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taku, on smith street - very impressed

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Restaurants & Bars

taku, on smith street - very impressed

mondaybox | Jun 6, 2005 01:10 PM

went to taku on smith (b/w dean and pacific, in the old pier 116 space) on saturday night for a small late meal.

the food was great - i started w/ a watercress salad with asian pear, sultanas, and - i think - almonds, if i remember correctly ($8), and my gf had a tuna tartare hand roll - very nice, w/ sesame oil, and bird chili mixed in ($6). for main course i had seared scallops (3 of them), nicely caramelized on the outside, and tender and creamy inside, w/ peas and shredded green papaya and topped w/ pea shoots and a yummy creamy citrus sauce ($18). my friend had ramen noodles which had bacon, berkshire pork, pickled radish, nori and bamboo shoots in it, amongst other things ($14). there many other interesting things on the menu, which is japanese-based.

for dessert we shared a citrus parfait ($6), and had some nice teas ($2 per pot, great value) - they get their teas from a tea place in the east village: i had green rooibos w/ ginger and lime, my friend had a green tea w/ cherry blossoms. we had just one glass of wine each (didn't want a bottle as my friend doesn't drink much, but the small list looks good!), cooper's creek sauvignon blanc @ $7.

the place is nicely designed, good clean minimalist aesthetic (and i love their front door!), nice jazz on the PA. open kitchen, which i like, and it is very efficient looking, 3 chefs working away in their nice clean whites! they've a back garden which looks great, i took a peek before we left (we sat inside). the service is good, and friendly. bathrooms are nice, some good details in there - kiehl's products, heavy paper towels. there's an intesting bar area, and kitchen-side seating too. only thing i'd change or add - they could do w/ chopstick rests, but i'm sure they'll think of it soon (oh, the AC was a little too cool where we were sitting, in the window)!

overall a great addition to smith street. price-wise it maybe on the higher end for smith street (apps are $6-11, mains $16-23, plus there's a noodle section around $14; quality-wise it is for me one of the best places on the street, along w/ saul and perhaps grocery: in terms of quality and value i was more than pleased. our total bill for the meal was around $76 after tax and before tip. looking forward to going back and exloring their menu more!

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