the food at Kotobuki doesn't indicate any Jewish heritage. instead, it's more like Asian fusion cuisine. at a very reasonable price. the only reason the restaurant doesn't "speak" to me is because i'm not a big sushi roll person. i usually go for the basic and plain options (yellowtail, Boston, Alaska, etc.) or else i go straight for sashimi. but if you're a big fan of crazy and inventive sushi roll combinations, then Kotobuki may be just the place for you.
i was at the restaurant at the suggestion of a date. i'd mentioned in conversation that i like Japanese food, so it was a good first step that he remembered my comment and chose Kotobuki for our first date. but he got a slight minus point for not liking salmon, which i am a big fan of. so in that spirit, i tried to order foods we could share that didn't have salmon in it.
i'd heard great reviews about their sushi and sashimi platters, which are served in portions for 2, 3, or 4. the price on these platters is more than reasonable when shared and, based on the pictures on-line, can usually feed more than the allotted people.
first off, i like the little yam noodle side dish they serve at the beginning of the meal. it's a little spicy, but in a good way.
My date chose:
1. Age Tofu ($5): this was actually very good. the sauce was light but flavorful, as it should be. and the outside was crispy but the inside was still tender. i don't order this dish often, but if it's always served this way, i would order it more often.
2. American Dream ($9.50) (tuna, yellowtail, salmon, shrimp tempura, eel, avocado, cucumber, tobiko, and spicy mayo in a blended roll topped with sweet sauce): this was good, although it's really just a mishmash of fish and acceptable western sauces.
1. Hamachi Kama ($9.50): Kotobuki is the first restaurant i've come across that offers this in 3 ways (fried/broiled/marinated). usually, this dish is served broiled. the portion of this dish is huge but it was drier than usual. it also wasn't the most attractive dish to pick at while on a date...
2. Yellowtail Jalapeno ($14): a generous serving with delicate and tangy sauce.
|(photo courtesy of Chopstick NY)|
i would give Kotobuki another try, if only to share a sushi and sashimi platter with friends. seriously, according to the pictures, the serving is very generous. otherwise, i'd rather stick to the less fancy but tried and true favorites on St. Marks.