Waka

95 King St. Chappaqua, NY 10514 • (914) 861-2727 • wakafusion.com

photo

I have only actually been there once, so most of this review is based on delivery, which I have done about fifty times. Usually for sushi, although this last time I tapped into their pan Asian offerings and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised on the Chinese. Thai not-so much.

But first let’s get back to the basics. The décor is contemporary and clean. Service is warm and friendly, with that local, small-business vibe about it.

And as for the sushi, it’s pretty impressive by delivery standards. I honestly don’t think we have better sushi delivery in Northern Westchester. In fact, when we lived in the city we didn’t even have better fish. Which is really what makes Waka shine. They seem to always get extremely fresh tuna, salmon and yellowtail. Eel is cooked so it doesn’t count.

They also have a ton of inventive rolls, but freshness is obviously the true measure of a Japanese restaurant. You can always hide sub-par fish beneath a gaggle of maki companions and still make it taste good.

So apart from Azuma in Hartsdale (haven’t tried Nanase yet), there’s none better in the burbs.

And to think that they can pull off Chinese well too? Two hats off. The Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce was on point and so was the crispy shrimp with pineapple. Haven’t ventured into their lo mein as of yet. Or any of the other Chinese, staples, but I will, so stay tuned.

Unfortunately they fall WAY short of the trifecta, however. Their Thai needs some serious help. Both the pad Thai and red curry beef tasted like the cardboard partition they stick in the delivery bag.

But please don’t let that discourage you from giving them a try, after all, doing two things well is still mighty hard. Heck, Michael Jordan couldn’t even do it!

3 teeth

Bareburger

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

images

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