any recent reviews of sushi couture's tasting menu?
me and my friend absolutely love this restaurant and we are thinking about trying the tasting menu. I have looked around here and could only find some negative reviews from about a year ago? has anyone been recently? please let me know how it was.
Went on Sat hoping for the tasting menu but was told you have to order it 24 hours in advance. Really? It doesnt give any indication of that on their website so I was annoyed. At about 8 pm, the place was pretty much full, and they must have been really understaffed- both out front and in the back because the service was pretty scattered.
As soon as we sat down and ordered a drink, we also put in a call for some edamame and tempura, both which usually can be pumped out within mere seconds, and yet took at least 15 minutes. The rest of the meal followed suit, with our server unsure if we had received our rolls etc. and each dish arriving 15-20 minutes apart (yes, I mean one roll... then 15 minutes later, after probing... the other).
Regardless, this is what we ate:
Edamame- Same edamame as always.
Tempura veggies and shrimp - I liked the batter, which was very light and crispy, however they were gravely underseasoned. Without a lot of the dipping sauce (which isn't particularly salty itself), they bites did not have much flavour.
Soft Shell Crab- This was pretty flavourful, and thankfully seasoned well. The crab was meltingly tender with a super crunchy batter and I loved the mayo-type sauce drizzle that adorned the plate. With a good spritz of lemon and a little of the dip, it was a really delicious dish.
Tako Sushi- Good, basic, but fresh tasting.
Yam Maki -This was just fine. The sweet potatoes were a bit mushy, though the tempura bits helped mediate that a bit. I did find in general, that the rolling was very sloppy, as none of the rolls held up to being grasped by my chop sticks.
Sushi Couture Maki (salmon, scallop, tobiko, spicy mayo)- This really was an interesting and delicious roll. I got a lot of sweet fish flavour, balanced by the generous smear of mayo, and the satisfying pop of the tobiko. It also had a few crunchy sticks of cucumber thrown into the mix, which helped lighten it up a bit. My only main complaint would again be that these rolls particularly were hopeless to pick up. They all fell apart as we attempted to dip them in the soy, and just ended up being a sloppy, soggy mess. A tasty mess, but still a mess.
So at this point, we had only had the above items (not that many items for a sushi dinner, in my opinion), and I was still hungry, however we had been at the restaurant for 1 1/2 hours (a lot for a casual sushi dinner in my experience) and we had to get to a party. I knew it was going to take forever for me to place another order so I said forget it, lets grab some ice cream at Gregs on our way home.
So I was thoroughly disappointed in the service and the so-so food. Has anyone else had these issues?
Ah hungryabbey, your post made me both laugh and cry as I relived the memories of our recent dinner at Sushi Couture. I think that I can unequivocally say that I've never heard worse service in a restaurant - and yet, the food was quite tasty.
I had taken out from Sushi Couture a few times, and eaten there once - great experiences each time. But this one fateful evening, I felt like I walked into an episode of "What Not to Do in a Restaurant". I can't even remember all the screw-ups - 15 minutes before anyone brought menus or water to our table, another 45 minutes till the first bite of food arrived (as my young son said - Mama, why does it take so long to make the food when they don't even have to cook it?), another roll coming out 10 or 15 minutes later, randomly - some of the rolls hadn't even arrived after 2 hours! And throughout, we kept getting up to remind them, repeatedly, that we still didn't have enough chopstix/soy sauce/water/plates, etc. It would have been comical but for the fact that we were starving, and exhausted - and we would have left but we had 4 young, starving kids at the table. At no point did anybody apologize and each time I got up to the table to ask, yet again, for one of the six thousand things they had forgotten, I received a blank stare, a half-smile before I returned to the table to wait for another 10 minutes to get the item (if we were lucky). A couple of the dishes we ordered never arrived - after 2 hours, and repeated reminders, our waiter told us they were out of them - but of course, they were mistakenly on the bill still, until we pointed that out as well!
The food, however, was really good. As much as we were hating every second of the experience, and pretty much falling asleep at the table while starving and trying to pacify our kids, we all had to grudgingly admit that each plate was filled with great fresh fish and nicely fried karaage and tofu.
As we walked out the door, 2.5 hours later (and still hungry), we practically fell over laughing when we saw the sign in the window - a "help wanted" sign looking for waiters/waitresses/bussers and cooks - no kidding!!!
re: peppermint pate
I've had spotty service there that can be chalked up to inexperienced waitstaff and they've definitely been looking for experienced servers for a little while now.
Suffice it to say I went last night, house was packed, and I got out of there in an hour. I ordered about 8 dishes in total too ranging from hot dishes to sushi and sashimi.
All of the food was great, especially the uni.
Let's hope they fill those positions for experienced waitstaff soon. They're so nice there and the food is good. I would hate to see them lose business due to inexperienced servers.
re: Notorious P.I.G.
