From Kliman Online’s “Word of Mouth”
The fish at Moby Dick is at least a cut above that of Koi Koi, although the thing to zero in on here is not the sashimi, the nigiri or the rolls. It’s a holdover dish, from the time when the restaurant was an American seafood house: a basket of fried shrimp. Owner and chef Chang Pyon butterflies them, breads them in panko and plunges them into the deep fryer. The panko makes them supercrunchy and irresistible; if you’re sitting with a table full of friends, it’s hard not to tear through the entire basket in a matter of minutes.
Pyon has an eye for color and arrangement, and the platters of fish he sends out (and sometimes personally delivers; the small, cheery café is a tiny operation) are uniformly beautiful. His rice tends to be underseasoned, a real flaw, but he fashions his rolls with a light but careful hand — they almost never fall apart, and they’re not bigger than two bites, at most—and he pays attention to each and every slice he carves. The highs are few (good yellowtail, mackerel and eel), but the lows are almost nonexistent.
Foodies are always in search of the killer place, the superstar destination. But sometimes you don’t want or can’t afford a Kobe Bryant. Sometimes you just want a Robert Horry, a solid vet who doesn’t make mistakes and always delivers (within reason).
-May 27, 2008