00.2 Kiku, 56 rue Richer in the 9th, 01.44.83.02.30, closed Sundays, got Emmanuel Rubin's #2 slot in his ratings of fall openings, so on my traditional last night out before I leave Paris, at a resto I can eat at nearby, after a filling but awful meal at lunch, I went.
I went down the Street of Sorrows (wrong ref, but hey) of Asian places, why are they all here?, all full before 8 PM, I found myself at Rubin's treasure.
Japanese customers, OK, I must be right. Japanese waitresses - cool - they are cool. No one speaks much French - fine. No record of my rez despite my recollection (impressive enuf that they turned at least 4 others out into the street).
Order the only possibility - Menu degustation at 35 E and some booze.
First, oh yah, very supremely excellent chopsticks looking like carved wood (could'ave been.)
Then, a very strangely spiced salmon sashimi (disclosure: I have spent about 10 weeks total on three trips (some paid for by you, my loyal reader/citizens) in provincial and Tokyo restos, including many ryokans as well as places in the Western world, so don't accuse me of total Pinkertonesque sensibilites) and I was taken aback by the finesse, the ineffible, the indescribable, taste. Between genius and awful.
Then an entre-course of chicken liver pate - strong, assertive, most decidedly not my stuff.
My main was called a shrimp tempura - not by me. It was, hummmm, sort of full of finesse, the ineffible, the indescribable.
Then some sort of fish (which was not tuna, which is verboten here) which was, sort of full of finesse, the ineffible, the indescribable, with so-so rice (which my friends from the East only ate some of which, 2/3rd's way thru) and good, very good soup (which my friends from the East only slurped at the end).
The bill without bottled water, overpriced sake or coffee, crept up to 45 E.
Go? Pay attention here, Calvin, not on your life, unless Rubin treats you and tells you why he likes each item. On second thought, not even then.