Charles, to echo Nancy's comment and expand on it, I can tell you that Mr. Yamazawa expressed a similar sentiment. In the most spiritual of Japanese food traditions, a chef won't even cook with garlic, onion or any other root vegetable. Pulling a vegetable from its root is considered killing the plant.
I asked Mr. Yamazawa if he thought printing a soon-to-be vegan concept would deter some current or potential customers, and he said of course -- but with a smile. As highlighted in the story and in Nancy's comment, this is an elegant, personal form of Japanese cuisine that the Yamazawas are excited to share. I hope you do try it. As far as I know, seafood is still a part of the menu. And it is delicious.
For much of its history, Japanese cuisine was heavily influenced by Buddhist and Shinto teachings that forbid killing and the consumption of meat. The general public did not eat meat until after the Meiji Restoration - latter part of the 19th century. Yamazushi is recreating a very traditional, very elegant form of Japanese cuisine rarely seen in the US, much less in North Carolina, and it's very exciting.
Our restaurant reviews are intentionally focused on highly anticipated, newly opened locations, as suggested by the column name: First Bite. As there are roughly 2,000+ restaurants in the Triangle area, this is helpful in limiting the scope. If the experience is overall unsatisfactory, we may return six months later for a second review.
This food critic should do a simple thing as research before going to a restaurant. The dough was not "yeasty" enough for you? They don't use yeast!
If you wanted a large "yeasty" pie to feed the table and have left overs... you should visit Vinny's. You will get all the partially raw, overloaded with sauce, and yeasty dough you would ever want to eat.
And I can't agree more about the comments of visiting on Last Friday. And a few times before that. Nice, so your visits were all during the first 50 days of operation.
Very unprofessional on your part to rip apart a brand new business without giving them time to train staff and work out the bugs and menu.
Thank you! I am raising two of these and now I'm thinking I should have gotten more:)
If you'd like a primer on how NOT to engage your potential customers as a new restaurant owner, please read the comments that Wayne Johnson (owner of Johnson Family BBQ) has entered on the Carpe Durham blog discussion about his restaurant. First rule of the primer should be, "don't swear at your customers and/or call them rude names".
I live in Western NC, about 40 miles NE of Ahseville, at about 4,000 elevation. I have some oak logs that were inoculated with shitake spores about 5 years ago, but have never produced. Suddenly (it's early May, been very wet and cool), my logs are covered with what look like shitakes. Are there wild poisonous mushrooms from this area that may have taken over my logs, which look like shitakes? I am itching to gather these, but am wondering if it's possible for the spores to stay dormant this long. Sure don't want to eat anything that I shouldn't.
If Yamazushi goes vegan, I will never set foot in the place. The whole article had me very, very interested... until reading that one line. I'm all for a fine dining experience, and it sounds like a wonderful date. But if it's vegan, count me out. Japanese food without some sort of meat is not Japanese food.
Great fish, great slaw, great chips.
To those commenting and reading: As a Chef who has written reviews for a free weekly as a fill-in there are a few things you can find fault with in this review, but that's another topic. That said, I agree with everything said about the food and service in this article. Now before you are tempted to insult me, let me explain how I review and how I try new restaurants.
Having opened restaurants before I know from first-hand experience what the first few weeks are like. It's chaos. No one reviews a restaurant in the first two weeks for that reason. I visited Radius three times: Once the first week, once the second, and once the third. For a restaurant reviewer this is a great way to get a picture of where a new restaurant is headed, and by week three the should have the bugs worked out for the most part.
My first visit was horrible all around. I'm a wood-fired pizza aficionado so my hopes were high, and I looking for things to believe in. For the second visit it was adequate, but lacking. For the third it slid back to abysmal.
Each visit I had the EXACT same thing. Again, a great way to measure progress. Now, I won't go into the food details (since I'm attempting to make an overall point), but I will say the crust was the largest problem for them food-wise. The service however got worse each visit. On my third visit a waitress insisted reading us the desert menu even though we didn't ask, and on the second our waitress attempted to tell me that my pizza was properly cooked when the crust wasn't even blonde.
So that is what I would have written my review on. Afterwards, I went back for a fourth time just to try something different. I ordered a sandwich on an average lunch day. It arrived 40 minutes later barely warm, with cold limp fries accompanying it. My lunch partner fared no better with a soggy pizza. We made no comment, and decided to finish and head out since the food was "OK" overall, and we didn't have time to wait for more food.
