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FattyDumplin | Jun 24, 200711:43 AM     5

they are still BYOB (serve beer, but no wine or sake) and the omakase has not started yet. but given my meal last night, i'll be back when they do. some have called the interior cold / antiseptic. i can see how you could get that image, but i don't mind it so much. my wife and i were served by an older gentleman who was quite friendly and the service was attentive w/o being instrusive. on to the food...

shima aji carpaccio. razor thin slices of stripejack with just enough truffle oil, sea salt and finely shredded ginger to complement, but not overwhelm the fish. my wife's favorite dish of the night. i've had a lot of versions of what i view to be similar to nobu's new style sashimi. this was my favorite for its simpleness yet flavorfulness.

chyu toro tar tare. well executed rendition of a now very common dish. i've had better quality toro in a toro tartare, but what realy stood out was the ponzu sauce he uses. i can't explain it - he uses it for a number of dishes and i love it.

uni ika sugomori zukuri. my favorite dish of the night. a layer of super sweet, west coast uni, underneath a thick disk of ika, topped with a raw quail egg and shredded nori, bathed in a soy reduction. our waiter told us to mix up the ingredients and i must say i was skeptical, but i was blown away. by far the best uni i've ever had, but you had to get a bite with everything in it to really appreciate how all the flavors and textures worked together.

geoduck clam salad. i love geoduck even more than i like saying the name, "gooeyduck." i wanted this dish to work. but it was too salty. the geoduck was marinated in a ginger soy dressing, but the saltiness ruined the dish. not sure whether it was supposed to be like this or whether someone messed up.

chawan mushi and dobin mushi soup. the most custardy and light chawan mushi i've ever had. dobin mushi is a very cute dish. it's a clear broth that comes in a little clay teapot and you're given tiny traditional japanese tea cups to serve yourself with.

karei kara age. deep fried flounder served with that ponzu i love. i have to admit that i destroyed this dish. everything is edible. from head to tail, from skin to bones. when the waiter came back to clean the table, i think there was definitely a look of approval as he asked whether it was good. of course, i had little competition, as next to me sat a couple who ordered the same dish at the same time and could barely figure out what to do with it. i think they were wiating for someone to come out and fillet the darn thing. Maybe Aaron from Hell's Kitchen (if anyone watches that show).

I left full and happy. All in, just under $200 total, so not a cheap meal but not crazy expensive. I did manage to try one piece of the uni, but it somewhat disapopinted me. I saw a lot of sushi going by me, but it looked fairly standard.

I want this place to succeed. There are many dishes i still want to try, but when we got there at 7, it was maybe 1/4 full and never got mroe than 1/2 full throughout the night. it's caught in a tough spot as its not cheap enough as a weekend casual meal, yet it isn't really a destination place, in the sense of nobu / morimoto. it needs to become a yasuda / seki type place where foodies will pay to eat and i'm not sure how long it will take.

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