Archive for September, 2009

Soba Totto: Good to Gross

September 4, 2009

Below are a few high and lowlights of my recent meals at Soba Totto (211 E 43rd St # A).  Much reputable, some rebarbative.

1. Bloody latex is not a taste bud tingler: If you’re cutting chicken and you cut yourself, for God’s sake, wash up, bandage up and chuck the bloody bird bits.   The Soba Totto line cook sliced and diced through his palm, then skewered up the platelet platter as he watched coagulation set in. In a good blood sausage, pork or beef blood is delicious.  In any form, man blood is disgusting.

2. Undercooked chicken puree on rice: Ground chicken over rice had texture of soft serve yogurt and flavor of sock shod wet feet. The hot rice didn’t cook the chicken, it simply brought the stink–and not an Epoisses good foot stink either–closer to my nose.  Bland food with look of bung seepage.

3. Salty salad not bad: Greens with ginger dressing, fried shallots and sprinkle of salt crystals were way too saline on one occasion and just right on another.  Nice idea and well past the Benihana salads of the seventies, but the execution was erratic.

4. Best beer Mug In Town: Earthenware beer Mugs for half beers are nice to look at, easy to hold and make the frothy midday carb-load that much easier to down.

5. Relentlessly friendly service: No intrusion but also no dropped cues. Checks arrive quickly.  Upsell pressure is minimal.

6. Eponymous Excellence: Cold Soba Noodles make the case that JGV wasn’t crazy to open a noodle joint-Matsugen-in the old 66 space. There’s plenty of art here, albeit a pretty subtle and vaguely Puritan art.