14 Dec 2009 @ 10:13 PM 

I think I was issued a slight challenge the other day…or perhaps it was “gentle ribbing” over the frequency with which I recommend a certain restaurant…


Have you ever tried the chocolate cake/chocolate bomb (I have no idea what it’s called on the menu) thing at HIRO?  I mean…SERIOUSLY?

I’ll write more later…I have to go slap my momma it was so good!

(P.S….did you know they’re opening a NEW restaurant downtown?  SERIOUSLY!  I’m going to HAVE to go back to work just to support the gas money to drive out there every week!)

Posted By: The Critical Wife
Last Edit: 14 Dec 2009 @ 10:13 PM

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 06 Jun 2009 @ 5:27 AM 

I know we’ve mentioned Hiro Sushi a time or two.  There’s a reason for that.  From the moment you walk through the door at Hiro, you are transported into a serene, beautiful world that delites the senses.  From the design of the restaurant itself, to the wonderful service, to the amazing food, there is no aspect of Hiro with which we can find fault.  Ok, that’s not entirely true.  They’ve become pretty popular, and it’s not as easy to pop in and get a table anymore!

One thing we have failed to mention here due to our pure love of their sushi is that Hiro DOES serve many other non-sushi items!  While we most frequently enjoy their sushi (Wasabi Stingers, Baby.  Wasabi Stingers.), The Critical Wife’s pregnancy, and occasional lunacy have driven us to order other things from Hiro’s Menu.  I can’t say that we’ve ever been sorry.

Over our five years of patronage, we have enjoyed both the Japanese and Chinese food served at Hiro.  This post, however, is specifically about the Chinese Menu.  The dishes we have most recently tried are Milton’s Chicken, Imperial Chicken, and the Peanut Butter Chicken.

The first thing you will notice about Hiro Sushi’s Chinese food is the extremely high quality ingredients.  Each dish is cooked to order, meaning that your food hasn’t been sitting around in a warmer, flash fried at the last minute, and served gooey or mushy after reheating.  The chicken is beautiful white meat – freshly cooked and not at all “ambiguous”.  There are no nasty bits or questionable pieces floating around in these dishes.  On top of that, the flavor overall will leave you amazed and impressed.  I challenge you to try Hiro’s Chinese food and tell me you’ve ever had better.

Price-wise, Hiro’s Chinese food may be a few dollars more than your average Chinese restaurant.  The thing is?  It is so worth it.  Every bite is fresh, hot, flavorful, and cooked just for you, when you ordered it.  The owners’ pride in their restaurant once again comes through in every dish.

Plusses:  Hiro’s Chinese food is by far the best we’ve had, and we have eaten A LOT of Chinese food, in a lot of cities, with a lot of “Ambiguous Chicken”.  The owners are also a big plus, as is the spectacular service we’ve come to expect at Hiro.

Minuses:  The only one we can force ourselves to come up with is that Hiro has gotten very busy.  Thankfully, the owners are opening a second restaurant in the Old Market area – so we expect this mini-minus to be resolved soon!

Overall Impression:   You will not find better Chinese food in all of Omaha than that served at Hiro Sushi.  The biggest problem is picking just one dish.  So we recommend choosing several.  Have we mentioned it’s also great cold the next morning?

Posted By: The Critical Wife
Last Edit: 25 Jun 2009 @ 03:56 AM

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 03 Jun 2009 @ 6:40 PM 

Ok, so here’s the thing.  We’re kind of batting 1000 on having places we mention on here go belly up.  Bella’s?  Gone.  O Mai Vietnamese?  Gone.  Cuba Linda was gone for awhile, but now appears to be back.  So.  Yeah.  Is it just us?  Should we stop visiting?  LOL.  Sadly, it’s probably mostly a sign of the current economy.  Downer.

Anyway – today I wanted to share with you something I had the EXTREME pleasure to buy for The Omaha Critic a couple of weeks ago.  I am a BIG fan of the downtown Farmer’s Market in Omaha.  Yeah, I’ve hit the one out at Village Point a few times (and would love for it to be bigger).  I’ve also hit the one that was in Millard for a while.  But downtown?  It has my heart.  It’s just a whole experience.  SO, we pack up early on Saturday AM and head down there to get good veggies and hang out for a bit.

