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Sumile review

Mark Z | May 24, 2004 10:40 AM

Went last night for the first time and was unconditionally not impressed. First off, the room is very austere and almost fluorescent, the lighting is awful and the room just doesn’t add tot he experience and the prices your paying here you should get a little eye candy design. So this is a food site, but before i get to the food, the drinks:
Two terrible martinis. I don’t know anyone who actually uses the 1/3 vermouth to alcohol ratio, but they surely do, so ask for it very very dry.
We decided to just try 5 appitizer-sized portions off the menu. (In case you haven’t been there it is basically a tasting menu with $14 appetizer sized portions or $28 dollar entree portions)
1. Dungeness crab w/ caviar and green yuzu gelee.
Ok, the gelee was way to powerful and killed the flavors of the crab and avocado, which alone were very good. If less gelee were used it may have been edible.
2. Bean salad with squid and seasoned with XO?
The squid was very tender and subtle, mixed well with beans and the dressing was very nice, but the dish was ruined with the XO, which once again over powered everything and made it taste like those god awful cardboard "hot fries" sold in vending machines. (for $14 i expected a lot more from this dish)
3. Squab Ramen. This dish was good- second only to the following dish, with a slightly gamey flavor and delicious mini-foie gras and hard-boiled quail egg. The broth was slightly salty, but overall a good choice here!
4. The organic chicken ragout with ramps was delicious
A meal of this as an entree and the ramen would actually make the visit worthwhile. Ramps were delicious and the tenderness of the chicken was perfect. The chef obviously knows what he is doing, and although some dishes were not hits with me, the food was very well prepared.
5. Halibut Ceviche in some sort of basil sauce very good, but the intensity of the citrus flavors drowned out the subtleness of the other delicious halibut and basil flavors.

All in all i would not recommend this place to friends. With the number of choices in this city i didn’t enjoy the overall dining experience enough to warrant a 150 price tag. The food was good and experimental in some of the flavors but it didn’t click here. Although it is classified as Japanese it reminded me too much of Chinese and IMO lozoo did it better... and correct me if im wrong but it didn’t work well there either.

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