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morimoto or wd-50 ?

Hi Folks,

I was to WD-50 several years ago and loved it.
But I have not bees in some time.

I have never been to Morimoto.

I'm going with a couple of friends for a special dinner, and all involved would enjoy either cuisine.

Assuming we go with omakase (morimoto) or tasting menu (wd-50), which would you regard as the winning experience?

pauli.

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WD-50
50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

Morimoto
88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

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  1. morimoto is to my mind very over rated. i had omakase there once (~2 years ago) and was sorely disappointed. it wasn't even as good as nobu or megu, which i don't think are good money for value to begin with.

    wd-50, on the other hand, is very nice and interesting.

    1. I've been to Morimoto twice in the past year, and enjoyed both the omakase and ordering a la carte. We sat at the sushi bar both times. Beautiful restaurant, and the coolest restrooms anywhere!

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      Morimoto
      88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

      1 Reply
      1. re: ellenost

        that might be important; we didn't sit at the sushi bar. maybe it's our mistake.

      2. I'd go with WD-50 over Morimoto any day of the week. Both style are way different, and if your friends are real foodies they'll enjoy WD-50. Oh yeah, go for the tasting menu, for sure!

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        WD-50
        50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

        Morimoto
        88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

        1. Basically I want to go to the one that's "at the top of their game."

          My concern at Morimoto is that since he's a star and has several restaurants, the experience would be a pale pale comparison to being a judge on the original all-japanese Iron Chef, of which I was such a fan.

          But WD-50 has been around a while, so I was curious if maybe they were being outshone by the newer restaurant.

          Anyhow, as a group of 4, I don't want to sit at the sushi bar. And if I have to carefully navigate some in-the-know gotchas to get the good experience, well these days that sort of thing is rubbing me the wrong way. I currently favor places where every guest is important.

          So far sounds like WD-50 is in the lead, but keep it coming....

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          WD-50
          50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

          Morimoto
          88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

          2 Replies
          1. re: pauliface

            I haven't been to Morimoto, but as far as WD-50 goes, it ranks as one of the most pleasurable dining experiences of my life—even moreso than Per Se, which was also wonderful.

            Wylie is still very involved and in the kitchen most nights, so if you actually care about having the namesake chef oversee your food, WD-50 beats Morimoto hands down. Alex Stupak, WD-50's famed pastry chef, recently left but I really doubt the dessert quality has suffered.

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            Per Se
            10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

            WD-50
            50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

            Morimoto
            88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

            1. re: loratliff

              Thanks. Sounds like WD-50 has not faded, then. Nice to know.

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              WD-50
              50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

          2. Save your money and don't go to Morimoto. Sat with the head sushi chef, let him do his thing, and frankly, it was fair at best. And VERY VERY expensive to boot.Try Sushi Yasuda instead. Half the price and incredible food!!

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            Sushi Yasuda
            204 E 43rd St, New York, NY 10017

            Morimoto
            88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

            5 Replies
            1. re: sockster

              Thanks. Tried Yasuda once long ago (lunchtime) and was unimpressed, I have to say.

              My favorite NYC japanese are Omen, Sugiyama, and Blue Ribbon Sushi. And En Japanese Brasserie gets honorable mention (food is not as good except for the fresh tofu, but the overall experience is always just so nice...)

              But for this occasion I want to go somewhere that my friend the birthday boy has not ever been to....

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              En Japanese Brasserie
              435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

              Sugiyama
              251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

              Blue Ribbon Sushi
              119 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012

              1. re: pauliface

                Unimpressed by Yasuda? Hmmmm. Well what can I say? The #1 sushi restaurant in NY....Try Maialino.

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                Maialino
                2 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010

                1. re: sockster

                  I must qualify my Yasuda statement.
                  It was lunchtime. We sat at a table and did not order omakase, just a couple plates of sushi. Perhaps there were some set courses?
                  So I'm sure we did not see their best.
                  And yet, in a really good place, even a preset plate brought to a table should make one want to return, no?

                  1. re: sockster

                    I do not like the attitude of the management at Yasuda, and Yasuda himself was known as an "eel man" in Japan, not a sushi chef. The eel at Yasuda is good. In general I avoid Yasuda , and go directly to 15 East or Kanoyana.. however, I will be trying the new Niko tomorrow, i hope it's good a Yasuda chef is there. I also heard Yasuda left or is leaving Yasuda.. En Brasserie can be excellent, they have many good dishes there.

