Sushi Taro recs
I am headed to Sushi Taro on Friday for the first time since its revamp. I know the menu changed and now favors Kaeseki, but is this the only option?
I have heard there is surprisingly little fish on the Kaeseki menu, and I am really in the mood for sashimi.
What is my best option here?
Anyone have any current experiences they can share? Thanks
apologies for digging up an old post...
i went to sushi taro for the first time in a few months (last time was during the summer), and i'm a bit alarmed. the food/service was not up to its usual standards. Has something happened recently?
First of all, I was easily able to get a reservation Friday night, which I thought was a bit odd - but grateful nonetheless.
I don't go there enough for them to recognize me, and I was expecting the waitress to give the usual spiel about kaiseki/omakase etc..., but she left us alone with our menus. At one point we wanted to order - past times I've gone there, they've insisted on taking our order, not tallying it ourselves on the piece of paper, so this was the second signal that something was different. Don't get me wrong, I happily went through and ordered individual nigiri. There were rolls on the paper, but we had to write in the sashimi and the special Japansese sushi on the side margins. Have they reversed their tact in terms of trying to be uber sophisticated (back to pre-renovation)?
To the food, the fish did not appear to be as fresh as it usually is. In the selection of nigiri, the mackerel and snapper were lacking the usual freshness and crispiness. The wagyu beef was also sloppily cut and lacked the smoky flavor. Ok, even the tamago (egg omelette) was sloppily branded. my past experiences have been memorable and special. The fish/beef here was disappointing.
As for the service, we didn't get our water or tea refilled until we ran out of both. Not the last straw, but i was getting thirsty.
Lastly, i noticed that they were running specials during the week. Are they struggling? This isn't something I've thought they had to do to drum up business...
I'm certainly a sushi taro loyalist, i still think its the best place in the area, but this visit disappointed me. Its not the last time I will go here, but I have higher expectations than what I experienced. I still recommend this place and would rather not start a flame war, but was wondering if others had similar experiences recently.
Tom Seitsema did a great and thorough review in the Post. I'm actually going to the revamped version of the restaurant for the first time on Saturday, and booked a spot at the chef's table (i.e. sushi counter, omakasse), so that's another option, in addition to the kaiseki or a la carte option. Most of the reviews I've read where people ordered a la carte only were not favorable.
I am a little confused by the sushi counter menu and would love some help in understanding this. The reviews said that even at the sushi counter they serve not just sushi but other things. Are those included in the minimum price? Is the variability in price about $100 based on the amount of actual sushi you get? Does sushi/sashimi have a good selection? I do not like cooked fish - do they cook/sear some of those? Can you pick suhsi as you go or do you select it all at once? Thank you.
Sure, it's like this: the price in minimally $100. It goes up depending on what sushi and sashimi you get. My total was $115, including dessert, and I did not deny myself anything I wanted.
They serve at least 6-8 courses at the sushi counter, possibly more - there's soup, an interpretation of a bento box, sea urchin, a gigantic baked oyster, waygu beef, a live scallop, snow crab, and more, and it changes. I think maybe about 5 courses in you get to the sushi course, where, in addition to the sligtly later sashimi course, they lay out an absolutely gorgeous display of fish in front of you, and you just point at what you want and they slice it for you then and there. These are the only two courses that you select. There was a box of tuna - lean to fatty, several types of mackerel, salmon, yellowtail, shrimp - really, anything you can think of. Whatever you like, they have it.
(Again, I know you said you don't like cooked fish, but I'd make an exception for the seared fatty tuna).
You can tell them about restrictions you have, but if you are an unadventerous eater, I'm not sure if you could really tell them that you don't want to eat crab mustard, live scallops, monkfish pate, oysters, sea urchin, etc., etc., as that would knock off something from about half the courses, but I will say this: everything is top of the line. I wouldn't necessarily eat sea urchin anywhere, or, say, monkfish pate, but I'll eat it there. I actually *like* sea urchin there. The only restriction I'd make next time is that I'd pass on the giant baked oyster that is so large that it requires a substantial amount of chewing. And everyone says the anchovies in the bento box are kind of bitter and strange tasting.
More than anything, it's like going to the chef's table at any restaurant, where there is a set prix fixe menu, but there are these extra two courses where you get to pick the fish that you want.
Hope that helps!
i went there a couple weeks ago for the first time since their reopening. there's a kaiseki menu and an a la carte menu. don't worry, there are plenty of excellent nigiri/sashimi choices you can order instead of ordering kaiseki. when i went, they had a fugu tasting special also. the variety of fish is more extensive and very interesting (compared to their already great previous menu). the biggest difference is that there's only a few maki on the menu.
i'd recommend trying the white salmon, mackerel and snapper nigiri / sashimi. the nigiri i had was visually impressive, and the taste/texture were excellent. enjoy!