Consumers Speak: “Poison Street Sushi”

As if putting up your complaints were not cut-and-pastey enough, reader Oz even sent us this totally functional title as well to his story of good lamb, mediocre sushi, and bad service.

So two weeks ago, I decided to treat my cousin and his expecting fianc
e to dinner at Bond Street Sushi in Manhattan. He’d patronized the place a few times, and noted that it was cool and swanky. Aside from going to Nobu, I’m not sure if swanky is the best advert for sushi – but we went nonetheless.

Bond Street has an Omakase, which loosely translates to Chef’s special. Typically a skilled sushi chef will build a selection of haute cuisine style sushi. We were asked if we had any special dietary concerns to which I replied gluten intolerant. I’m not sure if that phrase registers as disregard client, but i recIeved the first course with bread, while my gf and his fiancee munched away on tempura.

The next two courses were served on blocks of ice, but the fish was warm – which prompted me to ask the waitress. They kindly sent an angry Korean girl over who insisted that the Omakase was fine. I’ve eaten Japanese food on three continents, but I suppose culinary experience is no substitute for adamant attitude.

My gf and my cousin’s fianc
e proceeded to their entree which was Sea Bass – not too, bad except for the taste was a bit off. The sauce was decent at least.

My cousin and I then received a lamb course – kind of odd for an Omakase – but what the hell, it’s Bond Street Sushi. This turned out to be the tastiest thing all evening. Now while we were enjoying this culinary surprise amongst the mediocrity that was dinner, the guido next to us smacked his martini out of a waiter’s hands – with the drink landing smack on my cousin (and the Guido of course).

My cousin turned red; I couldn’t stop laughing and the Guido ran out to his car to change his shirt. While this transpired – the efficient wait staff managed to grab my cousin’s dish and leave him to dry himself off with his own napkin.

We summoned the manager to get his food back, however the angry Korean girl showed up again and started bantering about how he must have been done, otherwise they would never have taken his food. She also seemed irritated about the martini accident – not that it happened, rather that he was complaining.

Dessert turned out to be really delicious, but it didn’t makeup for the crap service and so-so food. Especially when the food and drink bill totaled out at over $350.

So we paid, I noted to one of the managers how dissatisfied I was at the service and quality of food. I’m not sure if people really believe that they can talk you into having a good experience, after you just had a bad one – but she tried.

When I got home, I ended up a bit sick and on the toilet for a bit. Usually I let things roll off, but that was it.

Over the next few days I left 3 – 4 messages for their general manager with no return call. After a week of waiting, I called called my credit card co and contested the bill and then followed up with a call to the Health department to file a food poisoning complaint. Let me tell you that works magic on getting a return call.

A manager named Christine (not the GM) called me back to offer a gift certificate, to which I said I would not feel comfortable dining in her establishment again. She said, and I quote “We have never had a case of food poisoning here and are known for delicious food and excellent service”

She agreed to refund my money and we closed at that.

The funniest thing was when I mentioned this to one of my UES neighbors, whe noted “Oh, that place has really lousy food and pretentiuos service, plus they’re not really a place to be seen anymore”

Perhaps if they were more popular the food would be better, who knew?!

Comments

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  1. Eusie says:

    If you want an amazing sushi experience go to Sushi Yasuda on E. 43rd St. It’s expensive, but worth every penny. Then when you’re done, go across the street to Sakagura (211 E. 43rd) for sake.

  2. StevenF says:

    I’m not a Doctor or anything, but I have two things to offer. Anything that would make you sick almost immediately would probably be inedible to start with and generally speaking, food poisoning takes around 12-24 hours to become symptomatic.

  3. Josh says:

    I second StevenF. I find people I know complaining about being sick very shortly after eating somewhere they don’t like etc. I wonder if it as a Psychological thing.

    O no I may get food poisoning from this. 2 hours later. Sick.

  4. OkiMike says:

    Perhaps StevenF doesn’t have enough time to back up his assertions with a simple online search. Quoting from MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia:

    “The symptoms from the most common types of food poisoning generally start within 2 to 6 hours of eating the food responsible. That time may be longer (even a number of days) or shorter, depending on the toxin or organism responsible for the food poisoning.”

    In the cases where I’ve experienced food-poisoning, I almost invariably get sick 2 hours after (though I notice it even before that). I eat sushi at least three times a week here in Japan, and I’m all too familiar with certain raw fish timetables that can be problematic.

  5. OkiMike says:

    On another note, $350 for sushi?? I’ve eaten at many types of sushi establishments, but the most I’ve ever paid was a little over $100 even at a high-end sushi house in Roppongi Hills or Ueno. Geez…

    Two trips to your New York sushi restaurant and you could actually fly to Japan!