Have you ever been to Masa? Neither have we. None of us here at The Infatuation are currently in a position to drop a minimum of $450 a head for dinner before booze, tax, and tip. And the CEO of Goldman Sachs won’t return our phone calls, so it looks like our plan to have him buy us dinner there and discuss "investing in the website" is on hold. I guess we read all those Jim Cramer books for nothing. Luckily, Neta is run by two chefs who learned their stuff from Masa himself, so now you can get a Masa-lite experience with a slightly more manageable check at the end. It will only cost you an arm instead of an arm and both legs. Sorry, I’ll stop making jokes that my Dad would like.
While Neta is certainly less expensive than Masa, it unfortunately isn’t your best option if you want to spend good money and get fantastic sushi. We've had much better meals at 15 East and Sushi of Gari, and were hoping this place was gonna bring it harder for the cash it cost us. For example, on my recent visit, my party sprang for the larger omakase – $135 per person, also known as “a sh*tload of money” – and we weren't exactly $135 worth of impressed. From what we could tell, it wasn't much different than the cheaper ($95) option. Our waitress told us that the more expensive omakase featured “three more savory courses and additional pieces of sushi.” We were expecting a larger variety of sushi. Instead, we got the same sushi they serve everyone, but got two pieces of each roll instead of one. Maybe we should have asked for clarification, but that wasn’t what we were hoping for when we handed over a suitcase full of bills. Ultimately, Neta would be a much better experience if you go and pick a few pieces of fish and the small plates that they do best. There are some incredible things to eat here, but there are also some duds on the menu. It's also probably a much better experience if you have endless money to spend. Then again, so is everything.
Food RundownDungeness Crab
Little pieces of crab with cucumber and a delicious vinaigrette. Good but gone too quickly, and kind of skimpy on the crab.Grilled Scallop
This grilled scallop is served in the shell with beautiful little bits of uni. My favorite non-sushi, non-ice cream dish of the night. The scallop was perfectly cooked and the uni was delicious.Toro and Caviar
Also known as “the breakfast of Russian billionaires.” One of the draws of the longer omakase is that it includes this dish, which costs $48 if you order it a la carte. It’s pretty good...but of course it is. It’s f*cking toro and caviar.Uni Porridge
A risotto-esque dish that uses Neta’s delicious sea urchin as the base. It's an excellent two bites if you like uni. Or one bite if you like uni and have a big mouth.Szechuan Spiced Salmon
This is salmon with spicy mayo on a bed of crispy rice topped with bonito (dried fish) flakes. It’s basically a fancy-ass spicy salmon roll, and it’s nothing to write home about. Seriously, it’s not, I left it out of the weekly letter I write to my Mom.Tempura
If you can’t eat vegetables unless they’re fried, you’ll enjoy the tempura here. Everything is perfectly crispy and as light as tempura can be. In addition to the veggies they feature Fugu, which is a poisonous pufferfish that can kill you if it’s not prepared correctly. This probably won’t kill you, unless you choke on the bone that no one warns you about. I almost did.Nigiri
The nigiri they served us were very good. The rice was perfectly cooked, and the fish was great. I just wish there was more of it in the big boy omakase. They didn’t even serve us a piece of uni.Toro Scallion Roll
The toro in this roll was way too cold. I know that fatty tuna is supposed to melt in your mouth, but it’s supposed to melt because it’s fatty and delicious, not because it’s frozen solid. This was so cold that it didn’t taste like anything.Unagi Roll
The seaweed that Neta wraps its rolls in is deliciously crunchy, but I wish it had been served as nigiri. I didn’t raid my future kid’s community college fund to eat budget looking sushi rolls featuring avocado. I was just waiting for something to show up with cream cheese in it.Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Possibly the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten. I’m not sure what they do to make it so good, but it’s incredible. I’d come back just for this.