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Sushi - Kaito vs. Ota vs. Tadokoro vs. Hane

Thanks for the detailed response. I've made a reservation for Tadokoro and requested chef Take. Sounds like I made the right call...

Are there any "must orders"? I've read glowing reviews of the ankimo (which I've never tried) and people seem to love the amaebi as well. I love uni, ikura and plan to also try the toro.

Aug 21, 2013
dmass1 in San Diego

Sushi - Kaito vs. Ota vs. Tadokoro vs. Hane

Thanks for the replay, Campy.

Not too concerned with impressing anyone. This is not a first date, just a nice dinner with my girlfriend for a special occasion. My metrics are: quality of food, portions (value) service and atmosphere in that order. With that said, if the food and value is comparable, atmosphere is important.

Here's a more specific question: can Hane and Ota produce a similar quality of unique and traditional Japanese that kaito and tadokoro do?

Also, which is the most expensive?

Aug 21, 2013
dmass1 in San Diego

Sushi - Kaito vs. Ota vs. Tadokoro vs. Hane

I'm visiting San Diego and am planning on one sushi splurge while I'm in town. I can afford roughly 80$ pp w/ a drink or two. From my research, I've narrowed my options to Kaito, Ota, Tadokoro and Hane.

I'm interested in hearing which of those 4 are the favorites of fellow chowhounds at the moment, and why. From what I've gathered, Kaito and Tadokoro seem to be the most traditional japanese, and Hane and Ota seem to have more fusion options (rolls with avocado, spicy mayo etc.)

I'd like to try a traditional place, but also enjoy some Americanized maki and don't want to be over my head in a super traditional restaurant. Another concern is leaving hungry. Is that likely at any of these places, given my budget?

Also, which offers the nicest atmosphere for a date?

Thanks in advance for the advice!

Aug 20, 2013
dmass1 in San Diego

Cambridge (Central Sq. Kendall Inman) Recs

"Look at the menu, it seems underwhelming & simple. Look at the space, it seems a bit simple. Look at the food when it comes out, it looks underwhelming & simple.

But then you taste the food, and it ain't underwhelming & simple."

^ This is a great description of the place. Totally understated, but everything we had was fantastic. We ordered the Beef Tongue, Shrimp & Grits, Catfish & Trout. The fried catfish was my favorite, but everything was delicious. For desert we had the upside down bourbon cake, which was also excellent.

We will be back...

Feb 07, 2011
dmass1 in Greater Boston Area

Cambridge (Central Sq. Kendall Inman) Recs

Hadn't considered Blue Room. The menu looks good and I've heard good things, but I've been meaning to try ECG and HM for a long time.

I definitely see the two as being different tpes of cuisine and not directly comparable (although both certainly are unique to the area). I gather that the quality of the meal is a little bit higher at Hungry Mother, but the menu at ECG looks a little bit more enticing to me and has a lot more variety.

Does anyone else think that Hungry Mother's menu is small? Do they typically have nightly specials not listed on the website?

What are your favorite dishes at both restaurants?

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Hungry Mother
Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

The Blue Room
Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

Feb 04, 2011
dmass1 in Greater Boston Area

Cambridge (Central Sq. Kendall Inman) Recs

Perhaps "ordinary" was the wrong description for the crispy fried pig tails. I was referring more to our entrees.

Regarding the pig tails, they were tasty, but in terms of flavor I thought that they were good, but not a real standout dish. Maybe it's my palate or maybe an off night for them, but my DCs all agreed. Or perhaps we went in with expectations that were set a little bit too high.... Either way, I was not impressed with Cragie and I'm hesitant to give it another shot at such a high pricepoint. I will probably go back to try one of the tasting menus at some point.

Still undecided for tonight, but as many of you said I don't think I can go wrong.

Thanks again for all the feedback - I will report back.

Feb 04, 2011
dmass1 in Greater Boston Area

Cambridge (Central Sq. Kendall Inman) Recs

Thanks for all the feedback!

As for Cragie: I've been and to be honest I wasn't very impressed. The burger and drinks were good but all of the other entrees ordered (2 chicken, 1 fish) and appetizers (crispy pig tails) were ordinary and not what I would expect at that pricepoint. I also found the vibe and service to be a little bit too precious.

I'd like to try the tasting menu at some point, but its high pricepoint reserves it for a special occassion.

I think it's going to be between ECG and HM, at which I already have a table reserved.

Feb 03, 2011
dmass1 in Greater Boston Area

Cambridge (Central Sq. Kendall Inman) Recs

I am looking for a place to grab a bite early tomorrow evening in Cambridge. I'm trying to decide between the following 5....

Hungry Mother
East Coast Grill
Central Kitchen
Green Street
Rendezvous

To be more specific, I am having dinner with my folks. All of us like good quality cocktails (Green Street & Hungry Mother look to be the best in this department), raw bar (ECG) and we are all relatively adventurous eaters (offal and all that good stuff).

I've heard good things from all of these spots, but which one would you all choose in my position? Are any of these restaurants to be avoided on a Friday night?

I'm sure we would do just fine at any of them, but I'd like to hear some input from you all.

Thanks!

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East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

Central Kitchen
567 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

Hungry Mother
Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

Feb 03, 2011
dmass1 in Greater Boston Area

Toro for RW 2010

Has anyone checked out the 2010 RW menu at Toro?

For those who haven't, the deal (for 2) is: choose 2 pinchos and 5 tapas plus a choice of two deserts.

In addition, some of the more expensive pinchos/tapas have an additional charge (ie. the foi gras & pork belly)

By my math, the price of 66.20 is more expensive than if you order the 5 most expensive tapas and 2 pinchos a la carte if you add the additional charges to the select RW menu items

It's even worse if you go as a group of 4 rather than 2.

I thought that RW was supposed to provide an opportunity for people to try expensive restaurants at a cheaper price point? I guess you get a discounted churo at the end of the meal, but his doesn't seem like much of a deal at all...

Feb 23, 2010
dmass1 in Greater Boston Area