E+O Kitchen in Hyde Park just opened in November and it has already become the talk of the town.
E+O’s space is where Dancing Wasabi moved to for a minute, and honestly, the space is what we need to talk about. The place is gorgeous. Clean, modern, white, sharp – it’s pretty breathtaking. If you’ve dined at its predecessor, you’ll be completely familiar with the layout, but the new look and aesthetic is worth the revisit.
The menu is also pretty enticing. Per usual, upon making a date with our newlywed buds, the Raders, we all studied and group texted about the options days before our reservation. Therefore, we all went in with ideas.
Now I do have to say this. E+O’s menu offers everything, from sushi to sashimi to tacos to ceviche. Normally, I’m pretty Trump-like when it comes to food – I don’t want different cultures crossing borders and mixing. When I think about sushi, only a spring roll or rangoon appetizer will do. When it’s tacos, queso and guac is it. But at E+O, you can sort of have it all. I was skeptical, but open minded.
With that open-mindedness, I opted for the Wholly-Mole, which was guacamole with edamame. The edamame added awesome texture but didn’t necessarily do anything special for the overall taste. That’s not to say it wasn’t yummy, because it very much was, especially with the Nada-like tortilla chips. I’d give it two thumbs up. Two thumbs wearing tiny sombreros and wielding chopsticks up.
Kenny ventured south with the crispy chicken tacos (Japanese fried chicken, chili aioli, shaved cabbage, cilantro, and onions). Those guys tasted exactly like they sound. Fried chicken, with a kicky cream, crunchy slaw, and pungent cilantro and onion finish. If you are a fan of those deets, you’ll be a fan of the dish.
I went in craving sushi and sushi is what I got. Per a recommendation, I ordered the Great White roll and assumed it would be a home run. Escolar, potato chips, black truffle shavings, and truffle vinaigrette, I thought there was no way I wouldn’t love this. It definitely sounded weird but I assumed I’d be obsessed. Was I? Not really. I did eat every last one and it definitely was weird. But not weird enough for me to hate, but not great enough for me to recommend or order again. And I can’t believe I am saying this, but it really only tasted like truffle, and shockingly, I thought it was too much. Sad line for me to cross.
The other two rolls I tried were more in line with the kind of rolls that satisfy the craving. The big daddy on the left was the Beluga, with shrimp tempura, cucumber, unagi, avocado, and the twist – caramelized onions. The little guy on the right (Uno Dos) was nearly identical, with tempura shrimp, snow crab, avocado, cucumber, and nori. I really love avocado and cucumber (and asaragus) in my sushi, so that with something sweet, like crab, and something crunchy, like tempura shrimp, I almost always order.
In the end here, I do have to say this. The food on the whole didn’t necessarily kill it for me, which was such a bummer because the place is so seriously cool. But I would say that if you were to find yourself popping around Hyde Park with friends, definitely make a point to pop in for the atmosphere. That, plus the newness of it all, is definitely worth checking out. For sure.