Friday, April 14, 2006

Sorry for the lack of updates. I've been having atrocious weeks at school, with midterms, papers, projects, in conjunction with my aversion to sleep. Last week was HEC, which turned out pretty well. I now know how to discern a good olive oil. I tasted one produced by Fresno State students, which was surprisingly excellent. Ok, onto le food.

DSC_0365.JPGOne of the meals during Spring Break I was more excited about--actually, to think of it, I was excited about all of them--was Nobu (the original one).

DSC_0447.JPGThe decor isn't anything too extraordinary, but it does it's job. I did expect something more "flashy" for Nobu though.

DSC_0454.JPGI liked the ceiling, I guess.

DSC_0453.JPGNow, what's this? No, not a buttcrack, but one of many slit-y cushions hanging above tables.

DSC_0366.JPGA better angle.

DSC_0367.JPGSo I heard that Angelina Jolie was here that night, and I really wanted her and her entourage to sit at the table next to us (pictured above). Alas, it only turned out to be two boring women.

Now, onto the food. We both went with the $120 omakase, mainly because we wanted beef.

DSC_0370.JPGToro Tartare w/ caviar and wasabi

The toro was very fatty and delicously creamy. The wasabi was a great enhancer and the saltiness of the caviar added just the right accent. The Japanese plum was pretty good too. This was one of my favorites of the night.

DSC_0378.JPGKumamoto Oysters with olive oil and lemon

I love oysters, and these were very fresh. Simple preparation and great, but I could've gotten this elsewhere. Can't wait to go to Zuni for some...

DSC_0390.JPGWashu beef, tataki style, with ponzo, scallions, ginger, and grated daikon

This was my favorite of the night. The beef was tataki (flash-grilled), so it was very rare and melt-in-your-mouth. It was so flavorful that it really didn't need any garnishes, but the sauce worked fine. I really could incorporate more of this into my daily diet.

DSC_0397.JPGYellowtail sashimi with Matsuhisa dressing and microgreens

Somehow we reverted back to cold dishes. The hamachi was good, but nothing truly outstanding. The dressing was also overwhelmingly sesame oil-y. I could have done without this and had more beef or tartare.

DSC_0409.JPGMaine Lobster Tempura with (one) Shitake Mushroom, Microgreens, and Creamy Spicy Sauce

This was yet another disappointment. The lobster was fresh and the frying/batter was good, but nothing I could've have gotten at a regular Japanese place. The biggest letdown, however, was the sauce. It was like a "movie without an ending," to quote my fellow rare beef-lover. The sauce was not very creamy nor spicy. It was savory and zesty and had that initial punch, but didn't follow through with any hint of sweetness (which it needed).


Miso Black Cod, marinated for 3 days and 3 nights, with a chunk of foie gras on top

This is the dish that launched a thousand fusion restaurants. The cod was cooked perfectly so that it was smooth and almost airy. The miso-soaked skin was quite good. My favorite part, though, was the foie gras. Closeup:

DSC_0417.JPGSeared, creamy, and delicious. Overall, the miso cod really is good, but a bit undeserving of all the hype it gets. Or perhaps it's just been replicated so many times, or the fact that so many fusion places have ruined it for me.

DSC_0421.JPGSushi (clockwise): toro, medium-fatty; hamachi; scottish salmon; mackerel; snapper

I've always heard that the sushi at Nobu is pretty bad, so I guess my expectations were met. The fish wasn't too great (I was pretty disappointed in the toro) and the rice was falling apart.

DSC_0426.JPGManila clam miso soup

Nothing special. Kiss is better.

DSC_0430.JPGLe Palate Cleanser: lychee granite with gold leaf

Good, but nothing compared to the tangerine sorbet from wd-50 (I'll write it up soon). A big fat shrug. We were not even done with it, and out came the chocolate cake since they were rushed.

DSC_0438.JPGBento box: chocolate lava cake with green tea ice cream

Nobu, have you no creativity? This was certainly a disappointment. Not only was the dessert generic--it was also not all that good! The guy next to us was raving about it, but I felt it was too heavy and sweet. The green tea ice cream was mediocre. They pretty much ended on a bad note.

The meal was alright overall, with a few highlights (tartare, beef, foie gras), but quite disappointing. Another minus was the service. When we got to desserts, we were rushed so they could turn over another table. Well, we pretty much just sat there for 2 extra hours, much to their dismay. You don't rush your customers, especially when you have such a high reputation, not to mention the high prices you are charging them. It's not a fast food joint!

Another busy week coming up but I'll try to update.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

glad to know you're still alive.

is snoop-a-loop coming back to cornell this year?


4/15/2006 4:02 PM  
Blogger Hungry Hedonist said...

HH: glad to know you are as well. Snoop Louise is actually not coming this year; he shall be replaced by Ben Folds, whose melodic guitar riffs and lyrics not about hos may not exactly fit with the liquor-chugging collegiate atmostphere. Kanye West->Snoop Dogg-> Ben Folds??? Surely it can't be! But yes it's true.

4/16/2006 12:19 PM  

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