Tom Fitzmorris doles out THREE WHOLE STARS (maybe) to Keith Dusko's Chiba on Oak Street this week, reporting "it's not all that, but it is something." But DANG, why these chefs always be like, T-Fitz, yo, taste this foie gras, c'mon taste it, until he must succumb to the fitzsinful force-feasting of fattyfats duck liver, even at a sushi restaurant like Chiba, where it's served "strapped to a bed of sushi rice with a sash of seaweed." Note: this actually happened (twice!), it's NOT a fantasy.
At first, T-Fitz was mildly put off by Chiba because their press releases were "so hip they were hard to understand," but after a few trips to the sushi bar, where the knowledgable sushi chef guides him Yoda-style toward the intriguing "foodstuffs," the +2 HIPNESS POINTS come off as Tommy Boy's native tongue. From real wasabi root to "offbeat fish" of the Bonita and Kampachi nature, plus great ceviche offerings, T-Fitz deems Chiba a legit, if not pricey, sushi destination. Still, he doesn't like the tacos, the costly single serving of Negiri, or this:
Almost wherever you are, you will be mildly tortured by what I find to be the most uncomfortable chairs of any local restaurant. Don't lean back.
One can only imagine he was seeing stars... THREE WHOLE STARS... or suffering from confusion, perhaps, as the accompanying restaurant rating box this week is for Andy's Bistro, not Chiba. [CityBusiness, subscription required]
Ian McNulty reviews Little Gem Saloon this week, finding the major menu revamp that's happened since chef Miles Prescott (also of Rio Mar) took over to be quite encouraging: "Prescott, a Georgia native, has given the menu a renewed sense of character with a modern Southern approach," meaning fried frogs' legs, rabbit, hoppin' John, joining forces with New Orleans staples like oysters, and beignets that are "presented like savory sundaes with foie gras mousse and salty caramel sauce dripping over them." All dat plus live music, and a location within the Dome's line of fire, make a trip to Little Gem Saloon necessary in the coming months. [Gambit]