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Restaurants & Bars 5

Omakase at Tako Grill

zora | Sep 30, 2001 10:51 PM

I took my kid to Tako Grill for sushi on Friday night as a special treat. Arrived at seven and the place was deserted. The chefs were worried, but they shouldn't have been- the tables filled quickly soon after, but no one else sat at the sushi bar. (No I didn't forget to use deodorant.) I was able to sit at Jeff's station--he's the young, American-born sushi-chef prodigy who was written up in the Post last Spring, when he won a multi-state sushi-making contest. I told Jeff that I'd been looking forward to sitting at his station and said "omakase -- I like everything, so I put myself in your hands." The first thing he set in front of me was sockeye salmon "napoleon" with persimmon chutney. The salmon sashimi was layered with "pastry" -- crispy tofu chips-the plate was decorated with seaweed and shiso blossom and drizzled with shiso-infused oil and balsamic vinegar. The rich, smooth fish, the crispy tofu and the chunky persimmon/sundried tomato chutney were a perfect union of varied flavors and textures, set off by the sweetly acidic vinegar and the herbal notes of shiso. Jeff told me he'd recently been to Bond Street in New York and had been inspired by their fusion sushi-- arugula rolls! Other highlights were the Japanese red snapper sashimi with ponzu sauce, unctuous Spanish bluefin toro, and fresh, briny uni, which Tako gets flown in from San Diego-- it's the best uni I've had since I moved here from the West Coast. Jeff is one of those truly gifted, creative chefs whose culinary aesthetics encompass all of the senses--the plates are so beautiful that you hesitate to disrupt the composition, but then you are so glad when you do. Bravo!

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