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The Week in Yelp: Fearing the Fish

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From the people who brought you The Week in Craig, one of the all time great uses of the internet, comes Eater's newest feature: The Week in Yelp, wherein Amy Blair takes aim at the ridiculousness that is the world of Yelp. Her intrepid Yelp-surfing, and words, follow:

2008_01_yelp.jpgI know that this is going to be a wildly unpopular thing to admit, especially to this crowd, but here goes anyway. I am totally and completely repulsed by?fish. My revulsion probably borders on manic, but whatevs. We all deserve to irrationally revel in one of our psychoses now and again, don't we? Now, I'm not talking about fish that are, well, alive. I'm quite a fan of living fish, in fact (so cute, so friendly!). My issue is with eating fish – the scales, the skin, the googly eyes, the crotchy stink. It's just awful. I can barely even watch someone else do it. I know that this makes me a wimpy, picky pain in the ass, and I accept that. But come on. Fish is just grody. And if this rundown doesn't prove my point, you are probably beyond saving. End of story. Also, I have a fish psychosis. Who knew? Heh.

I'm sorry to write this, but the dinner my wife and I had was so bad, that I must warn my fellow New Yorkers. I'll be specific:

The bean "dip" that came with our bread, was tasteless and oily. To be fair, the one thing good was the octopus appetizer.

I ordered the whole trout, which was not whole. It was a filet. The head and tail had been removed as well as the and the spine, perhaps much earlier in the day, because the fish was so dry and overcooked. When I mentioned that the fish was supposed to be whole, our server took the fish back to the kitchen and returned with a detached head. There were almost no spices of any kind on it, which was a theme throughout the meal. With the fish came some dipping oil, which was tasteless and greasy.

My wife's fish was also overcooked and dry. One thing that can cause this it cooking at too low a temperature for too long.

But regardless, please use some spices. You're a chef. Make some kind of statement. I've had tons of simple grilled fish that has been delicious, but to go to a fish restaurant where they fish is cooked badly, is inexcusable.

Not only was the meal dry and tasteless, it was too expensive. $125 for 2 appetizers, 2 glasses of wine and 2 entrees would've been fine if the food was good, but we both felt ripped off.

Again, I apologize for writing such a bad review. I happily dine out many nights a week:) My advice would be to go across the street to Celeste and have a meal that's 4 times as good for half the price.
I wanted to give the Neptune Room zero stars, but I had to highlight one to post this review:)

Thanks for reading......

Ahhhhh! Is there any other food item on earth that, if complained about, would prompt a waiter to go to the kitchen and return with said item’s?head?! I would seriously freak.the.fuck.out. That is straight up Godfather, and it is NOT RIGHT.

Warning: Everything about this next review makes me unhappy. Fish, heavy mayonnaise, vomiting in a movie theater. Also, I’m still kind of traumatized by how all of my coworkers used to call me The Blair Witch (my last name is Blair) and I’m going to just shut up now because it’s just bad memories and icky things from here on out?

"Crazy Gideon" is an Israeli electronics merchant in downtown L.A. He grabbed his schtick from "Crazy Eddie" from the east coast, a New York chain of discount electronics stores. Like many immigrants, the subtlety of American idioms like "crazy" didn't translate for Gideon and his version of crazy is both scary, hostile, and not at all charming. Yes, his prices are insane. So is his need for a straightjacket and heavy doses of Thorazine.

The same can be said for "Crazy Fish". Under normal circumstances, fish should be fresh, prepared by a trained chef, and served by an attentive, competent staff. Oh ho ho, not at Crazy Fish! Horrible fish prepared by incompetents and served by... apparently no one. Their spicy rolls and cooked dishes tasted slathered in a heavy mayonnaise, making the gag factor higher than newbie tapioca wrestling night at Weight Watchers. The fish is not fresh, the staff barely capable, and the ambiance feels like you're thrust into a twelve year old's myspace page.

The very first time we went to Crazy Fish was before seeing The Blair Witch Project in the theater. My wife and I, already feeling queasy from the bad fish and heavy mayo, fought a losing battle to keep our dinner down watching the shaky handheld camera.

Many people commit suicide by leaping off buildings, slitting their wrists, or hanging. Committed to your death? Come to Crazy Fish and order the blowfish.
Oh ho ho, indeed. I’m not quite sure that the analogy between the Israeli electronics store owner and this fish restaurant is exactly, say, correct, but whatever. Point is, I can think of few things more vile than sitting next to this dude at the movie theater while he barfed up bad fish and mayo all over what I hope was the aisle. This is why you don’t take chances with fish, people. Read it. Believe it. Live it.

Also, sharting:

Don't eat here. Take the $25 that you would have spent on dinner and buy $25 worth of street meat. Or $20 worth of street meat and 5 cans of soda. Either way, you will end up with the same feeling at the end of the night: bloated but afraid to fart for fear of sharting. That's right, I said it- sharting.

The "sushi" here is not sushi. I could come up with a closer approximation to sushi by removing the breading from a Gorton's Fisherman fish stick and slapping that shit on a rice ball that I just regurgitated. I guarantee you that the "fish" is frozen, not fresh- there's virtually no other way to make yellowtail and salmon taste the SAME- and by SAME I mean bland, generic fish flavor that is neither yellowtail nor salmon.

I will admit that it's modern, clean and the employees are very nice and helpful. Leave a good tip if you go.

Caveat: If you have ever been to Old Country Buffet and have thought to yourself, "Damn, that's some good prime rib!" then maybe you'll like this place.
It’s not as good as a regurgitated rice ball, and it makes poop come out when you fart. But leave a good tip if you go? Riiiight. Totally.

And last but not least, if I haven’t thoroughly grossed you out forever, picture a guy rummaging through a big pile of dead fish, throwing pieces around, and then?you eating it.

My bf and I have passed Tsukiji everytime we go to Lee's Tofu next door which is about once every other week. After a year of wondering and then reading the great reviews on here, we were very excited to try this place out. Unfortunately we were very disappointed.

They have two different sets of omakase, one at $17 and one at $24. Each set contains 10 pieces of nigiri sushi. We decided to get one of each and compare. Since we sat at the bar, we had a bird's-eye view of the preparation and this is when things started to go downhill.

When I've ordered omakase sushi at other restaurants, I'm used to the chef preparing each piece and serving it one by one. At this place, the chef prepared both sets and then presented everything all at once. This wouldn't have been a big deal but while preparing it, he was so careless with the fish so far as to throw the pieces around while rummaging through the refrigerated case. And no, this was not theatrical "flair." This was more in the line of "I could care less" flinging the fish around.

To make matters worse, when he got to the tuna, he took out the piece, trimmed off the stale/dry exterior, and then proceeded to cut it and serve it. Needless to say, the tuna was definitely not fresh and it was one of the worst out of the 10 pieces.

It's unfortunate because some of the fish was good but between the 2 of us and the 20 pieces, only about half were good while the other half were either fishy or so-so. This goes against everything omakase is about---which is the chef presenting the best of what he has for the day.

The price was very low but I would have been happy to pay double for better quality. As it is, I will not be coming back because I'd rather spend more for great sushi or spend nothing at all rather than getting mediocre fish for a good price.
So if you like your fish prepared by The Swedish Chef, this is probably the place for you. (Eet skeered de fishie!).

And finally, at the risk of sounding too public service announcementy, remember, eating fish is like having a vagina for dinner, but without any of the benefits. Who loves ya, baby?

—Amy Blair

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