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Jun 8, 2010 09:49 PM

Ninja New York?

Ok, so a friend of mine wants to take me to Ninja New York. Considering that I am of the belief that even some restaurants can be somewhat decent and that every restaurant should be given 2 if not 3 chances (don't you dare judge, Ellen's Stardust Diner awesome), I'm curious of what to possibly expect. For those of you who are willing to post, please only do so if you have actually been there recently, I have no interest of what your experiences were like 4 years ago. Furthermore, for those who think that they can do it, I would love a balanced review, i.e. what are the good AS WELL AS the bad. Thanks all!

Ellen's Stardust Diner
1650 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

Ninja New York
25 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. Wow I figured a question about a theme restaurant would result in tons of answers and rants, is no news good news in this case?

    17 Replies
    1. re: hungry_fox

      Ninja is probably the single dumbest restaurant in the entire city; I doubt you'll get much in the way of positive comments.

      1. re: hungry_fox

        You ask "please only do so if you have actually been there recently". No one on a board dedicated to good food and quality dining experiences would visit such a ridiculous, child-oriented place. So don't jump to the conclusion 'no news is good news'

        1. re: chow_gal

          so you condemn it w/out ever trying it?

          1. re: thew

            ABSOLUTELY! I'm not about to waste $50 on schlock. Opportunity costs even higher.

            1. re: chow_gal

              i try to tell my 5 year old not to judge things without trying them first......

              1. re: thew

                Are you inviting me ? I'll try it on your dime.

                1. re: chow_gal

                  I'm with you chow_gal, will visit only if someone invites me on their expense account... or maybe with an 80% off Groupon.

                  1. re: chow_gal

                    oh, i fully expect it is crap. I just found your pronouncement over the top. E.G. I went to mars 2012 for my birthday one year. knowing it would be mediocre crap. just for the goofy fun of it. So to to say no one on CH "would visit such a ridiculous, child-oriented place" is just not true. (and was a birthday in my early 40's if you're wondering)

                    Not all enjoyable dining experiences need be "quality dining experiences"
                    silliness counts too, even for chowhounds. too much sanctimony doesn't seem to make for a happy life

                    1. re: thew

                      As a Chowhound, I'd much prefer to eat at McDonalds rather than at a subpar mediocre restaurant. If I'm going out and spending the $, the food better be amazing, especially in NYC (there's just no excuse!), otherwise, I can just cook at home. To me, going to a restaurant that overcharges for mediocre food in NYC is sort of like voluntarily going to an Applebee's or Olive Garden - you just feel robbed afterwards. (Sorry I'm a bit ridiculous when it comes to eating out. But that's the way I function.)

                      1. re: thew

                        I see Lucky Chengs and Sammy's Roumanian in your future.

                        Sammy's Roumanian
                        157 Chrystie St, New York, NY 10002

                        Lucky Cheng's
                        24 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009

                        1. re: Bob Martinez

                          sammy's used to be a blast to go to. i haven't been in 20 years or so, but i always had a good time there. And you know what? - i'm not ashamed to admit it.

                        2. re: thew

                          Not about sanctimony, just about good food: What were the tastiest and most recommendable things you had at Mars 2012?

                          1. re: squid kun

                            it was close to a decade ago, so i can't really say.

                2. re: chow_gal

                  Perhaps you should not "jump to conclusions" when declaring that no one the board would visit such a place - I've visited, and I agree that it's not a good restaurant and the food is subpar, but to make the assertion that people who like good food & fine dining don't sometimes end up in crappy restaurants is a bit narrow minded.

                  1. re: christinaemcc

                    I wouldn't say it's narrow-mindedness, it's the result of unfortunate circumstance and foodies accidentally led astray by non-foodies or people who have opposite/terrible taste. ;)

                    1. re: Noodle fanatic

                      or, who read bruni's review and just had to see it for themselves. it sounded so cheesy adn the food so bad, i had to try it. food was blech... the "show" was appropriately cheesy. but with a good group of people and enough booze, we had a great time...

                3. I was there 2 months ago (end of March), and I can say that the food is mediocre, at best. I am in no way, shape, or form a qualified foodie, and I certainly am not a sushi expert, but even the miso soup was a fail. I got some beef teriyaki roll, it was awkward - cooked beef wrapped in rice - the beef was tough & chewy. I also split some chicken dish and the plate was broken up into different parts of the chicken (breast, leg, wing..?) - even the display was unappetizing. It was a "good time" in the fact that my dinner companions & I were there more for fun & drinks than the cuisine.... sometimes you just gotta let go of your pretensions and have a tipsy night at a theme restaurant, it happens. Don't go for the food, but if you've got kids or you wanna ACT like a kid for a night...go, it's not the worst food you'll eat, but it's far from the best you'll eat.

                  1 Reply
                  1. Thanks to almost all who have been posting, I wasn't exactly expecting much for a theme restaurant such as this one but I've never been one to refuse an experience even if it may not be the best. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with acting like a child and having some fun while eating mediocre food, it's definitely worth the experience regardless.

                    Finally, I just want to point out that yes people on this board are "dedicated" to good food and quality dining experiences; and as a result, during my years as a Chowhound, I've seen probably hundreds of posts about people who went to a "fine dining restaurant" and spent well over $50.00 on schlock. Bad food can be found anywhere, not just at theme restaurants, much like good food can be found anywhere even occasionally at theme restaurants.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: hungry_fox

                      Have fun. Make sure to report back.

                      1. Have not been there personally, but the general consensus is quite negative unfortunately:

                        Any way you can tell your friendly gently that you'd rather be taken somewhere else? There's Matsugen nearby and En Japanese Brassiere not too far away if it's Japanese you're seeking, both of which I highly recommend... it would be a pity to waste your friend's money on an establishment like Ninja, unless said friend is a client that you really don't feel comfortable potentially offending? I have not tried the place, but I'm one of those foodies who won't normally step foot inside a restaurant I haven't done research on, even if it means checking Yelp on my phone quickly while out and about when someone suggests a place I'd never heard of in case it turns out to be terrible. I just refuse to go in blind. Manhattan has way too many good restaurants for me to waste my time and $ on the bad ones. (I hear you chow_gal - opportunity costs!) The fact of the matter is, you've been told where you'll be going in advance, and have the empirical evidence (Yelp/menupages/Bruni) to show that it won't be good - the wisest move would be to politely offer an alternative since after all, your friend's the one who's trying to take you out and surely would rather you have a good time? I get that you're willing to give restos 2-3 chances, but what I've come to learn in my time of giving restaurants chances, is that if more than 50% of the reviews are negative, it's 99% not worth it.

                        1. Thew I'm glad to hear you're willing to be silly but lets not forget that while the average theme restaurant is usually acceptable in some way, Mars 2012 doesn't even rank well enough to be considered sub-subpar,

                          As for my review, unfortunately you will have to wait as the plans fell through. However, after this whole debate, now I'm determined to actually go there and I promise a review once I do.