Went there on Satuday (8/5) for dinner - overall an excellent restaurant but we wished the pushed the envelope more.
We started with a fluke sashimi and yellow beet carpaccio. Little dots of raspberry-ume sauce matched the olive oil well. A good appetizer to split.
I chose their summer special 3 course meal for $50 with wine pairing. My SO had two appetizers. Here's the breakdown:
3-course first: heirloom tomatoes with smoked new zealand sea trout: lots of resh tomatoes and well-smoked trout. they got the temperature right
Marinated slamon with ikura: The salmon here was excellent as well, and the SO raved about the ikura. They flavored it with something (soy?), and it was awesome.
3-course main: big eye tuna tataki-style with pepper salsa and potatoes. well-cooked here as well - the potatoes tasted like the ones you get in a japanese croquette. the pepper salsa sauce was delicions
tuna tartare: solid - the wasabi creme fraiche was great
3-course dessert: strawberry mouse with raspebrries: very good as well
apple dumpling: this came recommended and was excellent.
Overallm, the dinner was professionally done and well-server. $50 for the 3-course meal was really a great value. The $80 omakase was sold out that night, but we tend to prefer the seafood over the meat in the table next to us that had the omakase.
The wines with 3-course meal were not that great- the wine list does seem to be a problem. I enjoyed the Bianchi Pinit Grigio with the first course. The others were not spectacular at all.
We both liked the restaurant and would go back. We only wished they would try a little more inventive food and push the envelope a bit. The chef has plenty of talent, and the restaurant really is a peaceful beautiful place. At sunset, the view from the front was beautiful.
I was pretty disappointed in this restaurant. Not terrble, but certainly not exciting either, and spiked with misses. (Why was the kobe beef app. buried under cheese? And avoid the too-sweet black cod entree.) What gives? I get the feeling there's lots of false hype floating around on this place (kind of matches the 'friendly' but truly 'hard sell' approach of the staff).
It changes the pH, for sure. This is quite popular in Japan, the "alkalinized" water which is said to be good for health, digestion etc. From reading Pavement's meal description, and choice of a Pinot Grigio, I wonder if a good sake with high acidity and medium sweetness (say, +3 on the SVM scale) would have been in order? Does Bushi-teil have sake on the menu?