It was sublime. It was superb. It was a moan-worthy, swoon-filled evening of sushi and sashimi delights at Neta. Tucked into a nondescript storefront on a shoe store-strewn block of 8th Street in Greenwich Village, the room wasn't much to speak about. The only clue that this was something extraordinary was the sizable open kitchen, and beaming customers who, upon taking a bite, pursed their lips and closed their eyes in unmitigated pleasure.
Soon, I was one of them, joined by my pal Laurel, to celebrate our respective birthdays. After sipping on a couple of bracing cocktails, we ordered the Omakase, a chef's selection that included warm Szechuan Spiced Salmon with dancing Bonito Flakes and Crispy Rice; a bright salad of Dungeness Crab, Cucumber, Wild Parsley and Dashi Vinaigrette; and, pictured above, an ethereal bowl of Spanish Mackerel Tataki atop a Myoga Vegetable Salad showered with Tempura Flakes and grated Ginger, lightly doused in Soy.
That was just the beginning. Soon, we were nibbling on crisp vegetable Tempura and then our table was graced with hand-molded pieces of sushi that literally melted in our mouths. The pièce de résistance? A Toro and Scallion Roll that had us at "hello."
Now, I'm utterly spoiled. And, I can't help smiling at the thought of being an ecstatically spoiled Vamp in 2013. Let's just hope I can get another reservation -- and that my credit card can handle the strain. Well, at least it's cheaper than a plane ticket to Tokyo...Spoiled rotten, here I come!