Azuma

219 E Hartsdale Ave. Hartsdale, NY 10530 • (914) 725-0660azumasushihartsdale.com

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LA caliber sushi in Westchester? Yes. And by “yes’ I mean VERY yes.

After hearing a glowing reco from a local restauranteur, we decided to give Azuma a try and I have to say, the skeptical expression was wiped clean from my face bite after incredibly fresh bite. In fact, even the word bite is a bit of an overstatement because you don’t even need your teeth to break through the fish. Your lips will do just fine, it’s that fresh.  So fresh there are only a handful of places in NYC that even compare- and nothing I’ve had in Westchester even comes close. That said, I haven’t been to Nanase, so TBD on that one.

As for what we had, well, the Omakase, of course. And WOW! Not a single miss on the plate.

Service is very friendly. And the prices are not to be believed. Hard to comprehend that other people found it pricey. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a sushi restaurant of this caliber and paid less than four times the price.

So, why not 5 knives you ask? I want to. I REALLY do. But the decor, which again, hard to believe others praised, is rather run down and outdated. The chairs are uncomfortable and the music is horrendous. I mean so bad the next time I go I might wear headphones. Like bad elevator music… from the 80’s.

But enough about the music and decor. Azuma is a jewel despite it all. And I am already planning my return- which can’t be soon enough.

P.S. I went again, and I stand by my word. Plus, the music was MUCH better this time. So I’d upgrade it to 4.5 knives if I could.

4 teeth

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Bareburger

265 N Central Ave. Hartsdale, NY 10530 • (914) 949-2900 •  bareburger.co

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While I like the whole natural burger concept and the décor is a faux rustic cool, that’s about as far as my praise can go.

Oh wait, I forgot that the onion rings were quite good. I think they are breaded in an herbed batter similar to that used on mozzarella sticks- but it is WAY better on rings.

Okay, now for the rub. First, the kitchen is tragically slow, making an outing with hungry, tired kids something akin to waterboarding for parents. Fortunately the server was friendly and accommodating.

The other drag, and the much more serious offense, is that nothing other than the rings made it above the “eh” mark, and I even had their best seller, The Roadhouse, with its recommended bison patty and brioche bun.

Wifey had the Mediterranean and it was pretty bland I have to say. Westchester Burger Company’s version blows it away.

And the fries sort of reminded me of In and Out fires, but in a bad way. A little cardboard-y.

Plus, the burgers on the kids menu are so friggin’ small, they’re even too small for kids! My son blew through his in about 6 bites and needed to order a second, from the turtle-paced kitchen.

Even the oatmeal cookie, baked apple ice cream sandwich for dessert was so underwhelming that between all for of us, we didn’t even finish it, and it’s not huge by any stretch.

Now, if I haven’t managed to sway you yet, I saved the best, and by that I mean “grossest,” for last. The bathrooms. They were so filthy it was like someone has a water balloon fight in them, only instead of water in the balloons, they used urine. Nothing like an unsettling trip to the lavatory to wash your hands before you eat, only to find yourself feeling even more dirty than when you entered.

Sorry Bareburger, but I don’t think I can bear another visit.

2 teeth