(CLOSED) Fancy but Worth it: Tanuki Tavern

FA Rating: FFF
Price: $$$

I prefer to go to restaurants whereto I can wear jeans and a t-shirt or, better yet, shorts and a t-shirt, so, though I'd had my eye on the menu at Tanuki Tavern (Meatpacking District) for quite some time, having wiped a bit of drool off my face the first time I read it, I hadn't gotten around to making the effort to going there until the other night when I was also socially compelled. And thank “god” I finally was.

Unfortunately not all of my friends were of the “duh of course we're all gonna try everything each other gets so that we may all experience the most possible dishes in one night” variety. Fortunately, my best foodie friend was there, though we were on opposite ends of the table, so we had to keep running over to each other with bites the other just had to have. Notably:

I started with a cocktail (they have a really interesting set of concoctions, though I still find $12 to be a bit of an ass kicking). I had the Nashi Margarita: Milagro tequila muddled with Asian pear, orange and lime juices, wasabi-salt rum. The wasabi-salt rim of course is what determined my choice for me. I didn't really experience a wasabi flavor; rather, it tasted kind of like an aquarium.. in a good way!

Cream Of Edamame Soup mustard oil and smoked black soy beans – This was creamy and delicious, the smokey flavor wonderfully reminiscent of bacon in this vegetarian dish.

Two Mini Tuna Burgers with ginger aioli on a fennel seed bun – Yum yum yum! You can see from the description that this dish wasn't going to go wrong.

Lobster, Avocado And Fried Tofu - butter poached maine lobster with ginger, wasabi and yuzu dressing – This dish was actually not that great. The fried tofu came in pointless little cubes surrounding the rest of the dish, whose flavors just didn't stack up right for me.

Yakuza Roll bbq eel, avocado and boursin cheese topped with spicy masago, eel sauce drizzle – If you'd think that the boursin cheese sounds like a misstep, you'd be wrong. I'm sure we'll only see more and more non-just-cream-cheese dairy on sushi from now on, so get used to it, carry your Lactaid with you at all times as I do, and love it.

Kinoko Roll - japanese mushrooms wrapped in white soy topped with crispy enokis and truffle roll – I couldn't resist the alure of truffle oil on sushi, but I am curious to try it on a roll with fish (though presumably the Tanuki people have found it problematic as it's relegated to the two vegetarian rolls on the menu). I wish it hadn't been fried, but on the whole, this roll was effing delicious.

Me, anticipating stuffing a truffle oiled up piece of sushi into my mouth

It turned out to be less uncomfortably posh than I'd feared.

Tanuki Tavern on Urbanspoon

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