Tao: renowned for its giant buddha, delightful drinks, and off the roof prices.
But honestly, I think the price is worth the ambiance. And the food. You walk into the main dining area, and all you see is this big buddha that is at least 12 feet tall sitting above a pond koi. It's wonderful.
My amazing friend Chelsea and I ended a great day of New York City festivities with dinner at of course, a trendy Midtown East location. Since she's pescatarian, we chose all seafood items, which is totally fine by me because seafood is my favorite food.
We started with edamame and cocktails. I had a refreshing Jade Blossom (pear based) and she had a very fruity Peach Cosmopolitan.
For appetizers, we shared a spicy tuna tartar and a Thai crab cakes. The Thai crab cakes had a great mango based chili sauce and there was definitely a substantial amount of crab meat, but it came out a bit soggy because it was sitting in the sauce. The spicy tuna tartar was very original. It was served over a fried sticky rice layer, which provided a great complementary texture to the tartar.
For main course, we shared a scallop tempura and a teppanyaki swordfish. The scallop tempura was made from diver scallops, and it was good, but not something that I would go just to Tao to order. Same with the teppanyaki swordfish. It was prepared well because it wasn't too over cooked, but it was quite ordinary. However, the swordfish was served with asparagus tempura, which I've never had before, and it was delicious. Definitely a great surprise.
I would definitely go to Tao again because it's such a novel place. Definitely a place with good friends, but maybe not for parents looking for good Asian food, or a first date. You might be wondering what the bill amounted to. 3 appetizers, 2 main courses, and 2 round of drinks: $140 including tip. I thought it was worth it.