin with) and was presented with a long succession of fresh and delicious fish including amaebi, sake, scallop, skipjack, kampachi, and, at my request, uni-sushi. I declined the signature crab hand roll. This feast set me back just $25. Incredible! The service was so fast as to be hurried, but perhaps they pace things that way at lunchtime anticipating that people have tight schedules. I have to agree with other posters who have identified Echigo as a 'best value' sushi restaurant-- great fish and not just all the ususals, but the rice is not good and the service a little perfunctory. Still, if I lived in the neighborhood, I'd probably be there a couple times a week. Good tea, too.

At Takao I had a half order of albacore sashimi, a half order of endawa (sp) sashimi, and one order each of mirugai and uni-sushi, plus a glass of otokoyama. These were all good, and I might have ordered more but it was clear that service was over at 2:30. That was ok because as it was, this check came to $47 (sake was $9). It was all good and fresh and well prepared, but with Echigo and others in the neighborhood, Takao would not be my first choice in the area in the future-- unless perhaps I were dining with some one who didn't care for sushi (unhappily, my circle seems to list in this direction now); they seem to have an extensive cooked dish menu as well.

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