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May 13, 2013 10:48 AM

good raw fish and vegetarian options?

it's my birthday soon. but there's a new baby at home so 1) we haven't planned in advance and want something with availability 5/21; 2) we'll fall asleep later so a 5:30 reservation is just fine; 3) we can't wait in line forever because we'll fall asleep; 4) no long tasting menus (see #s 2 and 3 re sleep deprivation) and 5) it better be good because who knows when we'll ever leave the house again.

i've been craving good crudo, and would go to momofuku ssam in a heartbeat, but my partner's vegetarian. similar price point ($50ish pp for food), great raw seafood, and local/seasonal veggies would be fantastic.

many thanks in advance!

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  1. It's kind of a tough call - a good selection of raw fish usually means a seafood specialty place, which often means there are only one or two token (and often boring) vegetarian options.

    For crudo you could do Esca, get the crudo sampler for yourself ($30) and a $20 pasta, but your SO would be SOL, stuck with a salad and only one pasta option.

    Maybe go tapas? Salinas or Casa Mono might be worth looking into, always a number of veggie-friendly dishes at them. But then... probably not much in the way of raw fish.

    Acme has a lot of veggie options, on the other hand - but zero raw fish usually. Maybe there's one raw prep on the current menu, not sure.

    The only other places I can think of that have solid veggie menus but ALSO multiple raw options (usually( are getting above your price point - higher end Italian places like Babbo or Scarpetta. Dovetail, if they happen to have a crudo on the current menu...

    2 Replies
    1. re: sgordon

      Thanks, sgordon. My sister also recommended Dovetail. The reviews on Chowhound are really mixed, and most are from 2008-2009. Can you (or others who've been recently) tell me more about your experiences there?
      Will explore menus for the others...

      1. re: rose water

        Blue Ribbon Izakaya's a good call - don't why I didn't think of them.

        Dovetail is great, and one of the best restaurants for "mixed couples" (i.e. veggie/carnivores) but it's significantly over your budget - it would probably be closer to $80-$100/pp after tax & tip, depending how much you ordered.

    2. How about Japanese at Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya? It's probably closer to $60pp but their amberjack with yuzu is great, as are their salmon, tuna, or yellowtail tartares.

      Does your partner like spicy food? The spicy cucumber with garlic, habanero, and sour cream is fantastic. I also like the shishito peppers and the chilled marinated bean sprouts, served with chili paste and scallions (it kind of reminds me of a Sichuan cold dish. Your partner could also order any number of the vegetable maki rolls or the phoenix roll.

      They also have daily specials that aren't listed online. Last time I went, I got to try firefly squid.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kathryn

        Also look into Montmartre. There's an awesome raw hamachi dish with kaffir lime and apples right now. The wax bean salad is also awesome as is the "reverse" kale tart. I also rather liked the cumin cauliflower on our last visit.

      2. Brushstroke has both a vegetarian tasting menu and plenty of raw fish. The atmosphere is really nice and it should be easy to get an early reservation.

        2 Replies
        1. re: foodwhisperer

          You can't dine at Brushstroke for $50pp, though, unless they've changed their menu recently.

          1. re: kathryn

            You are correct. I didn't see the $50pp limit. Although I was able to share a tasting menu there on one occasion.
            Blue Ribbon Izakaya I will add to the other Blue Ribbon recs