Place: R23 Japanese Restaurant - 2nd Street, Downtown Artists District
Thursday, 8/4/05 - 7:30 PM
Myself + 1 guest (male)
Ambiance - B+
Service - C+
Food (Taste) - B+
Food (Presentation) - A-
Wine/Drinks - B-
Price - B
Overall Experience - B
I love the R23 space, and adore how tucked away/off-beaten-path it is - makes getting there feel like an adventure. A great start to a yummy meal.
The space is loft-like with beautiful exposed brick, funky cool cardboard chairs, and nice artwork scattering the walls. We were greeted immediately and ushered to a great little table. The waitstaff was attentive from the get-go, but as we discovered, would become A) more than a little forgetful and B) way-over-zealous to get us out of there. Bummer.
We ordered a tall bottle of Suigei sake - they were out of "large" containers so we had two smaller ones instead - no big deal.
We weren't famished, so we ordered a small selection of items -
Squid sashimi - the benchmark of a good sushi restaurant, as I hate it when it's rubbery and tasteless. This squid felt like firm velvet - the absolutely perfect texture - reallly divine.
Albacore sushi - yay, it wasn't doused in ponzu! Raw, with lots of lucious onion threads, and just a hint of vinegar and soy - so very good.
Med. Tori sashimi - speaks for itself - very high quality.
Salmon sashimi - I think they have the best salmon in the city - just amazing.
Dungeonous crab salad - I took the advice of my beloved 'Hounds, and without regret - so good! Loaded with top-knotch crab and lettuce, but yes, as one 'Hound warned me, a bit heavy on the dressing. Still, this is a magnificent dish.
For dessert, we had a Japanese-style tiramisu - when I asked what made it "Japanese", they told me it was simply lighter and fluffier - and ohmygosh, they weren't kidding - it felt like creamy air drifting down my palette. This would have been a great dish save for the excessive cocoa powder on the top layer - it was overpowering and left an icky coating on my tongue. Otherwise, lovely.
We were well taken care of during dinner, but were yapping away and finishing our sake post-chow, and were interrupted several times by waiters who brought our check, checked out our check, cashed out our check, and then checked to see if we had received our check. And if we wanted to order more. We got the message and left (although there wasn't a wait at the door, we figured they needed the table for something).
My male guest was from out of town and loved the unique vibe - I have had better experiences here, but he was happy, so I left happy too.
Happy Eatz, sweet 'Hounds -