Dinner @ Kinoko (W. 72nd St.)
- Mike Spengler
A musical colleague of Jim's, this is a first (but hopefully not last) foray into "food reviewing" so please forgive any lack of real detail.
Kinoko is a Japanese restaurant located at 165 W. 72nd (between Columbus & B'way). Fairly crowded when we got there at about 8pm (a good sign, I thought). Offers both table seating and a sushi bar. (The tables are a little on the small side- we opted to sit at the bar). Pleasant ambiance, even when full.
Food was very good- a real value for the price with ample portions. The included soup/salad was pretty good. My date ordered the "Sushi & Sashimi Combination." At one point, she spotted the chef preparing a platter and remarked "that looks awfully good." As if on cue, he passed it over to her. A real "sushi hound" (& uncannily good cook herself- hopefully she'll make an appearance on Jim's "what I had for dinner" board sometime), she proclaimed it "excellent."
Not being hugely into sushi (but coming along), I ordered the Chicken Teriyaki from the the "Gourmet Box Combination" section. It includes the chicken, hot white rice (side dish), a California roll, shrimp & veggie tempura, & sprouts. Also excellent in my view (although the wasabe could've had a little more "kick" to it, it was still flavorful if not sinus-clearing).
We opted for the "red bean" ice cream- centered in a lightly fried dough w/ whipped cream & a light drizzle of chocolate sauce.
Service was both friendly and very good. (My date was able to substitute eel for something else in her platter). The bill- including the hot sake- came to under $54 for 2 people, and the gratuity is included.
Thanks for the positive response to a 1st time effort.
A trumpeter- did a bit of touring in the '80's (didn't we all??) Play jazz (like Jim- when I can), some classical, but also Orthodox Jewish weddings (like Jim- when I have to- unlike Jim, I have to more often than not... but it's okay, the mortgage is being paid...:-)
In that spirit (& keeping on subject here)- as a kosher Japanese restaurant, I can also recommend the "Eden Wok" on the same block (a little closer to Columbus Ave. on the same side). Ate there some weeks back before taking a colleague to the Met Opera for his 50th b'day. A little pricier, of course no shellfish, but pretty good nonetheless...
re: Mike Spengler
Mike's too modest to say so, but his touring included a long run with Bruce Springsteen. There was a summer when I was doing the jazz festival circuit in Europe with Illinois Jacquet, Mike was playing stadiums with The Boss, and, for some unfathomable reason, the two bands kept paralleling each other.
Mike got to stay in slightly better hotel rooms. But he didn't get to try the superb gumbo at the Stockholm Jazz and Blues festival!
Kosher sushi? Yechhhhhh! But the Hassidic gigs are actually kind of fun. The last remaining vestige of Punk.