We visited Ko one year ago and the entrance changed positions but not much else has changed significantly. The seats at the counter seemed better spaced but the loud music still makes conversation difficult. They offer 2 seatings in a night and they are staggered slightly so waiting wasn’t a problem. They offer only the same tasting menu to all and it was surprisingly similar to what we were served a year ago. They probably offer wine pairings but we chose to order our own wines. They do have a couple tables for larger groups but everyone else is seated at the wood bar in acceptable but not super comfy seats. They have purse hooks under the counter but it was so far under you’d never be able to retrieve your purse if you need anything. Pacing was uneven and portion control was on the light side. You do receive a menu at the end but many of the things I well recognized from our last visit. I mentioned this to the chef who was a bit defensive that they’d made changes but they were minor to the diner. Unfortunately this similarity made the meal less exciting to me.
They do start everyone with a moist towel as most of the first selections are to be eaten by hand. We started with a pomme soufflé which was a sour cream and onion puffed potato that was stuffed with the sour cream. They were thin, crisp and tasty.
The lobster paloise was a thin crisp roll stuffed with lobster, mint, Thai basil and to be eaten in one bite. They were nice.
A chicken oyster was a cold fried chicken oyster with green tabasco, soaked in a sweetish yuzu sauce. It was moist and delicious.
Raw Long Island fluke was with mitsuba (Japanese parsley), wasabi and lardo. It was tender and mild with minimal seasoning on the very mild fish.
Spot Prawn heads were breaded with cornmeal and fried. There was prawn tartar underneath. The fried bits were really crispy and good and the raw portions very mild in flavor.
The Ko egg was with white sturgeon caviar. It looked a bit like a “pacman” with a lightly smoked and soft boiled egg spewing caviar. It was on top of some onion soubise and beside some chervil and chives. Some potato chips rounded out the plate. The smoke affect was quite mild but the plate did have some good textural contrasts. The onion soubise was quite good.
Some sour dough bread cut in thick slices was next. The sour dough was aged 4-5 weeks in a cheese house. It had a nice crisp crust and came with a tasty butter.
Dry aged beef sirloin strip was served in a viscous hibiscus and Campari sauce. It was well streaked with fat and cooked with charred onion. It was very tender with mild herb flavor.
Charred Razor clams were served with pineapple dashi and basil oil. It was served cold and the basil seeds added a fun pop. The pineapple had a good amount of flavor in the juice.
Skate wing fish was filleted in front of you and plated with a fava bean sauce and Lima beans. The fish had been breaded and deep fried after being marinated in coconut milk. Caramelized lime jam was in the bowl with the fava bean sauce along with ginger, shallots and salt. The fish was extremely moist and had a hint of peppers spice otherwise it was bland with a predominant flavor of fried. The topping had a bitter component. It was served with a deep fried roll of daikon and nut. The crisp was supposed to mimic the scales of a fish. It was bland with no fish flavor just that of the fryer.
Porchetta was plated with collard rabe and mustard sauce. The tender dark meat of pork was moist but the white bits of pork were dry. The rabe was really woody and too tough to eat. The interior held large chunks of fat. It also was a bit salty so you were thankful for a small portion.
The transition course was kumquat with Earl Grey tea. It was quite tart but a good palate cleanser.
The first dessert was foie gras with lychee, pine nut jelly and Riesling jelly. The foie gras was frozen and grated on top of the smoother jellies that were held in a small tart shell. The jellies were tart in this one and seemed to fight with the sweetness of the foie gras.
Wild rice and kelp made up the second dessert. The wild rice was a nicely creamy ice cream made with soy milk and then coated with some crunchies. They had flavor and texture but when they ran out the dish had no zip or flavor. It also left a weird aftertaste.
An almond tart with vin jaune custard and sorrel ice cream was last. The tart was good but the ice cream too grassy in flavor for me. The outside crust was good but the inside portion was soggy. Maybe they were made too far in advance.