Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Tokyo Go Go a No Go

If people are enjoying themselves, does it matter that the food could be better?

John and I asked ourselves this question as we left Tokyo Go Go, a Mission district holdover from the dotcom days. The Prada people still make up the majority of the crowd and multi-ingredient pastel cocktails are still the primary draw, but we had a good meal there a year ago and decided to give it a shot.

I scanned the menu while sipping a glass of Bishonen, an off-dry sake with faint notes of pineapple. I noticed that several signature items were off the menu, but there were some interesting specials. We placed our order and people-watched as we waited.

To our right, a group of inebriated khaki-clad young men left and their table was promptly occupied by a small party led by what appeared to be a Long Island matriarch. To our left sat the cast of a Woody Allen movie. And sure enough, their conversation mirrored the Marshall McLuhan scene from Annie Hall.

The first dish to arrive was spicy tuna rolls the size of futo maki. Unfortunaely, the tuna gave so little heat that the promise of spicy went unfulfilled.

The next roll was no better. Instead of raw fish, the hamachi roll was actually made with the deep fried stuff. Again, it was huge. It was too chewy for me to attempt more than one piece.

Hamachi karaage gave large chunks of yellowtail the KFC treatment. It was advertised as cubes, but in reality they were unwieldy and difficult-to-eat bricks of fried fish. We had to peel off the breading to focus on the nicely flavored, flaky meat. The garlic ponzu was tasty, but nearly overwhelmed the hamachi.

The kitchen barely redeemed itself with two raw offerings. The tuna and salmon tartare set a pile of sesame oil-flavored fish on a dallop of creamy guacamole. This unlikely pairing actually worked. We scooped up tiny portions of fish with puffy rice chips.

The other raw dish was actually lightly cooked. Thin slices of seabass were sprinkled with matchsticks of scallion and ginger, then doused with hot oil and soy sauce a la Nobu. It was the one dish that I could keep eating, but alas, there were merely five slices of fish.

We left full, but not satisfied. A bad meal leaves me in a similar mood. When we got home, I searched the pantry for a bit of chocolate, a piece of fruit, a sip of wine--anything that would awaken and reward my tastebuds. I wanted to restore a sense of well-being, but it was pointless. It's been a long time since I went to bed hungry, emotionally speaking.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]