Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Educating Noeha Part 4

After the fried fish feast at Top Cat we went downtown to see what was going on at ...

1512 Commerce St
Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: 214-742-3873

I liked Fuse but I'm about to rip it a new one.

Lets all take a deep breath and get over this opium-den style of decorating where we do everything in a LA-stark, wood-and-concrete minimalism then place big gold Buddha's in a salad spinner and see where they land. I understand your menu is Asian inspired, now find a more creative way to tell me that without looking like Pier One vomited all over the place. Thanks.

Other than that, Fuse is a nice space. It's downtown near the Neiman Marcus epicenter of rebirth. Multileveled to an extreme, creating nookish, semi-private dining and drinking spaces while still open enough to see everyone.

The dining area is crammed with tables and very modern and uncomforatble chairs. The upstairs main bar area is much more comfortable, having cushy oversized lowboy chairs spread out in a more relaxed configuration. Beyond the main bar area is the uber-big patio bar which I loved. The big white Japanese laterns with the blue lights gave a psycho Tokyo-lounge feeling. The bed in the middle of the patio bar was cheesy and that has been done to death since BED opened in NYC.

The Drink

Galina & Noeha on the bed @ Fuse

The drink menu was full of specialty drinks and sakes, lots and lots of sakes. I tried the Texas Harmony. Very nice! A blend of Peach Vodka, Sake and fresh lime. Tasty, not incomprehensibly sweet and very refreshing.

The girls had drinks that were more like desserts, yak!

The Plate
We were still full from Top Cat but we tried one of their sushi rolls, The Fuse Special Roll. It was good but not worth $15. Crab (mixed with mayo, ick), Salmon, a parboiled carrot and avocado rolled in thin strips of cucumber. I liked the contrast between the firm carrot crunch and the soft remainder.

The menu at Fuse looks fascinating, its a fusion of typical Texas fare with Asian overlays. Yeah, that has been done before, and it can be almost destructive, but Fuse has interesting combinations that might work. One that looked good was the Roasted Chicken in a LemonGrass broth. I'll go back to try this one.

Everyone threw us attitude from the moment we walked through the door. Then Noeha pulled out her Ritz trump card and the free champagne came out along with the smiles and the "is there anything else we can do for you"'s. Typical Dallas. Our server forgot soy sauce and chopsticks when she brought out the sushi, but it was her first night and she was quick about returning.

Drink prices are reasonable with speciality drinks in the $7-9 range. Food prices are getting to the special occassion level; apps from $8-15 and meals $20-30.

Downtown near the Neimans epicenter. There is a car park next door for a buck, use it, don't even think about parking on the street.

I'll probably try Fuse again for food but I doubt it will become a integral part of my life, maybe this is where I will take the out-of-towners.

Anyway, moving on, we walked over to ...

1602 Main St.
Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: 214-747-6227

Isn't this just Nikita but downtown? Why is everyone getting so enthusiastic over another underground concrete bar? I dont get it. Its a very nice space but I'm not seeing the novelty others have told me about. The super-enlarged photos of red blood cells on the back bar were cool but this alone doesn't make for a good evening out. There were 10 people inside at 10p on a Friday. PAR TAY.

After our 5 minute tour we exited just in time to see a Chicken Fried Blonde girl having her Hummer valet parked. Doesn't she know she can park it herself next door or is it more that she can't manuever that obscenely large, eco-destroying hunk of 2-years-ago statement into a car park for normal sized vehicles? Maybe she was too distracted by the weight of her Bluetooth earpiece, which she proudly displayed by pulling her hair behind the ear on that side.

Goofy. Hopefully she is not representative of the typical O-Bar patron.


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