Tuesday, October 24, 2006

SushiSamba 7 - Funky In The Village

Rock Solid For West Village Hipsters, But Still Worth The $$ ?

I love trekking down to the West Village for eats. My 15 minute subway ride feels like a world apart from the sleepier Upper West Side.

I always tell people that my heart lives in the Village, and my wallet lives on the Upper West Side. So, trips downtown are essential for me… and I love to venture down and chow.

I have several favorites…. German grub at Leiderhosen, cheese shopping at Murray’s, a grandma slice at Bleeker Street Pizza, free range chicken fingers from Dirty Bird… you get the picture…..

Recently, a friend suggested we meet in the neighborhood, and I tossed out a joint that has always intrigued me. I’ve had several quality meals there… but the items can be hit or miss… so I thought I’d take a moment to set you straight on the colorful sushi hang, Sushi Samba 7.

First, the place is full of good looking folks. Nearly any night of the week there is a crowd, and for good reason. The drinks are great, the food solid and the atmosphere a little stuffy look at me-me. Ah, New York.

I’ve certainly had better sushi and Brazilian and South American food in NYC… but with a rooftop patio and sliding walls in the main dining room, the place feels connected with the city…. which is always a good thing.

Reservations are a good idea here, and even with them, you’ll likely wait. We waited nearly an hour for changing our 4 top to a 3 top (are you kidding me?) and were rewarded with a plate of gratis calamari. It was average stuff, and all kidding aside, I’ll take getting seated on time.

The room was packed on this Tuesday evening, and the bar was hopping. Good news for those who must wait…. as the bar has some great signature drinks and a killer wine list. Maybe next time I’ll ask for a glass of pino while I wait....

At the table, the dishes come recommended by the wait staff. Having eaten there on a few occasions, I was curious what exactly would be recommended, and sure enough, it was all the stuff I had last time. Seems that the wait staff knows what people like, and would rather please for the nice tip then send anyone up the wrong road. Pity.

So, the solid stuff on the menu?


The great stuff: Tuna Sashimi Tiradito with green apple and red jalapeño. The Green Envy Roll encrusted with wasabi peas, filled with tuna, salmon, asparagus and key lime mayo. The miso Chilean Sea Bass, which seems to find it’s way onto every table in the place. And the basic Churrasco, with ribeye, pork and linguia sausage. Tasty, but by no means real Churrasco.

As mentioned above, the wine list is terrific. There is a wine cellar downstairs, next to what may be the swankiest bathrooms in the West Village. Complete with attendant.

If you are a sushi hound, you’ll find a good selection of stuff you really like, for a price. If sushi isn’t your thing, there are still items to choose (meats, rock shrimp, beef maki) but none of them will have you calling friends and family. Solid, unspectacular stuff.

Sushi Samba is still about the scene. Hip, urban, noisy. Good bar.

You can likely save some cash by dropping by before dinner down the street for a bowl of edamame and a Caipirinha. Or after, for a Choco Loco (trust me on this one) and the warm chocolate banana cake.

Oh yea, now we talkin baby.

SushiSamba 7
Japanese, Sushi, Brazilian, South American

87 7th Ave S, New York 10014
Btwn Grove & Barrow St

Phone: 212-691-7885