Lobster Egg Foo Young with Leeks, Salted Duck Egg Yolk, and Dried Shrimp Crumble ($24)
The really expertly cooked lobster makes this dish almost worth it, but like the Vietnamese pizza, it lacks focus. What do fried eggs, lobster, crumbled salted duck egg, dried shrimp, and some sort of tomato-ey chunky leek sauce have to do with Egg Foo Young, or even with each other? We can't figure it out either.
Bonito Crudo ($13)
A tasty rice noodle salad underneath slices of bonito sashimi, the basic flavors were quite similar to that of the beef tataki, though the seasoning was more refined here with some true kick to the chili sauce on the side.
When it's spot-on, the made-to-order naan that comes to your table before you appetizers is excellent. Moist and supple, it lacks the smoky char of a true coal or wood-fired oven, but a side dish of curry sauce with paneer adds flavor to it. Hopefully their success rate will improve with time.
Scallops with Crispy Duck Tongue, Cucumber, and Jellyfish ($16)
It's an odd combo on the menu, but the sweet, tender scallops and crunchy jellyfish salad come together beautifully on the plate. The only extraneous element is the fried balls of duck tongue, which, if you weren't told they contained duck tongue, could easily be confused for dry falafel.
Fried Oysters with Kimchi Broth and Kimchi Ravioli ($12)
A brilliant idea that could do with better execution. I love the idea of a ravioli filled with finely chopped spicy, garlicky kimchi, and indeed, the filling here was excellent. It's the pasta that could do with some refining. Could it just be that we're in a town so full of excellent homemade pasta that nothing short of perfection will do? Perhaps, but that's reality. The oysters, while perfectly crisp, had an overwhelming amount of breading, losing their juiciness and brininess.
Seared Sea Bass with Lemongrass Vinaigrette and Pickled Vegetables
An extraordinarily simple plate served as a special. Crisply seared sea bass is with velvety soft flesh contrasted by crunchy rice cracker chips and a chunky lemongrass vinaigrette.
Trumpet Royale Mushrooms with Boiled Eggs and Ponzu
Simmering and soaking in a savory citrus and soy-based broth gives slices of mushroom an almost porky texture and savoriness while a shaving of Japanese dried bonito adds some smokiness to complete the bacon-flavored illusion. It's bacon and eggs, reinvented.
Rice Noodles with Pork & Sea Cucumber Ragu ($18)
An interesting take on a bolognese sauce, the noodles are appropriately chewy and resiliant. It's a good introduction to sea cucumber, which has a texture that can be offputting to first-timers, nicely hidden in a saucy ragu. It's very aggressively seasoned with black pepper to the point that we couldn't finish more than half of the skillet, despite really wanting to.