Had a less than stellar meal at Ono's new spot -- Matsuri.
Obviously, they sunk a lot of $'s into this cavernous basement space. I would venture to guess Matsuri probably seats close to 150 people. Unfortunately, I found our 2-top uncomfortably spaced. A far stretch from our beloved Sono but from the looks of the crowd, probably a wise biz decision. Last night Julian Schnabel was having a dinner party and the guests included Nicole Kidman, Benicio Del Torre, Chris Walkin, Richard Belzer and Lou f'ing Reed! Who knows, maybe the kitchen was distracted? I know I was.
I was let down by their special Seared Toro Sushi ($7 a piece), which was more cooked than seared. The Yellow Tail special sushi ($4) was a highlight, as was the Lotus Root app. My Miso glazed Cod ($17) "large plate" had a listless glaze and the fish was overcooked.
We were still hungry so we decided to order a bowl of $11 Udon. Fresh Udon Noodles w/ shredded japanese veggies (two cabbages?), a concentrated broth served in a separate bowl and toasted sesame seeds in yet another bowl. Combine the three onto a soup spoon and it is something special. This dish rocked.
150 Sakes is overwhelming so we convinced the Sommelier (Mia) to let us do a tasting of their special sakes. She hooked us up. 6 glasses each for $25 a person. A very good deal and a lot of fun.
Overall, service was a bit clueless and generally slow.
Including the $50 Sake tasters, the overall cost of the meal (w/tip)was $140.
When Matsuri opens for lunch (about a month away) I plan on going and sampling their sushi bar. An Udon soup and Sushi may be the formula.
Sono was one of my favorite restaurants. I was expecting a lot out of Matsuri. My meal was fine, but nothing other than the Udon truly excited me.
I'll give it another shot but Matsuri has a long way to go before meeting my expectations.