Our Man Sietsema: 'Use Skanky Cheap Onions, Dude!'
Before I was born (or, as my nephew might say, when I was "at the store") my parents spent five or six weeks in Tokyo, where they frequented a tempura bar they still brag about. Each item was fried to order and appeared before them, hot and crisp, via a dumb waiter. Like the endless array of adorable outfits my mother did not save for me, I assumed this 70s memory would remain intangible.
Josh DeChellis may add quite a twist to the tempura tradition, but BarFry, his new fry temple, at least has the part down about selecting individual items and having them submerged in hot fat to order.
Sietsema, a fat fan, though not a fat guy, gives high marks to the place, though he wishes the chef had refrained from using Vidalias for the onion rings and that the peppers were hotter. He also, as we'd expect, provides a history of not just tempura, but of frying itself.
We're going to have to investigate this whole New Orleans influence first-hand before it stops sounding weird. But who can be mad at a po'boy, really?
50 Carmine Street