I've always admired Morimoto on the Food Network; he was such an amazing and inventive chef, yet he was just so humble.

I had visited the first Morimoto restaurant in Philly a few years ago but did not get to meet the chef himself. On a special occasion two months ago, we got to visit his NYC location.

We were seated promptly even though we had arrived 15 minutes after our reservation time.

Ambiance: There was a very clean feel to this restaurant. If you are looking for old school Tokyo, then you will be disappointed. All the staff are dressed in black and there is a lot of white in the restaurant, with dim lighting and special pink/purple/blue lighting effects. There is an area that is quiet (which is where we were seated), and then there is a more "happening" area towards the middle of the restaurant and into the lower level, where there is a bar.

Food: We had originally planned to order one omakase and then an appetizer and entree to share (which is what we did for Nobu). It just doesn't make sense to order two of the same things. However, we were told that in order to get the omakase, the whole table had to order it, which we ended up doing. I didn't particularly like this, since when I was in Philly, we had one person order the omakase while the rest ordered their own entrees.

one of the best toro tartares i've ever eaten in my life
with osetra caviar, creme fraiche, wasabi, dashi-soy among other "dipping" sauces

whitefish carpaccio in hot oil

Compared to the Nobu omakase, I am afraid Morimoto's is a bit lacking. A good majority of the food was good (toro, oyster, whitefish carpaccio, grilled lobster) but some of the things, such as sushi and wagyu were lacking. I definitely did not enjoy the clam sushi; it had a really disgusting aftertaste. The wagyu seemed very bland and wasn't seared the way I normally liked it; it just seemd to be cooked with no seasoning.

Service: The service was superb. Our waiter was great.

Facilities: I'm not sure what the hoopla is about Morimoto's bathrooms. The one upstairs was very minimalistic; don't forget to pull the door to the side (I, along with other women, had issues with trying to pull the door out). The flush mechanism is that little mysterious box on top of the toilet; you'll know what I mean when you look at it. The women's bathroom downstairs had typical Japanese automatic toilets; the toilet seat would rise once it sensed a person in front of it and it had warming seats as well as many other functions to your left. It is cute and novel.

Morimoto NYC
88 Tenth Avenue
New York, NY

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