Noho Star

330 Lafayette St. New York, NY 10012(212) 925-0070nohostar.com

12

I haven’t actually been there. Only ordered delivery. But of the three things I had, two were a solid good, and one was flimsy miss.

First, the good. I enjoyed the Santa Fe crab cakes, although they didn’t have much crab in them. Mostly filler. But flavorful filler, fortunately. Guess they know their filler down in Santa Fe.

The other good thing I had was the 14 ingredient chopped salad. Similar to many a beet and walnut based salad, but chopped to all hell, not unlike something you’d get at a Chop’t, only a touch nicer.

And last but not least, the one that I had the highest hopes for, the tuna sashimi served on a potato pancake with wasabi crème fraiche. Sounds awesome, right? Sort of like a variation on hanabi. Well, one of the main problems is that they don’t know what sashimi means. They give you a chunk of tuna as thick as a ream of paper. It should be much, much thinner, because as a result, it’s too chewy and overwhelms the dish.  The other big issue, is the crème fraiche comes off tasting a lot more like mayo. Maybe because they put too much on. And while they heavied up on the créme, they skimped on the wasabi. Could barely even taste it. Plus, they also put seaweed salad in between the concoction, which only made the dish soggier still.

Nothing “amazeballs” as a friend of mine would say. But a nice big menu that delivers in the area should you need it. That said, so does Five Points right around the corner, so I’d go there first.

2 teeth

Sugarfish

1345 2nd St. Santa Monica, CA 90401 • (310) 393-3338 • sugarfishsushi.com
SugarFish

Sugarfish is aptly named, because in the immortal words of Peter Griffin, the sushi is friggin’ sweet! Not a single miss in the Nozawa Trust Me, which is the biggest of three omakase-like options they offer. And they offer them at a ridiculously reasonable price. 35 bucks for seven courses of top notch sushi. Most places would charge you double or almost triple for the same or lesser fish quality.

Beyond fish so incredibly fresh you don’t even need your teeth to chew it, the other star is the rice. Served warm, unlike most other places, which actually winds up bringing out the flavors and aromas of the fish even more so. Just don’t ask for extra rice, unless you’re 11 years old or younger, otherwise they’ll turn you down as they did to one of my friends who asked. I’m assuming it’s because the chef doesn’t want people drowning his masterpieces with mounds of rice. I get it. A crime indeed.

Among the highs, the best salmon I’ve ever had. The best halibut. And the albacore belly was unbelievable.  On the nit side of the coin, the service is a bit slow, even though it was relatively empty because we ate at such an off hour, which I recommend since they don’t take reservations. Otherwise you could be in for a major wait if you go during the usual mealtime rush.

5 teeth

The Muses

Gialos, Behind the bridge, 85600 Symi, Greece • +30 6958734503
beetroot-salad

While the location is rather unfortunate, across the street from a playground full of screaming kids, the setting is quite lovely with it’s basket lights and lattice work overhead. I just recommend eating at 9:30pm or later, once the screaming has abated.

That said, you might start screaming with delight as the watermelon amuse bouche explodes in your mouth. Not to be outdone by its cheese puff chaser. Right away you know you are in gourmet hands as every single presentation from these two Argentinian brothers is like something you’d expect to see on the plates of Manhattan’s finest. Granted they tend to go a little crazy with the foams, but I’ll forgive them because at least everything was good.

For starters we had a yogurt dish that was so thick and creamy it was almost like cheese, loaded with dried figs, apricots and an assortment of nuts. The other was a tuna sashimi with wasabi, peaches and of course, foam.

For entrees we went with the octopus in a, you guessed it, ouzo foam, placed over a bed of leeks and an orange puree. And while it was good, the real winner was the sea bass with mushrooms, spinach puree and a citric acid- yup, foam. The combination of flavors was perfection.

As for dessert, the chocolate 5 ways was a bit of a let down for me as I was only partial to one of the five ways. Luckily the other dessert was truly something special. Asparagus ice cream with jellied fruit and citrus. So inventive. So unique. So not having anything to do with foam. And such a high note to end on.

4 teeth