Alan Richman gives it to Monkey Bar, and means it to stick. He gets that the place is supposed to be fun, but the bottom line is that the food sucks: “The dishes are incoherent and the food is thuddingly heavy. No focus. No finesse. Lots of salt.” [Bloomberg]
Soto seems to have shot itself in the foot, dazzling Frank Bruni with its composed dishes, “vibrantly seasoned and intricately composed works of culinary and visual art,” but disappointing with the sushi, and screwing up the service (proof that lack of anonymity doesn’t matter). Now they have to settle for the same catchall two-star rating as Franny’s. [NYT]
Randall Lane seems to have bestowed four (of six) stars on Wakiya more out of a sense of duty than anything else — the restaurant described in his review sounds infuriatingly stuck-up, and the food, by his account, spotty at best. Wakiya is still getting the benefit of the doubt, but it can’t hold up for long. Something tells us that a slam is coming. [TONY]
Related: We Catch Wakiya’s First Guests on the Street
Danyelle Freeman gives a pretty nuanced review of Orhan Yegen’s new restaurant, Sea Salt, which seems fairly positive, emphasizing the excellence of the place’s primary product. So why the one-and-a-half-star rating? A strange start for Sea Salt, and for Freeman too. [NYDN]
Robert Sietsema manages to come up with a Japanese-Nepalese fusion restaurant in Sunnyside called Yeti of Hieizan. How could we make that up? [VV]
In writing of the excellence of Setagaya’s ramen, Andrea Thompson mentions that the line to get in there is now often twenty deep — meaning the Momofuku expansion couldn’t come at a better time. [NYer]
Related: Is Setagaya the Romulus of Ramen?