I'm encouraged to hear you had a good experience last night. Given how good the food was, I'd be open to giving them another try but I'm going to need to hear a few more positive posts like yours before I give them another chance. We couldn't find one person in the restaurant that evening - neither server nor chef - who could make things better for us nor even acknowledge that they were providing us with a wholly unsatisfactory dining experience. I'm about as patient and understanding a customer as any restaurant can ask for, as were the others at the table, but this was sub-par on an epic level.
re: Notorious P.I.G.
I stopped by for lunch yesterday, but the lights were off and no one inside. Weird!
I have noticed a bit of a swinging door in terms of the servers and the service can be slow and spotty at times, but the owner is fantastic and super nice. The food is great too so hopefully they will get a regular and reliable team of waitstaff soon.
re: Notorious P.I.G.
Really?? Do you know why? They always seem to be packed during lunch.
EDIT: Just checked their website and new menu (effective Sept. 4). Some new entrees have been added and across the board price hike to previously existing items. For example, the entrees are all now $3-6 more!
They're changing their menu up and coming up with more adventurous dishes from what I know. They where straddling the line between mid range and cheap before and now they just want to produce higher quality food across the board which is the reason for the price increase.
They where actually never really packed during lunch. Maybe packed on a day here or a day there but overall they where pretty empty during lunch hours. Maybe you got there on days that they where rammed. It was super inconsistent overall though and more frequently leaned toward empty at lunch.
re: Notorious P.I.G.
Ok, thanks for the info. I do support changes that will keep them successful, but most of the new menu options seem to cater to the vegetarian crowd (i.e. not necessarily new/innovative for now). Also, I compared the new menu with the old menu and the price hikes are on the *same* dishes so $3-6 more seems like a huge increase as I don't think the quality will necessarily be higher.
Thanks for this post. I'm definitely going to try their omakase - it sounds like a great deal. I kind of forgot they even offered that. Whenever I go there, I always get the chirashi sushi. There are about six different kinds of fish, always fresh and tasty, and one or two of them come seared on the outside and drizzled with garlic oil. I think it's really delicious and great value at $13.95. I always go back for it.
I just went. Fantastic deal at $39 per person!
1. A tempura shiso leaf stuffed with mackerel, a piece of eggplant with miso, a few slices of stuffed jalapeno with rice and some kind of fish (can't remember what it was)
2. Sashimi course - hamachi, lobster, butterfish, salmon roe - hamachi was so buttery, the salmon roe was so fresh and tasty!
3. Cooked course - miso black cod with shoe string potatoes - totally fine, but nothing to write home about.
4. Nigiri - Horse mackerel (lots of ginger and scallions), tempura eel with avocado and .. something else, can't remember what. It was all really good.
5. Sushi burgers - panko crusted balls of rice, split, with scallop sashimi, lettuce and mayo. Really good, kind of reminded me of a chicken burger but in a good way (probably the breading + mayo + shredded lettuce combo).
6. Sushi couture roll - a california roll, with broiled salmon + cream sauce, + scallops and tobiko. Really good, but we were getting stuffed at this point.
7. Tempura banana + green tea ice cream - perfect ending to this meal.
The pacing was perfect too. Good service. I can't wait to go back!
Thanks everyone, we didn't end up getting omakase this time due to time constraints, but had a bunch of rolls and nigiri. Fresh and tasty, especially the Couture roll.
I had the omakase in Aug '11 when there were still some cooked courses, and thought it was a good value. The menu now does say "sushi and sashimi omakase" (I think), so it seems likely they've moved away from including cooked foods, or at least are freeing themselves to only do cooked courses when they feel like it.
I had the omakase not-so-recently (a year ago) and it was good value for $39. I can't comment on the higher-price-point omakase that people were requesting at that time.
You've probably seen this particular menu progression elsewhere - we had:
Aji tempura (sandwiched between shiso leaves); ankimo (monkfish liver); baked mussel with cheese
Baked scallop in shell with cheese and lemon
Sake shooter (Sake, raw oyster, uni, quail egg, tobiko); sea bream sashimi (from Japan); butterfish sashimi (with garlic oil)
kampachi nigiri (amberjack)
Sea bream nigiri (from Greece)
B.C. tuna nigiri (with garlic oil)
hotate with uni nigiri (raw scallop and sea urchin)
butter yaki maki
Sushi Couture maki
unagi tempura nigiri
green tea cheesecake (from Japan)
Am now curious about the all sushi omakase...
re: Wench Foraday
It's not an all sushi omakase per se, it's more that I think they eliminated the cooked food aspect from the omakase altogether. In fact I think it's called like "just sushi omakase" or something to that effect now. I had it a couple months ago so I can't be sure. A year ago it was more in line with what you had listed above.