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Catching Up Over a Great Meal at Oceana

It’s because of Oceana and other restaurants owned by the Livanos family, such as Cafe Meze and City LImits Diner, that, way back when, I first met my friend Stephanie. At the time, she was doing the restaurant’s PR. We hadn’t see each other in eons, so when we wanted to catch up, we decided: what better place than the new Oceana? It recently moved into a much bigger — and much grander — space. The sausage-stuffed calamari was excellent.

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You walk in and are greeted with a small lounge and three blackboards listings oysters and other specials.

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There’s a marble raw bar —

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— with a beautiful display of fish:

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Moving in to the restaurant, you step down a level to the bar:

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The dining room is cavernous and opulent.

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There’s a lot of space between the tables:

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We started with an amuse of lobster bisque:

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Here is the poke trio. It’s tuna, hamachi and salmon tartare, done in the Hawaiian style of poke, which is like a tartare but with soy sauce and other seasonings:

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Light and elegant with a little kick.

The scallop sashimi with shoyu and togarashi might have been my favorite dish all night.

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Ethereal.

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This beautiful little number is the fluke tatare with cashews, mango and coconut:

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Also stunning.

Seafood-sausage stuffed calamari:

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Terrific.

Then entrees. There are two kinds, the “composed” entrees and the “simply prepared” ones.

The halibut saltimbocca with proscuitto, tomato confit and ricotta is “composed.”

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This grilled Hawiian opah is “simply prepared.”

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It came with two sauces. One is this tomatillo-based one —

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— and the other was a romanesco that was out of this world. I forgot to take a photo of it, though.

Like at a steakhouse, we got a couple of sides with the “simply prepared” fish.

Brussels sprouts:

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And risotto with apple:

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I liked the opah with romesco best.

Dessert is seriously great.

Each of these is a different doughnut, made with a different flour or yeast and flavored or stuffed with different sweets.

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Yeast: Earl Grey Tea Glazed; Cake: Pumpkin Spiced; Filled: Salty Caramel Custard; Fritter: Sour Green Apple; Hole: Chocolate Cocoa Nb.

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Frozen Pear Chibouts with Yogurt Lemongrass Soup and Angel Food Cake Croutons:

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Kadota Fig Almon Tart with Black Pepper Mascarpone Cream and Black Mission Fig Sorbet:

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What a great meal. And so nice to Stephanie again after all this time:

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10:45:00 on 10/20/09 by liz - Category: Restaurants

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