Anyway.  Where was I?  (Did we mention that The Critical Wife has had a baby and therefore does not always have her shinola together when posting anymore?) 

Oh yeah.  Chocolate.

Zola Chocolates, to be precise. 

Now let me be clear.  I am not a typical woman.  I am not a woman who craves chocolates once a month (or all month), or who hides special chocolates away to enjoy without the clamoring of her children for a bite.  Really? I’m not a chocolate person.  Really.

I know, I know…it’s strange.

Zola Chocolates, however?  I would strongly consider selling off a kid for some of those!  They are absolutely AWESOME.  I bought a small sampler of six truffles, with two extra salted caramel truffles, KNOWING my Hubby would love them. 

Well, here’s news.  My husband is the most generous, sharing, loving man in the world, because he shared every one of those truffles with me, even though they are the most amazing chocolates either of us have ever had!

Each truffle was a special flavor…Dark Velvet, Peruvian Coffee, Sweet Heat, Pecan Praline, Earl Grey,  and Milk and Honey.  Each one a little ball of happiness…a firmer outside, but as you bite into it, sweet, soft, chocolatey, happiness-in-a-ball.

Honestly, I just can’t go on about them enough. 

SO…get thyself to their website to find the location closest to you, or to their spot down in the Old Market on Saturday mornings, and try some.  You will NOT be sorry. 

My favorite at this point is still the salted caramel, but the sweet heat, the milk and honey, and the Peruvian Coffee are all right up there too!  (I think this week I might have to buy all the other flavors, so we can at least say we’ve had them all.  You know.  Purely for the purposes of reporting on this website.  Mmhmm.  :-)  )

Posted By: The Critical Wife
Last Edit: 04 Jun 2009 @ 02:51 AM

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Categories: 5 Napkins, Carry Out
 26 Aug 2008 @ 3:34 AM 

Ok, so it’s not the most spiffy catch phrase/title I have come up with.  Along with the name of the restaurant, it may be a little misleading.  It is what it is. 

On this evening out, it was the eldest son and I.  It was the night of what will, I’m sure, be the first of many “man talks”.  The kid is 10 and well, I must say that he is like his old man and “bloom early”.  We’ve already seen some of the signs…  The “faux stash” has started to appear and his little legs are starting to hair up.  It is a little disconcerting.  That being said, my wife and I decided that a night out with Pappa would be a good way to break some ice.  So after a few rounds of “Where do you want to go?”, I decided that it may just be best to go where I want to go and leave the rest to fate. 

It was a little later in the evening on a Friday night, (around 8:00PM) and we pulled into Prima 140.  There were just a few cars in the parking lot.  Looking into the place the tables were sparsely occupied.  I was a little worried that things may have gone downhill since I was there last, but went in anyway.   We were immediately greeted by a friendly, well put together waitress and then quickly seated.    Very soon after, someone came by and filled our water glass and placed bread on the table.  My son looked at me and asked me if I was going to review the place and I shrugged and told him the evening was about us, not a review.  He cocked his head and looked at me confused.  I then offered to let him “help me”.  He seemed to like the idea and proceeded to look at his menu blankly, not knowing really what he was looking at.

A few moments later, Matt, our waiter came over and started the “dance” of introductions, specials, and drink orders.  (Now in some previous string of comments, I was asked why I would put the server’s name.  Matt’s performance is exactly WHY I think it is a good thing.)  After Matt finished listing the specials, I had a few questions about what was on the menu, some things about the specials, and an appetizer.  He didn’t just answer, he elaborated on how it was prepared, what was in it, when the ingredients came in, and how proud the chef was about the fish.  Not to the point of being a pest, but Matt relished and understood what he was serving.  Soon after that brought our drinks, took our order and left us alone except to answer any question, check on us and fill our drinks. (until later when I cornered him about the place.)

My son and I ordered two different fish specials: My Mahi-mahi and then my son ordered (Oh man.. now I forgot. *gulp*) something else.  We also ordered the alligator pot stickers and another shrimp appetizer.  After that we began our “chat” about the who’s and the what’s and “where do babies come from” speech.  I must say, that was one of the hardest questions I have ever had to answer.  I’m an open guy.  I like my children to talk to me, but the boy didn’t want to ask questions.  So I must have sounded like a dope.  This 10 year old kid had me blushing.  Fortunately, I don’t think Matt, our server noticed or he was nice enough not to let on.  So our appetizers came and the boy and I sampled them timidly.  That didn’t last long.  The pot stickers were fantastic.  The alligator, which is typically chewy and fishy when I’ve had it, was tender, savory and just melted in my mouth.  The accompanying sauce really complimented the pot stickers.  The shrimp were fresh and had that nice pop when you bit into them.  They were not overcooked and went well, offsetting the richness of the pot stickers. 

