05 May 2009
haru: a pleasant surprise.
Vadim and I popped into Haru last night for a cocktail. As per usual, the temptation of fresh sushi and sashimi proved to difficult for Vadim to turn down. While sipping on sake and some sort of muddled cucumber and elderflower cocktail, we looked over the menu.
To every dish we discussed ordering, the bartender widened her eyes and said, "That's really good. That's my favorite." Now, I'm not sure if nearly every item on the menu is amazing, if she had a limited vocabulary or just wasn't well-versed in her craft, but we took the reigns and made a decision. To start we had a sashimi carpaccio: white tuna, salmon and tuna with crushed garlic and truffle oil. Although the combination could be a bit intense for the fish, it was quite delightful. The fish was beautifully sliced with the texture approaching perfection.
I switched to a Ketel martini (which seemed to offend the bartender...but one shouldn't have more than one sugary cocktail in a sitting) and befriended a few folks at the bar. A lawyer spoke of living on the Upper East Side and driving to work every morning on the FDR. A pleasant woman nibbled on Miso Black Cod, sipped champagne and divulged that she just moved in next door.
"You live at sixty-three?"
"Oh, I'm at sixty-three. We're neighbors! How do you like The Lofts?"
She took a bite and discussed real estate for a bit while Vadim ordered a Sapporo and selected our next pleasure: Super Dynamite Roll. The gorgeously presented dish is a spicy combination of: tempura tuna, freshwater eel and asparagus doused in Sriacha, spicy mayo and eel sauces. The texture is spot on, the portion: immense and satisfactory.
Haru is a bit dangerous: delicious, aesthetically pleasing modern decor and just a hop, skip and a jump from my apartment. Stick to traditional drinks, wine and sake. The fusion cocktails are a bit overdone. Otherwise: spectacular for a chain.
Image: Eater NY (I plan to upload my own shots later!)