after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Raw Fish Day: Pod and Morimoto Deliver the Goods

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t says: I had the opportunity to visit both Pod and Morimoto recently. Rather than do a full-on review of each, I figure it’d be fun to compare-contrast the two.

I went to Morimoto with cm for lunch (6/2010). The inside was as swanky as I remember, but for some reason, it was quite empty! Who knew that lunchtime would be so dead? I hope this is not a sign that Morimoto is on the decline!

We sat at the sushi bar where we observed some cookery of a squid – very interesting stuff. After staring at it staring at us for a bit, we decided it was time to eat. We each ordered the chirashi sushi. On one hand, this was a little lame, ordering the same thing, but who can say no to ordering sushi when you’re sitting at the sushi bar? I had originally had my eye on the far less expensive pork belly ramen, but I figured that I ate enough pork belly at Percy Street to last me a month; in the name of health, I went for the raw fish. It came with miso soup and a salad that was quite tasty. Neither of us could really identify the components of the dressing, but it had a nice salty and sour flavor. The main dish featured layers of sea-weed, rice, and assorted raw and cooked seafood (the shrimp was cooked). What surprised me the most was the size – there was a lot of fish, and there was a lot of food! I thought I was still going to be hungry, but I was not – I even left some rice because I wanted to avoid food coma! There’s not really much I can say about the dish aside from it tasted like deconstructed sushi. The fish was spot-on, the rice was wonderful (and was studded with small bits of mushrooms). There were these delicate shreds of egg that I’m still not sure how they did. In any case, it was a satisfying meal that made me wonder if I could somehow eat there for lunch every day.

Pod was a little different. Whereas Morimoto’s interior was chic yet edgy, Pod’s was … gaudy. There were a lot of colored lights, which was somewhat distracting given that they do keep the place a little on the dark side. I will admit that the loungey red leather sofa-esque things looked intriguing (I kind of wanted to sit on them), but the rest of the place looked like a cross between Continental and Morimoto. Or maybe that’s what it’s supposed to look like? Cheesy? As we walked to our table, I was reminded of my personal mantra: “I’m never going to Pod unless someone else is paying.” But tonight was different …

The built-in seats (we were seated against a wall, so the seats were built-in like booths) were moderately comfortable. The atmosphere was … “energetic” (fortunately, g and I could lean in so we heard each other just fine). Does this sound like it’s going to be a horrible time? It sure does. But the story took a turn for the better – and there are two reasons why … The first was our server who was very nice and had a great attitude. He made multiple trips to ensure that we were happy with our food and that we didn’t need anything more – I like that. The second, more important factor was the “special” of the day: all-you-can-eat sushi for $25. There were 8 or so hand rolls, 8 or so nigiri, and 8 or so maki rolls that you could choose from; you could choose as much as you like of whichever you like. Me – I’m a big fan of nigiri – rice, fish, and wasabi – that’s all I need (and maybe a half-a-drop of soy sauce)! So that’s what I went for. I tried some salmon, some tuna, some yellow-tail, some eel, some fluke, some sea bass … thirty-eight pieces of sushi later (that’s 34 pieces of nigiri and 4 pieces of rolls that g needed some assistance with), I came to the conclusion that the quality of sushi was pretty good (obviously good enough to eat 38 pieces worth). Furthermore, it’s kind of a “deal”, if you think about it. At Pod, one order of nigiri is two pieces and costs around $6. Of nigiri alone, I consumed approximately $100. Of course, Pod is ridiculously expensive (which is why I refuse to eat there unless someone else pays for it … or if it’s all-you-can-eat night), so perhaps a more reasonable estimate of the damage is $70 (and tack on a few bucks for that roll I helped g with). Still, I think that I made it worth it.

So, what’s the conclusion? If I’m picking out a place to go to eat, I’m going to choose Morimoto nearly every time. The atmosphere is better. The food is great. And really, for $20, I had a very nice lunch – the kind of lunch you could bring home to mom … Be that as it may, even the mighty Morimoto may have trouble if faced against a Pod all-you-can-eat night. The fish at Pod, while maybe not quite as awesome as Morimoto (I had some fluke that was a little dry, but the yellowtail and salmon were great!), was still solid. The volume of fish consumption is just so much larger at Pod, and unfortunately, size matters. Consequently, Morimoto and Pod hold two special, yet different, places in my heart. One, I’ll go to when I’m looking for great-tasting food – it’s the food that I actually wouldn’t mind paying a lot of money for. The other, I’ll go to when I’m looking for the ability to eat myself into oblivion … on a budget.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

22 June 2010 at 11:14pm

One Response

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  1. Ahh, Morimoto with cm. Been there. I will say that Pod isn’t bad for drinks after work (if someone else is paying), and that their crab spring rolls are DELICIOUS. Otherwise, I’m with you–Morimoto all the way.

    rch

    23 June 2010 at 2:32pm


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