As we finished our meal sitting at their beautiful bar another patron asked the bartender if she wanted to know if he liked his meal (she had what seemed to be a dismissive attitude towards all the customers at the bar and ignored them as much as possible). She replied "sure", and he proceeded to tell her that his meal took a very long time and came cold. What she said next floored me. She looked at him and said "Yeah, it seemed cold to me too", turned around, and walked away. My lunch partner both looked at each other and shook our heads in disbelief. I usually tip 20% out of respect and laziness (it's easier than doing the math), but this time I took out my phone and calculated exactly 15%, and fel too generous at that.
So, was it fair to write a review after one visit on Last Friday? Probably not, but this review nailed a summary of every experience I've had there, and like the reviewer we both believe it still has promise and look forward to a better meal there someday.
This review belongs on Yelp along with all the other amateur opinions, not the Indy. A seasoned food critic would never 1) try a place only once before ripping it; 2) write a revierw only weeks after a restaurant opens, while the kinks are being worked out; 3) go during one of the busiest nights of its existence, when the town is out on the streets in force for Last Friday (not "Last Fridays Art Walk," FYI) and the wait is an hour; and 4) bring five young kids to distract from the experience. I have been to Radius several times and enjoyed both the food and atmosphere, but the owners would be the first to tell you that there is still plenty of room for adjustments/improvements, and they are always appreciative of constructive feedback. This review was not at all constructive, but a self-indulgent exercise. The Indy should have higher standards.
You're review says "outside New Haven, Conn. (the birthplace of pizza y'all, and I say that seriously)"
I thought the birthplace of pizza was was Italy/Greece/Mediterranean and found the pizza to much more like pizza we've had in Rome, but with a bit more in the way of generosity of toppings.
You're review says 'had a gooey foundation of cheese" Not what I'm looking for in a pizza, but that's just me. Not a true pizza to my experience, what you describe is an American version, to be found most anywhere. Glad to have an alternative option for pizza in Hillsborough to Domino's and Pizza Hut.
Gene & Linda
Before reading this review, I had talked to several people who had tried Radius, and they all said the same thing: the food is delish, but the service is seriously lacking. For this reason, I have only ever gotten food to go, and I will agree-it's worthy. In response to the comments made above-anyone who frequents Hillsborough should know that the majority of the restaurants in town are geared towards an older crowd- not children. It was refreshing to see that a place was opening up that children could enjoy as much as adults. Let's be honest here-if anywhere would welcome a group with 4 children under 5, it should be a pizza place, although I do agree that Last Friday was probably not the best night to go. The service seems to be the missing link here. Bottom line: the owners of Radius seem to have a potentially great thing going here-keep it going by making sure you hire experienced, competant staff who will get orders right the first time around, because the quality of your cooks and servers should be equally important as the quality of someone's meal.
I have been several times and have yet to be disappointed. How in the world can anyone give an honest review with 4 kids under the age of 5 at the table? I know if I brought them to my job it would be impossible to get anything of any value done. Perhaps next time you spring for a babysitter, bring your husband and don't go on a last Friday! You set yourself up for the perfect storm with your choices! As for the server placing the pie close to your 7th month old... You had 6 people at a table, 4 of them under the age of 5 and 5 pizzas, where exactly should they have put it....the bathroom? Ridiculous!
Having been several times I have not be disappointed. How can one write a serious review of a meal with 4 children under 5 in tow? If I brought them to my job I certainly wouldn't get anything of great value accomplished! The first last Friday of the season is not the night to try and capture the true abilities of any resteraunt in downtown Hillsborough! Next time spring for a sitter, take your husband and savor the experience! By the way, with 6 people at a table and 4 of them under 5 and 5 pizzas ordered. Where exactly should the server have placed the pizza.... In the rest room? Ridiculous!
give the place another chance on a weeknight not during a last friday
Gee, you think that taking four kids under 5 years old is a good recipe for a thoughtful restaurant review? Not to mention going on a super busy night right after the place opens? I have not been to Radius yet, but I know several people who have including other INDY Staffers, and the reviews have been unanimously fantastic. I am an ad rep for the INDY.
You missed their best kept secret (and Durham's best breakfast sandwich). The bagel sandwiches are AMAZING, especially with the maple Sriracha!
This reviewer is totally off base. Delicious cuisine at a reasonable price. I always get the seafood and it is fabulous. The bread is like a tender, cakey biscuit. I think Bella's is the best kept secret in the foodie world of Durham!
I read the first few lines and had a sense of "Deja Vu" until I saw at the bottom that my web site www.pepper-passion.com was listed as a source. Thank You for the mention.
Salt & Pepper shakers can be whimsical and cute. Unfortunaltely, you will never experience the true pepper taste if you only used pre-ground pepper from a shaker. If you want to enjoy gourmet pepper the only way to do so is to use freshly ground pepper from a mill.
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