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                    15 East
                    15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

                2. re: sockster

                  Well, one doesn't really go to Morimoto for the sushi - go for the prepared dishes, and maybe throw in a small sushi / sashimi mid-course during your meal. The sushi is serviceable, decent quality if a touch overpriced I agree, but it's certainly not their calling card.

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                  Morimoto
                  88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                3. Skip morimoto IMHO. You are paying for the space not great food.
                  There is plenty of great sushi in NYC and WD-50 is a unique experience.
                  Im not a huge fan of WD-50, the food is good, but I am not the type of person that goes ga-ga over presentations and the unique preparations. Id rather have good Japanese.

                  So that is the question, is it a particular type of food you are seeking or is it a restaurant experience you are seeking?

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                  WD-50
                  50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: AdamD

                    In this case, seeking a new place that will make for a memorable evening.

                    For me Japanese is always the ideal. :-)
                    I already have/know some favorites (Sugiyama, omen, blue ribbon sushi, En, Village Yokocho ). I will be trying Kyo-Ya in February, and am excited about that.
                    But for the evening in question, they are booked.

                    So I thought I'd check into morimoto, hence this inquiry.

                    Also a big fan of what is best classified as molecular gastronomy. (WD-50, and elsewhere moto, alinea, saam's bazaar, tapas molecular bar, calima)
                    The place in that list achieve varying degrees of success, but they are always a good fun interesting time. In this, one needs generally to be forgiving because it's experimental. Always a clinker or two even with the best. But I always enjoy it.

                    Of course, if you know a *great* moroccan place, the only thing that would stop me going there would be a new kaiseki place.
                    But since Lotfi's closed, I haven't heard of any Moroccan worth going to...

                  2. I had a very good meal at Morimoto a while ago (and we had a gift card so I didn't mind the high price of $200+pp), but that was only at the chef's omakase bar. I recall ankimo, fugu three ways, a whole Dungeness crab to share, a few ounces of Wagyu steak & half a lobster tail being on my menu. It was far too much food for one person -- but sadly the worst course was the nigiri sushi. It was done as a flight and I watched it being assembled ahead of time and then left on the counter for us for several minutes. And the texture of the rice was off. Too loose and a little dry. The cooked food was quite good, the sushi, though? Sucked.

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                    Morimoto
                    88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                    1. Update!

                      I get the bad vibe about Morimoto.
                      I know what I like and sense that this will be a disappointment.

                      WD-50 is just enough more money than some other things that some in the party are balking at the price. And I just can't see going without doing the tasting menu.

                      You'll never guess where we are now leaning:
                      La Petite Auberge.

                      I've never been but one of our party has been several times and deems it a very cozy place.
                      I took a peek at that menu; I could eat anything on that menu and be very happy. And who doesn't like a nicely made soufflee? Delicious, n'est-ce pas?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: pauliface

                        I've had wonderful dinners at La Petite Auberge. They have a complimentary house salad that is wonderful. I loved the rack of lamb; the souffle was exquisite.

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                        La Petite Auberge
                        116 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

                        1. re: pauliface

                          Wow, you just went from WD-50 and Morimoto style of cooking to an all out boring menu of classic french at that.

                          -----
                          WD-50
                          50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                          Morimoto
                          88 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10011

                          1. re: pauliface

                            Go back to WD-50. See yourself going without doing the tasting menu - because honestly, going a la carte is better, especially with a group.

                            Make your own extended menu: for less than the cost of the tasting, you could do two apps, entree, and dessert each - four courses, plus I'm sure you'll get an amuse and a pre-dessert, and mignardaises... so you'll wind up with more like seven courses. It'll cost less, and if you're all ordering mostly different stuff, you'll wind up trying as much (if not more) than you would have by ordering the tasting menu. And that way it's more fun, you can be interactive with your meal instead of simply everyone being served the same pre-set menu.

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                            WD-50
                            50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                          2. Okay folks, reporting back.
                            We went with an old favorite, En Japanese Brasserie.
                            Old was made new, it was a great experience.

                            Will be posting a trip report shortly....

                            -----
                            En Japanese Brasserie
                            435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014