Finally! – a bit of Masa in the village without having to travel all the way to the Upper West Side.
I have been meaning to write about Neta since I first experienced it back in April and am quite embarrassed it took me this long to share such a wonderful addition to Greenwich Village.
Neta packs a punch from the get-go considering the team consists of ex-Executive Chef, Nick Kim, of Masa and ex-Head Chef, Jimmy Lau, of Bar Masa. Having done a full tasting at Masa - I can confirm that Neta without hesitation stands up to it’s name (‘Neta’ means ‘ingredients’).
Now if you are looking to walk into a fancy-smancy place that will woo you with the decor – this is not the place. It’s about the food and only the food. You should be thankful. The best seat in the house is one of twenty seats along the maple counter that runs the length of the room. After all, in my humble opinion, if you are going to place of this stature, you want your sushi chef, omakase, to serve you the finest bites in the house AND you my friend want the honor of watching an artist create such a masterpiece.
In coordination with the decor, the Japanese cuisine stays true to the simplicity and taste of each ingredient just as it is meant to be – in it’s purest form without any bells and whistles. The grade of Toro I experienced during my tasting left me speechless. Lucky for me it was served three different ways – Toro Tartare with Cavier, Toro Sushi and Toro Fricasse. Other mind blowers included: Grilled Whole Scallop with Uni, garlic soy butter and lime - Dungeness Crab with cucumber, wild parsley and dashi vinaigrette - Seasonal Rice with Crispy baby icefish, salted mizuna greens and black truffles. But my ultimate – anyone who can prepare a piece of deep-fried blowfish without killing me gets a star in my book. Basically the tuna melts in your mouth, the creamy and buttery uni wraps itself lasciviously around your tongue and the fish is so fresh, you are left with the sea lingering on your lips.
For the optimal experience, I suggest watching “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” before your dining venture at Neta. It will help you understand the way true Japanese sushi is served, inspire you and then entice your palate that much more with each bite you are about to consume. It really is just that exquisite. Bisous NYS