Archive for October, 2005

Fantasy Sushi (Sunnyvale)

There’s a place in Sunnyvale that serves the best raw fish in America. You wouldn’t go there for subtlety, delicacy, or ambiance; no, you go there for the best fish available in this country.

It’s a controversial experience on 2 points: 1) expense and 2) quantity. Fantasy sushi is very expensive and you will probably leave uncomfortably full. It’s a interesting cross-section of 2 seemingly opposing trends in American cuisine – a little for a lot and a lot for a little – fantasy sushi is a lot for a lot.

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Manresa (Los Gatos, CA) – Round 4

Went to Manresa the other night, had the 21 course affair, and it was the best Manresa meal yet. The chef & i keep in touch so he knows where I’ve been, what I’ve eaten, and what I like; as a result, I think he takes some delight in making dishes I’ll love. It also doesn’t hurt that we seem to have similar tastes.

With this meal, I am declaring Manresa every bit as good as French Laundry for my money. True, Kinch’s cuisine has a focus on fish that I prefer but he’s making great strides. While TFL is a must for any serious foodie, if you can’t get a reservation, do yourself a favor and book yourself a table at Manresa. You won’t be disappointed.

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Bar Crudo (SF) – Fresh Fish in SF

I’m always surprised by the dearth of fish quality here in San Francisco – aside from Ino Sushi which is good but not great, I won’t dare go to any other sushi restaurant here in SF.

So it was with a mix of caution and excitement that I watched Bar Crudo renovate a tiny little space as I walked by every Sat on my way to the farmer’s market. It looks like a small trend among bay area chefs is to downsize and open tiny, intimate spaces (ie, Canteen.) I finally got the chance to try Bar Crudo last night – there are 2 bars that sit about 4 and a room upstairs that can’t be much larger.

Overall, it was pretty good – some hits, some misses, consider it a 2nd-tier Uni (Boston) or Nobu. Perfect if you find yourself downtown after a hard day @ work or Union Square shopping and want something a tad refreshing. I’d suggest going sooner than later because restaurants in that space tend to stay open for around 4-5 months.

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