Archive for March, 2008

Masa (NYC) – My Best Sushi Meal

How much would you pay for perfection?

Conventional wisdom (mine included), among those who have eaten at both restaurants, says Urasawa (LA) is a better experience than Masa at one-half the price. It was a case of the student, Urasawa, surpassing the teacher, Masa. The Masa experience has been derided for its exorbitant price and short duration. If you factor these two variables out, and just focus on the food, I had the best sushi meal of my life at Masa this past February.

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L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (NYC) – Midtown Michelin Meal

Joel Robuchon was named “chef of the (last) century” by Gaunt Millau; garnered more Michelin stars than any chef; and, yet, he might be the single greatest danger to fine dining today. Joel Robuchon, the chef, has influenced countless chefs worldwide with his focus on perfectionism and taste. It is, however, Joel Robuchon, the businessman, whose seems intent on building an empire of L’Ateliers in every major city worldwide. The menus are mostly interchangeable. The restaurants are just homogeneous units, iconic of modern-day capitalism, the same experience no matter where one happens to be. In a world where everything will be merchandised, we can already taste the future today.


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Random Tidbits

Here are some quick reviews of various meals I’ve had over the last few months. I was not in blogging mode for any of the visits; thus, the short reviews. The list is roughly in order of enjoyment.

Pizzeria Mozza (LA) – I was in LA for less than 24 hours but I managed to convince my pho-loving-ten-dollars-is-enough-for-food friends that, yes, this upscale pizza place might be worth it. It probably didn’t hurt that Mario Batali’s name was attached to it. And what pizzas they were! The crust was crunchy and doughy, full of flavor. However, it was the red sauce in the prosciutto pizza that told me I needed to return – amazing stuff – used all too sparingly.

Tailor (NYC) – The opening reviews slammed the place but I found them hard to believe. Sam Mason could do no wrong at WD-50; Read the rest of this entry »

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The Meals of Others IV

I’ve got a backlog of reviews but little time to write them – Masa (NYC), L’Atelier de Robuchon (NYC), Orson (SF) – and by the time I write those, I will probably have a few more to write – Boulevard (SF), Urasawa (LA), La Toque (Bay Area), and maybe more.

For now, here are some reviews I’ve read lately that make me want to jump on a plane and eat.

El Poblet by Cachagua Store – a pub/store somewhere in my neck of the woods went to El Poblet and wrote this entertaining review. Where my review only covered the food, they do a great job of capturing the restaurant in all its glory – including its near strip mall digs.

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