Critic Roundup: Sushi Ko''s Chef Is 'Curious and Chatty'

Every week, The Daily Meal rounds up restaurant reviews across America

'You might enjoy him.You might not. He has a fine palate,' says restaurant critic Alan Richman of Sushi Ko's chef John Daley.

This week in restaurant news, critic Alan Richman focuses on the chef more than the food at New York City Sushi Ko, which is operated by three American men: one "businessman" who greets customers outside, one waiter who has "little to do in a restaurant with nine counter seats," and one chef, John Daley, whose career in Asian dining started at age 15, washing dishes at a Chinese restaurant. "It is not the very good fish that stands out at New York Sushi Ko. It is Daley," says Richman. "You might enjoy him.You might not. He has a fine palate. He has better ears. He is curious and chatty. The modern, pale room is very small, the space behind the counter very narrow, and he stands close to everyone, missing nothing."

Washington, D.C. restaurant critic Tom Sietsema is "verbally high-fived" by and receives a "crash course in the resort" from the manager. "At the moment, after a drive of more than an hour from Washington, all we want is a drink. My companions and I are eager to be seated, but our reservation is nowhere to be found," he says. Once seated, "Three of us order cocktails; after an epic wait, only two drinks materialize. The third, a server informs us, is 'coming from another outlet.' (Another outlet?) When the glass is finally delivered, it turns out to be a shot of Sazerac whiskey rather than the requested Sazerac cocktail."

In Orange County, Calif., critic Brad Johnson reviews Rice Paper, where the "shrimp on a stick" and the bloody clams are what "just about everybody orders." "The thing about Rice Paper that catches my attention is the sign. It's in English. And I'm in Little Saigon," says Johnson. "The people at my table are the only ones I've ever heard speaking English, so clearly it's not the Anglo sign that's bringing in people. I'm guessing it's the 'shrimp on a stick' and the bloody clams."


Restaurant Critic Roundup: 10/30/2013

Critic Publication Restaurant Rating
Gael Greene Insatiable Critic Tao Downtown  
Alan Richman GQ New York Sushi Ko 2 stars
Ryan Sutton Bloomberg Piora 3 stars
Pete Wells New York Times Hearth  
Tom Sietsema Washington Post J & G Steakhouse 2 stars
Tom Sietsema Washington Post Harrimans  
Tom Sietsema OC Register Rice Paper 2 stars
Devra First The Boston Globe Shanghai Social Club  
Michael Bauer San Francisco Chronicle A16 3 stars
Michael Bauer San Francisco Chronicle Ciccio 3 stars
Scott Reitz Dallas Observer Truck Yard  


Click here for The Daily Meal's "Top Chefs Review — and Rate — America's Food Critics."



Haley Willard is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter at @haleywillrd