Anticipation makes everything more exciting, doesn't it? We've all been excitedly awaiting the opening of Crazy Fish, the much-hyped sushi restaurant in Nob Hill (3015 Central NE, 232-3474, next to the Lobo Theater). Owner and sushi Chef Seigo Ono, a former Albuquerque resident, came back to open his own place after a decade away. The lunch menu is accessible and affordably priced, with selections like the teriyaki salmon lunch box ($6.95): salmon served with miso soup, rice, salad or stir-fried vegetables. Other options include calamari salad ($6.25) and a barbecued eel bowl ($7.25). At dinner the menu is more exciting but not that much more expensive. A starter of edamame will run you $3.50 and creamy Asian mushroom udon pasta is $10.50. There's also a full sushi bar. Stop in and try it out. Let us know what you think.
Congratulations to Chef Mark Kiffin of The Compound restaurant in Santa Fe (653 Canyon Road, 505-982-4353). He is one of five to be nominated in the 2005 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards category for Best Chef in the Southwest. The winners will be announced in New York on May 2. I'll be there to witness the ceremony and I promise to report the results ASAP.
During a one-week “Desserts for Disaster Relief” fundraiser, New Mexico restaurants raised $22,500 to aid victims of the South Asian tsunami. The New Mexico Restaurant Association (NMRA) last week presented a check for that amount to the Mid-Rio Grande Chapter of the Red Cross, but Carol Wight, of the NMRA, said that donations are still coming in, so the final donation amount will certainly be higher. Thanks to Claus Hjortkjaer of Le Café Miche for coming up with the idea, and to all of you who ordered desserts during the promotion.
Hey, North Valley java junkies, there's a new coffee shop in your neighborhood. You're familiar with the Art Barn, right? It's that old building in Los Ranchos that used to be a community center and a coffin warehouse, but is now a retail art store and workshop? About 1,000 square-feet of the 4,500 square-foot space has been given over to Artesano's Coffeehouse. Artesano's serves Santa Fe's Aroma coffees and a full line of espresso drinks. Owner David Salazar describes the atmosphere as “very coffeehouse,” with couches, computer workstations and free wireless Internet access. Check it out at 8833 Fourth Street NW (at Ortega).
Lindy's coffee shop, Downtown at Fifth Street and Central, will be closed for the next month or so as the historic space undergoes some remodeling. We'll fill you in on the new look as soon as it's open again.