This review is grossly tardy; about a group of 20 friends came here to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday last year. I had been meaning to come back to follow up but this'll have to do for now.
It was my first experience at an Izakaya. We were one of the first people to show up and were seated promptly to our reserved tables after a server finally showed up at the lobby area. Slowly the group shuffled in and we started running through their menus. We took on several pitchers of mohitos amidst various other mixed and non-alcoholic drinks. Ordering was left to the other dining guests - I believe we ordered a total of 13 different dishes, needing 3-4 of each dish to cover our flock. Creative ingredients with equally artistic plating masked smallish portions. Notables I enjoyed included the Noma Harumaki, a rice noodle roll with crab, mayo and avocado and the Kinoko Meshi, which was a rice dish cooked in a hot stone bowl tableside, cracked egg and all. The Yubi Spinach and Kabocha Salad were a refreshing palette cleanser. The more usual lineup of Ebi-mayo, the Ahi Tuna Sashimi, the udon and various other dishes supplemented us partygoers.
Service was clearly the sore point of the evening. We had 4 different servers for the night but couldn't be consistently counted on outside of them delivering our food and drinks. A few of us gave a couple of them ample time to bring extra napkins, plates, flatware and drink refills to no avail. Excellent disappearing acts. We ended up having a server waiting on a neighbouring table to see to us. Our servers were mildly friendly but lacked social skills.
Decor is modern, great vibe with the buzzing patrons, but the obnoxiously loud techno music in the background was a nuisance.
Their menu is inspiring and the dishes themselves deliver what they promise (at the time). On the whole, it was a great experience but the execution from the food, to the waitresses, to the loud, club type music screamed flamboyance. Had it not been for a birthday ocassion I would've nowhere near enjoyed my time here.
Great place for a large group, however I will digress. I've seen places like this with lofty expectations and an imposing menu disguised underneath a flashy, prententious shell. Service is already mediocre here and it only takes another blip before they're thrown into the large heap of other fallen eateries with all talk, and no walk.
Reminiscing, circa July 2007.