After knocking out our appetizers, Matt came with our fish.  He gave us a presentation of what was on our plate, giving center stage to the fresh Mahi-mahi that was before me.  I cut into it, just delighted.  It came with a rich sauce that clung to the fish and enhanced its flavor.   (You know how on Iron Chef when they talk about the theme ingredient?  How some chef’s really bring out the flavor or the theme ingredient and others don’t?  Yeah…)  This was Mahi-mahi and it tasted like Mahi-mahi is supposed to taste.  It tasted like a breeze off of the ocean, with a meaty undertone and grilled sunshine.  The sauce was a rich brown savory sauce that spread across the pallet and didn’t overpower.  I took in each bit as it was meant to be taken: a slow orchestral romp of culinary happiness.  There was a lot going on in each bite.  It didn’t taste at all fishy.  It was… perfect.  Can you tell I liked it?  *laugh*

So now it comes time for dessert.  I picked the chocolate pecan tort.  The pecans were crunchy, and the crust of the torte was flaky.  The filling under the pecans was moist, but firm.  It was again… Perfect.
I am always amazed at the Prima 140 chef’s presentation on each plate.  It is one of the few places in Omaha that actually take the time to produce a beautiful plate.  It is a great counterbalance to all of the generic, pre-produced, fried plates that are cranked out of the generic tasteless kitchens that we people in Omaha seem to flock to.  Thank you Prima for helping to keep beauty, flavor, and art in food.  Thank you Matt for being one of the top 5 servers I have ever had in Omaha.   You joined a very exclusive group.

Plusses: Service. The food was amazing. The kitchen was visible and clean. The bar was well stocked and beautiful.  The place was flawless.

Minuses:  Two words – Bigger portions.  (HA!)  Actually they aren’t open on Sundays.  I think I would have gone there more if it had been open on Sundays.

Overall Impression:  Num-Num!  I had a great time.  My server was professional, courteous, knowledgeable, prompt, attentive, and funny.  He was PART of the experience, not just some goober that just slung plates at us.  This is another place I URGE the good people of Omaha to FLOCK to.  This place is fabulous!

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 26 Aug 2008 @ 03:58 PM

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 31 Aug 2007 @ 1:58 AM 

After much begging by my friends and co-workers: Hiro Sushi (130th & Maple) 

Sushi or not Sushi…..

That is the typical question that we ask ourselves every Friday and Saturday night.  Hiro Sushi and Sake or Hiro and Mountain Dew….

Normally, one would have a white wine or sake with Sushi.  I have found this to be problematic as I don’t think that I’m a big white wine fan. (Unless I have a nice cheese, pate, and a big ice cold bottle of Piesporter Michelsberg.)  I like the occasional “Kita” before I have my sushi, but for during the meal, it just doesn’t work for me.  Ok, you hard core sushi fans, have you ever HAD Dew with your sushi?  Try it after having a heavily “wasabi’d” piece with a little soy; The flavors just kind of meld together.  It’s wonderful.

That being said, I tend to drag the family along so I can stuff my face with various forms of fish.  I have been to most every other Sushi place in town.  I have never been as happy with them as I am with Hiro.  The overall consistency of flavor, quality, atmosphere, and fish have been solid every time I have been there.  Ok, well, during that last heat wave the AC couldn’t keep up, but past that it has been solid.  Today I again indulged in my favorite thing on the standard menu: White tuna sashimi.  Yes kiddies, that is raw fish for the sake of raw fish.  Understand something: It has a very delicate texture but is backed with flavor.  When white tuna is coupled with soy and some wasabi, the flavor just… it… It is a nice salty experience.  Can you tell I like white tuna?

My favorite above all others is the “white salmon”.  They get it in very rarely.  The owners like to bring in new and interesting fish to see how it sells.  They had a load of this in and I swear I could have eaten the whole shipment. 

