Various elements conspired against me last week, preventing the compilation of the usual weekly round-up. This week is a little less hectic, so roll on the bumper round-up…
First up is Lesli J. Neilson of the Salt Lake Tribune. Lesli takes in two meals at Mikado, one at the down town location and one in Cottonwood. Most notable is the change in ownership. The down town restaurant is changing its name to Naked Fish and at the same time, both are moving to the control of the Watkins Restaurant Group. Watkins has also acquired Ichiban Sushi and Hapa Grill of late. Is this the end of the Latitude Group? It looks like only Kampai and Ruths Chris are now theirs.
As for the food, Lesli has positive feedback for each location. Lesli’s main gripe is over service at the down town Mikado, noting her waiter did not even know Grey Goose was a vodka, seriously? It sounds like Lesli must have simply drawn the short straw and been served by a trainee. She does concede service at the Cottonwood location was much better. My own personal experience at Mikado was faultless, our waitress expertly guided us through the large Sake selection.
Vanessa Chang provides this weeks review in the Tribune. Vanessa must have been inspired by Lesli, as she also hits a Japanese restaurant, namely Sapporo. I’m not sure how the Tribune co-ordinate their food content, but two Japanese reviews in two weeks?
As for the review, Vanessa finds the staff “charming”, yet the food lacklustre. Vanessa states: “‘ll dare to spark the ire of many by saying that in my book, when it comes to sushi in Salt Lake City, there is Takashi and then there is everyone else”. I think this comment is personally a little OTT but the main point remains, Sapporo isn’t up there with the big guns, at least not yet.
Ted Scheffler waxes lyrical on the topic of oysters. Ted details the selection at Market Street Oyster Bar. I would love to link to the article, but the City Weekly website is infuriatingly difficult to fathom, at least for content greater than a week old. Maybe I am missing something patently obvious. Suffice to say Ted really (no really!) likes his oysters, and he recommends you get yours at Market Street.
This week Ted tries out Tucano’s Brazilian Grill for a special birthday meal. Ted only briefly touches on the food quality, the main focus of the article is primarily on the general flaws in service.
In Utah This Week provides three reviews for this round-up. First is Amy Spencer and a review of Fiddlers Elbow. Despite Amy not enjoying her last visit, it seems she was pleasantly surprised by her most recent experience. Amy enjoyed the food and atmosphere, but did mention “Our experience was better than our friend’s, who mentioned that he got food poisoning here not once, but twice”. I hope the magazine consulted their legal team before printing such a second hand tale.
For the record I have never had a problem with Fiddlers Elbow. It’s decent pub fare, decent prices and decent service. I’ve been more times than I care to remember and spent the vast majority of the 2006 World Cup there, firmly entrenched with a pint of Guinness in hand. I don’t recall ever having a bad experience at Fiddlers Elbow.
Kelly Ashkettle is another local reviewer to sample Sapporo. Like Vanessa in the Tribune, Kelly is less than enthused with her food. I recall when we reviewed Sapporo how the restaurant was crying out for a little more focus. I hope they make some much needed changes, as have a great location, dining space and opportunity to thrive.
Finally Sam Vicchrilli checks out Tucano’s Brazilian Grill. Unlike Ted Scheffler’s review, Sam’s experience of Tucano’s goes without a hitch. Sam enthuses over the quality of the meat, the classy setting and the large array of tasty vegi options. The review brought something to my attention that I wasn’t aware of, that Tucano’s is in the former Samba Grill space (also Brazilian). Sam sums it up best with “it takes a lot of gumption to open a similar joint where one ostensibly failed”.
Stacey Kratz of the Dessert Morning News dines at Dooners this week. Is it it Turkish, is it South Western, is it German or is it all three? I’m not quite sure actually, but the meat-stuffed pita pockets look tasty if you are in the area.
Dooners: 2778 W 12600 S, Riverton, UT 84065
Finally Sense and Memory tries a “Cemita” from a new Taco cart in town. I’ve never tried a taco cart myself, I guess I am going to have to rectify that, the food looks downright delicious in this particular case.
Cemitas @ Taco Stand: 1600 W 3500 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84119
P.S. note to Mike, I didn’t use “whilst” once in this post 😉
Hi, I’m Stuart, nice to meet you! I’m the founder, writer and wrangler at Gastronomic SLC and The Utah Review; I’m also a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune. I’ve worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.
I’m a multiple-award winning journalist and have covered the Utah dining scene for more than a decade. I’m largely fueled by Uinta Cutthroat, alliteration and the use of too many big words I don’t understand. I ate all the pies.