NEW JERSEY MONTHLY July 2014 223
BY MICHAEL, Inc.
Box 69, Millburn, NJ 07041
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Speaking of specials, many of the
menu’s special rolls deserve the appellation. For example, the Peter Roll
(spicy scallop tartare, tempura chips and
cucumber wrapped in yellowtail and tuna
and topped with wasabi-infused flying-fish roe) and the Caribbean Roll (eel and
cucumber wrapped in mango and tuna).
Also special, in the standout sense, are the
house-made wasabi and pickled ginger.
Ask for them, otherwise you’ll get the
familiar (if perfectly acceptable) commercial kind.
The kitchen is not quite as consistent as the sushi bar. On the OMG!
side was agedashi tofu—warm cubes of
silken tofu fried in the sheerest coating
of clingy potato starch and served in a
warm, comforting dashi broth. It was
perhaps the best cooked dish I have had
in a Japanese restaurant. An appetizer
special of squid tempura was astonishingly tender, rivaling the best Italian-style fried calamari.
On the other hand, classic negi-mayaki—scallions wrapped in beef
and broiled—on one visit came out wet
inside and dry outside, with little flavor
inside or out. Another time, the dish was
everything this classic should be—moist,
meaty, flavorful. Oyako donburi, a bowl
of rice topped with an omelet of chicken,
onions, scallions and egg was seriously
overcooked and under-seasoned. Tonkat-su (breaded pork cutlet) served with
steamed broccoli and carrots was dry.
As for service, on one busy night, the
paper wrappers from our hand towels
sat on the table right through dessert.
We were never offered tea, our water
glasses sat empty most of the evening.
Did we care? Not really. We were
glad we had a table. There wasn’t an
empty seat in the house, and people
were standing by the door.
(Continued from page 215)