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Restaurants & Bars 13

O Ya, then Clio 4/25/08

gini | Apr 28, 200806:37 AM

Buonastella and I snagged two seats at the bar and split a bottle of Rihaku Nigori "Dreamy Clouds" Sake. We decided to try a tasting menu of $100 each. We had a selection of 13 dishes from the nigiri, sashimi, and vegetable sections of the menu.

Kumamoto oyster: Excellent play between briny oyster, crispy watermelon and mild shallot.

Wild bluefin maguro tuna (nigiri): Loved the way the soy braised garlic added a piquant and crispy note to this gorgeous piece of fish.

Hamachi (nigiri): spicy banana pepper mousse was simple yet elegant.

Warm eel (nigiri): The layer of thai basil between the fish and the rice was incredible.

Salmon (nigiri): While I enjoyed the mayonette and wasabi tobiko very much, I thought the searing (blow torching) rendered the salmon unnecessarily flaky. The texture didn't sit well with the wasabi tobiko.

Homemade la ratte potato chip (nigiri): Playful, inventive, and downright tasty when complemented by a slice of perfect truffle.

Fried Kumamoto oyster (nigiri): with a lovely yuzu kosho aioli and a flavorful squid ink bubble, this was an excellent bite.

Scottish Salmon (sashimi): I adored the texture and taste of this fish and the sesame ponzu, yuzu and scallion oil were in perfect harmony.

Kin medai (sashimi): With lemon oil, white soy ginger and myoga - the fish really shown here.

Hamachi (sashimi): I loved the way the fried shallots stood up to the supple hamachi. More thai basil in this one too.

Shima Aji & sea urchin (sashimi): The yellow jack was in harmony with some of the most slippery uni I've come across.

Wild Bluefin tuna tataki: The smoky pickled onion completely overpowered this dish and everything ended up tasting like charcoal.

Grilled sashimi of chanterelle & shiitake mushrooms: these mushrooms were earthy and tender - the homemade soy and sesame froth added much needed spice.

The sushi chefs were entertaining and informative and the wait staff unobtrusive and helpful. I thought overall the flavors were quite inventive and modern. I liked how spicy and bold many of the dishes are, but I would like them to give their blowtorches a rest every once and a while - almost all our nigiri were torched - and really let the flavors of the fish come through. I would definitely return to work my way through the back of the menu - many of their cooked dishes look incredible - but prefer the cleaner flavors for Uni for "creative sashmi" and off-menu inventions - I was rather sad there wasn't one off menu item in our entire "omakase".

That all said, we were still hungry, so we trooped over to Clio for their excellent 5 cheese selection with incredibly interesting jams, honeys, and nuts and a couple of after dinner drinks - Balvenie scotch for me and a ginko bai followed by a frozen hot chocolate (isn't liquid nitrogen cool?) for her.

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