Yesterday the BF and I celebrated our 1 year date-aversary (which is actually today) at Morimoto. For our first date we went to a little Israeli joint for falafels and shawarma. He joked that he didn’t want to do anything too crazy (read: expensive) until he knew he wanted to “invest.” Judging by the $$$$ rating on Yelp for Morimoto, I think he’s ready to invest. HA!
Morimoto is one of those places I’ve been meaning to go to FOREVER. Tons of friends have told me it’s fantastic but I found my groove with places like Buddakan and Sampan. However, after last night’s dinner, Morimoto will definitely be added to the pan-Asian rotation. To start, we both had the lychee cocktail… divine AND lethal. I could each vodka-soaked lychee all day. It’s like the adult version of vodka-soaked gummy candy…. right?
To start, I had two vegetarian rolls: shiitake mushroom roll and the seasonal veggie roll. They were great but nothing outstanding to set it apart from other veggie rolls I’ve had. Luckily, the price was pretty reasonable for the rolls: $6 and $5 respectively. The waiter was also kind enough to bring out vegetarian soy sauce without asking, stating that their house soy sauce was not vegetarian. The spicy veggie tempura roll sounded appealing but alas… not vegan. Does vegan tempura exist? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? The highlight among the starters was the shrimp tempura my BF ordered. He stated that it was the best shrimp he’s ever had… and let me tell you the boy loves his shrimp. The shrimp came in a huge portion (easily could have been an entrée if served over rice) and melted in his mouth like butter.
For my entrée I had the Ishi Yaki Bop, which reminded me a lot of Bibimbap. It was served in a hot stone bowl with lots of tofu, nori, veggies and rice. This was an off-menu vegan interpretation of a meat entrée and at $16 it was incredibly satisfying. A server prepared it table-side by searing the tofu on the bowl and mixing the veggies around in the sweet and salty sauce. I love how crunchy some of the rice gets when cooking in a hot stone bowl! I was a little nervous that the absence of egg would make the dish dry and bland but it was flavorful and very enjoyable. My boyfriend was visibly jealous of my dish (he ordered some rolls as his entrée). However at $42 for the kobe beef version, I suggested we just hit up the new bibimbap place on South Street, appropriately named BAP.
For dessert, the restaurant comp’ed us a bowl of their micro-batch ice cream. To me, this was really the only hiccup in the otherwise impeccable service. I was clearly ordering vegan dishes (even had a convo with the server about it) and there was a sorbet dessert available. I even fawned over it when he mentioned it to us with the daily dessert specials. I wish they provided that instead! Oh well, it was free so I can’t really complain.
Overall, would I come back? Definitely! They cater well to dietary restrictions and allergies (this was one of the first questions our server asked us.) I’d definitely get the Ishi Yaki Bop again but would probably save the sushi for my regular sushi joints.