Monday, December 7, 2009

No Domo Arigato, Kata Robata

Published by Commandrea (Andrea Afra) at 11:27 AM

Okay, horrible play on the name aside, Kata Robata is missing something elemental to a good meal, but what could it be?
Color changing bar lights: Check.
Interesting menus with obscure and intriguing dishes: Check.
Chef Manabu "Hori" Horiuchi of Kubo's at the helm: Check.
Informative servers to guide you through the obscure dishes...meh.

I am not one to complain about service as long as I get my food in a timely manner, but I expected our server to at least be able to fake their knowledge of the food they were serving. After all, Chef Hori wouldn't allow his cuisine to be presented by someone who didn't know what it was, right?

Me: How is the lobster bisque?
Server: Um. A little boy ordered it earlier and sent it back half full so...I don't know I haven't tried it yet.

Okay, an honest answer but being that I am a 20-something woman, I didn't see how a child's impression on the bisque would be helpful to me, so I tried it. However, he must have had good taste because it tasted like something from a can with too much Maggi and MSG and the few pieces of lobster lurking at the bottom of the bowl were a letdown.
Now, don't come at me with the whole "Why would you order bisque from a Japanese restaurant?" It was chosen to be put on the menu, so it should have been decent, right?
Plus I needed something rich in my stomach if I was going to be drinking later and it seemed to be the fattiest thing on the menu.

We ordered the miso-marinated black cod collar which was crisp on the outside and incredibly moist inside, but its only accompaniment was a mysterious little red berry, and for $12, I at least wanted to know what the damned fruit was. Yet upon asking the server who delivered the dish what the fruit was he shook his head and smiled apologetically that he didn't know. 'Okay, at least go ask, find out, aren't you curious?' I wanted to say. Nah. I'd just Google it later...

I stopped asking questions and tried to enjoy the rest of the meal which consisted of a tuna carpaccio drowned in a yuzu infused olive oil and a really crazy roll filled with Japanese 'ice fish'- little whole fish resembling translucent bean sprouts with tiny little black eyes. Salty, crunchy, fishy. All of the dishes were interesting, yet I just don't have the urge to return unless we were to sit at the sushi bar and have our inquisitive needs fulfilled. And after some research I found out that the little fruit is called "yamamomo."


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