Positivo

100 Dorado Beach Dr. Dorado, Puerto Rico 00646(787) 278-7217 • http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/puerto-rico/dorado-beach/dining/positivo-sand-bar

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I am positively in love with Positivo. A jack of all trades and a bit of a chameleon, changing from more American fare by day, to Pan-Asian by night and somehow sticking the landing on both. Not that it’s without its misses, but I don’t want to get all negativo, because for resort food, even the misses are pretty impressive.

The setting is relatively standard for a resort of this caliber, situated completely outside with several tables right on the sand. Granted they are the furthest from your servers so should you opt for the better view, just know that attention will suffer a touch.

Of the droves of tasty looking lunch options we split an enormous kale salad that I can’t even imagine eating solo without blowing out your colon from ruffage overload. I liked it very much as it was loaded with goodies to keep it interesting, including corn nuts of all things.

We also had the chips and guacamole, which is the biggest miss of our stay, made surprisingly bland considering the locale. And while there were admirable attempts to make it interesting, they didn’t come through in execution. Nor did the Obsession cocktail, about which I was not very obsessed. It basically tastes like alcoholic coconut water with a spicy rim.

On the flip side, the brisket sandwich with chipotle aioli on ciabatta was pretty awesome. A touch too fatty to be fabby, but the flavors were dynamite!

For dinner the crispy snapper is a must, prepared almost like crispy orange beef, but with fish, obviously. So good. The ceviches are also decent, made very fresh as a ceviche should be, but the octopus was the more flavorful of the two because the halibut needed more lime to give it that all-important acidity.

But stop the presses come dessert, because we have an Ultimato. The grilled mochi is a stroke of brilliance. Caramelized on the top, it almost comes off as a roasted marshmallow wrapped around creamy red bean ice cream. It’s so good it almost makes up for all of the insanity caused by the Puerto Rican Parade in New York City. Almost.

3 teeth

Toku Sushi

2014 Northern Blvd. Manhasset, NY 11030 • (516) 627-7121 • tokumodernasian.com

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While not quite at the level of Makoto in Bal Harbor, Miami, Toku is very much cut from the same cloth. Great high-end sushi in a great high-end mall. And while mall sushi might sound like a very low bar to surmount, I can assure you this is not the Panda Express of Japanese cuisine. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find better sushi on Long Island. But it’s not just the sushi that makes the meal, they do so many other things well from tacos (pictured) to sliders to- we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s cover the basics first.

The service is always friendly and the décor is contemporary, with an expansive dining room, so fret not if you are a walk-in because there is seldom a wait, and even if there is, at least you have good window shopping nearby to keep you busy.

So once you’re done perusing Prada and are seated at your table, it’s your mouth that will take the baton, doing a little shopping of its own, because everything looks and tastes so very good. The sushi and sashimi are always melt-in-your-mouth fresh, and as I hinted above, even the non-sushi items are quite toothsome, like my personal fav, the assorted sliders. Also, be sure to finish off with my favorite Japanese dessert, the red bean mochi (ice cream dumplings wrapped in a thin layer of gelatin). You will love it almost as much as the new Gucci bag you just scored.

4 teeth

 

Momoya

185 7th Ave. New York, NY 10011(212) 989-4466momoyanyc.com

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Sushi restaurants are so aplenty in Manhattan it’s hard to stand out from the sea of options between your local neighborhood joint and the cream of the crop, Michelin star destinations like Nobu and Masa.

But somewhere in the middle lies a vast expanse of Japanese eateries that range from cool to campy. Ones that are better than the average bear (to be read like Yogi), but not quite at the top of the game either.

These are the waters in which you will find the likes of Momoya. A very strong middle-of-the-road sushi restaurant that would easily be tops if it were located in Des Moines.

Fresh fish. Beautiful presentations and a sleek, clean décor. And while I found the pieces to be good, I also found them to be a bit miniscule, which only served to throw off the balance with some of their brines, because with such little fish, the brines easily overpowered most of my bites.

Also, while it was a plus that they carried my favorite Japanese dessert, mochi (ice cream dumplings wrapped in rice paper), the flavors were a touch subtle for my tastes.

So a runaway success it was not, but in Chelsea the options for great sushi are slim. Almost as slim as those tiny pieces of sushi, so if you’re not up for a trek over to Ootoya, I’d say pop a squat and enjoy. But definitely don’t go out of your way.

3 teeth