Magazine article The New Yorker

Matsuri;

Magazine article The New Yorker

Matsuri;

Article excerpt

369 W. 16th St. (212-243-6400)--Matsuri, a vast green tiled vault of a dining room underneath the Maritime Hotel, is designed for gawking. Great sight lines under artfully smashed paper lanterns let you follow the goings on in the ridiculously animated room. The staff trolls through, and the high-living crowd, who go outside to smoke whether or not their entrees have just arrived, constantly exchange hello-again air kisses. The soundtrack booms over it all, an esoteric iPod party mix of sixties soul, Ethiopian funk-jazz, and . . . the English Beat?

The food, by Tadashi Ono, a veteran of La Ca-ravelle, probably wasn't supposed to be an afterthought, but here the scene and the noise relegate his dishes almost to the level of decoration. The lotus roots in soy sauce, sake, and red pepper are so compulsively munchable that they make you want to watch television. A bowl of hot peppers under a cloud of bonito flakes is exciting, and the slivers of fluke in ponzu strike a nice balance between the refreshing and the harrowingly spicy. …

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