Now when it comes to service, I am very picky.  I have my tastes and expectations of what service should be.  My glass should never be empty of whatever it is I am drinking, I don’t want to sit around looking at dirty dishes, I don’t want to sit and wait forever for you to come and greet me and get me my drink order, and most of all, I don’t want to sit around waiting for my flipping check.  Nothing makes a tip go down faster than me sitting waiting for you to either bring me my bill or return with my credit card.


*plays sound of a toilet flushing*


I am happy to say that I have really never had that problem at Hiro.  Has it taken longer than I’d like?  Yes, but it has never taken way too long.  (Since I typically go during happy hour, the waiters are working their rear ends off so I understand.)  Now none of the wait staff is bad.  No matter who you have, the owners will still come by and check on you and make sure that they are taking care of you.  I have my favorites however.  If you go, you should find one waiter you are fond of and stick with them.  It would also be good to find a backup.  Whenever I go, Sammy’s the guy.  We walk in and immediately see who is working.  If Sammy’s there we wave him down. Sometimes our drink order is to the table before we are.  He knows us very well. There is other wait staff of fantastic quality; they are “Rusty” and “John” who I would honestly put on par with Sammy, I have had A+ service out of them both.  I have just been doing business with Sammy for so long… he’s just “got it”.  The waitress I had today was good.  She’s new and if she keeps it up will be very good.  My drink was never empty, she was prompt with the check, and made sure to check on us regularly. GREAT JOB!

Overall impression:  Hiro is consistent.  Top quality food, great atmosphere, traditional sushi, they let the fish speak for its self.  They have a Chinese kitchen as well that makes the best peanut butter chicken on the planet.  It is an Omaha “Must Have”.

Plusses: Freshest fish in town.  One of the owners picks it up from the airport himself and will refuse it if it’s not just right. The service is “fabu”!  The décor is simple yet elegant.  I really enjoy myself.  HAPPY HOUR! (Half price rolls!)

Minuses: Happy hour has been invaded!  It’s PACKED from 10PM – 12PM.  On hot days, the AC can’t keep up.  They need more tables (Or just one for us!)

~The Omaha Critic

P.s. Hey parents, the rocks are cool, but keep your kids out of them! It’s a decoration, not a sand box. (Oops, was that in my out loud voice?)

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 31 Aug 2007 @ 02:11 AM

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 21 Aug 2007 @ 4:35 AM 

Oh, my review of Tanduri Fusion….

I would like to thank whoever purchased it from the previous owners.  I had eaten there several months back and wasn’t impressed.  Don’t bet me wrong, it wasn’t bad, but they had set it up buffet style and the staff acted as if it was a privilege for them to serve us.  They weren’t rude, but come on…. I’m paying good money for this. Now, fast forward {insert screeching sound here} to August 2007.  Oh my god.  I think that I have found the one place that could usurp my all time favorite Sushi place in Omaha for the best food. 

I have a rather eclectic pallet… Very worldly, (at least I like to tell myself) and I like a wide variety of flavors.   There are only a few things that are “Off my Radar”.  Tandoor Fusion was spot on.  I am a big lover of lamb… and T.F. (Tanduri Fusion) made the most succulent grilled lamb I have had the pleasure of eating.  I left there happy as I could have been.  The service was FANTASTIC and our server got a good tip.  (Is 20-25% good?)  I talked to who I thought was part of the management about what my feelings were with the establishment and apparently the lineage is descended from Jaipur, another Omaha area Indian food restaurant.  I have to say, I ate at Jaipur, and I am very happy to say that Tanduri Fusion knocked it out of the park!

Overall impression: I was impressed with the decor, it was rather tasteful and had a Dheli pub feel to it.  The tables were a little small, but then again, I am a big guy.  The wait staff and management were friendly and helpful.  The service was fantastic and the food was second to none.  (I think I will go eat leftovers now!)

Plusses: AWESOME FOOD! AWESOME SERVICE! GREAT DECOR!  I can’t say enough good things about the place.

Minuses: It’s on the side of the freaking building and hard to spot.  It’s on the West side of the shopping center where Gordman’s and Bakers is located.

~The Omaha Critic

Posted By: The Omaha Critic
Last Edit: 22 Aug 2007 @ 03:53 AM

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