Hadaka Sushi (review+pics)
- pleasurepalate Jul 11, 2007 01:50 AM
Other than the Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues and the now closed Norman's, I haven't had that much luck so far with WeHo restaurants on Sunset when it comes to their food. For the most part, they seem to be all quite gimmicky - gimmicky enough that I've certainly been sucked in, only to be disappointed in the end. That was certainly the case with Hadaka Sushi.
Once you get past the high school giggles over seeing the words "SEX" in large bold letters when you first enter the restaurant as well as perusing the "Naughty Menu" which includes menu items like "Happy Ending", Bisexual and "Nipple Twister," there's really nothing else that interesting about Hadaka Sushi and that definitely includes the food.
The evening started with our group sharing the Sex Beads, which are edamame tossed with sweet garlic ginger glaze. Very messy to eat, but I wouldn't have minded if the mess equated to flavorful. I didn't really taste the garlic or the ginger, which left nothing but bland on my tastebuds as well as glaze coated fingers that definitely were not finger lickin' good.
For my meal in particular, I ordered one cold appetizer and two sushi rolls. My cold appetizer was ginger-peppercorn crusted tuna bathed in soy-lime vinaigrette on a bed of spring greens, better known as "Turned On Pussy Cat." In short, I certainly wasn't turned on. You could definitely taste the pepper, but no ginger flavors were to be had plus the tuna wasn't tender. In fact, it was a tiny bit chewy.
As for my sushi rolls, if I didn't know before, I definitely know now that I like my sushi to be simpler and not bathed in so much sauce that you can't even taste the fish itself.
The first roll I had was "The O Face", a spicy pussy cat roll (chopped tuna tossed with chili aioli, masago and scallions) topped with tempura rock shrimp tossed with chili aioli. When you see the word "tempura", expectations for the food are that they will be crispy-crunchy.
My tempura rock shrimp wouldn't know crispy-crunchy if it came up and bit them and to make it worse, the shrimp was also over-cooked, which translated to chewy. With the proliferation of the sauce mixed with the tuna and squirted all over the food and the plate, I couldn't even tell that I was eating tuna. Now isn't that a sad state of affairs?
Then my "Happy Ending" sushi roll arrives, which consists of chopped salmon, julienne red onions and mild miso aioli. Eating-wise the red onions were too long. They were sticking out of the rolls like swords plus between the strong onion flavor and the miso aioli sauce, they both overpowered the taste of the salmon. There was just too much happening with this dish and none of it very good.
After a disappointing meal so far, I had hoped that dessert would at least salvage the meal and to that end, I ordered the Banana Play, which was banana foster's bread pudding, ginger-caramel sauce & lychee ice cream. For the most part, even though the dessert wasn't that great, I think it was actually the best part of the meal, although I felt that the ginger-caramel sauce didn't really have that ginger zing to it and I also thought the lychee ice cream tasted more vanilla-like than like lychees.
As you can see the food wasn't a hit. As for the service, it wasn't that inspiring either, especially considering that the restaurant was pretty much empty. Our waiter mentioned a special soup of the day, which someone in my group ordered, only to be told 10 to 15 minutes later, that they don't have that special any longer. Isn't that something the waiter should have checked before even mentioning the special?
Also, a couple members in my group had to leave dinner early, so we requested the check so that they could pay for their share ahead of time. It took about 20 to 25 minutes before the check arrived and than to add insult to injury, when I was ready to pay the bill, which included cash and a credit card, our waiter had his back to us because he was chatting with another waiter. I waited and waited for him to turn around and finally, 10 minutes later, I had to walk up to him so he'd take the check and run the credit card through. What's galling is that the restaurant was half-empty, so this kind of service is even more unacceptable.
When you get both mediocre food and mediocre service, you have tell like it is and unless someone's willing to pay my way for dinner there, I don't have any plans to return to Hadaka Sushi in the near future.
To see pics, go to:
8226 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
Thanks for the great review, as usual. Just as I suspected...
That's funny about the onion swords! :) The pictures tell it all, the tuna and that whole Turned On Pussy Cat dish looks particularly bad.
Thanks for a nice review and taking one for the team. What could these people have possibly been thinking? If this place is still in business three months from now I'll be shocked!
Once again nice review/pics...but too bad the place didn't deserve your efforts. I agree with the above posters. The names on that menu were unbelievably cheesy. If I was a girl, I'd probably like the drink menu. Though the place will probably stay alive as long as WeHo hipsters and scenesters think it's cool.
Hadaka is a complete disgrace - I am sorry that anyone besides myself was tricked into trying it. AWFUL in all the ways mentioned above. Just want to point out that there ARE a few worthwhile restaurants on Sunset in WeHo. Not many, but a few: Vivoli Cafe, Hunan Cafe (both across from Laugh Factory) are not bad. Sushi Park is overpriced but pretty good. Yatai Asian Tapas is good and interesting. I like Les Petits Fours in Sunset Plaza. Il Sole is really expensive but good. It's not a complete culinary wasteland, unfortunately it's overshadowed by theme restaurants like Hadaka, Miyagi's and Saddle Ranch.