Annisa isn’t your typical Infatuation-style restaurant. It’s a little stuffy. The crowd is a bit too buttoned up, and the atmosphere is not exactly exciting. Also, there is way too much same side seating going on, as in couples on the same side of the table. Please stop that.
Fortunately, these standard deal-breakers become mere observations once the kitchen starts putting incredible food on your table. Anita Lo’s cooking, which you may have been exposed during her stint on Iron Chef or Top Chef Masters, is incredibly unique. The dishes at Annisa, her recently re-opened flagship restaurant, are highly refined, French-influenced creations with hints of Asian flair. This food is truly special, and likely impossible for anyone else to create. Everything we've had here has been absolutely excellent, and a lot of fun to eat and discuss.
For two solid months, we tried to get an 8pm reservation on a weekday and this place is always booked solid. It’s a tiny restaurant, with maybe twenty tables (their excuse for all the same side seating), so make sure you plan ahead if you want to get in. We found the service to be fantastic – we grilled our waitress on almost every dish to make sure we made the right menu choices and, even though it was her first day on the job, she knew the details inside and out. Annisa is a great example of Fine Dining for the downtown crowd, at a relatively affordable price. You can either order a la carte - which is what we did, or go with one of the tasting menus - $75 for five courses or $95 for seven. Either way, you're going to be happy with your decision.
This dish can be ordered both as an appetizer or an entrée. However you choose to go about it, just make sure this crazy egg concoction is on the table, because it’s amazing.
Clams three ways: one in a carpaccio style, another served in sweet soy sauce, and the third fried and in an amazing spicy aioli. Each are tasty.
Our least favorite of the appetizers. While the raw tartare portion was solid, we found the cooked tuna less than exciting.
For those still on the fence, this is what should push you over it. The holy grail of the Annisa menu, these are big ravioli-sized soup dumplings with a slice of seared foie gras sitting on top. It doesn’t get much better than this.
One Annisa’s signature dishes, this is another one that needs to be on your table. The miso sable (similar to cod) is served atop a bed of tofu and a dark red bonito broth. So good.
This isn’t your typical roasted chicken. Order this bird with confidence. The roasted chicken is juicy and deliciously stuffed with all kinds of goodness, including white truffle and pig's feet. That's right, pig's feet.
We rocked the Pecan and Salted Butterscotch Beignets with Bourbon Milk Ice which were obviously incredible. We also got down with A Tasting of Chocolate and Malted Desserts, which we didn't particularly care for, but one Ovaltine lover at our table freaked out over it.