Last night, in the midst of a rare set of nights off (as I have been ridiculously busy over the last few weeks) I met up with my buddy Koffman on the upper east side for a drink and some grub. The initial idea was to meet at a place I have been wanting to go called BB & R (provocatively meaning Blonde, Brunette and a Redhead) at 89th and 2nd. This place got great reviews and is apparently a superlative sports bar.
That could have been the problem, and not a lot of New York sports were happening last night ... the place was empty, with maybe five people sitting at the bar. And more disappointingly, there were no blonde, brunette and redheaded waitresses .. there was one waitress, she had black hair, and another guy was behind the bar.
Since I was in the mood for pub grub, I was still interested, so I moved past the door and investigated the whole place ... and quickly moved back outside. It wasn't that the place was disgusting, in fact it was the opposite, spotless leather stools surrounding cute little glass tables with a single, lit candle on each of them ... it was too swanky and sleek for a sports bar. If Koffman and I had sat alone in the back at a candlelit table, we would have been on our first date. Still, for a private party, or a big game, or just a packed Friday night, I am sure this place would be awesome, but this night the vibe was not for me ...
Anyway, we ended up at a little Japanese place called Tenzan, also at 89th and 2nd, where we had excellent tempura and okay sushi. The miso soup was good too, but if you are a Japanese place and you have bad miso soup, you have a serious problem. The sushi was well-priced and interesting, and the flavor of the rolls we got was very good, but the integrity of the rolls was suspect. I am no novice with chopsticks and the rolls continually fell apart during the meal ... still, a good time because it is always excellent to hang out with good friends.