401 Avenue of the Americas, New York, 10014 – (212) 255-3242

(1-3) Walking into Gobo, which is named after the Japanese burdock root, you can tell it’s a nice place in the West Village. The lighting is dim, the decor is upscale and cool. The front area has a place to sit that sticks you in an area that’s neat the kitchen, and also near the juice and wheat grass area. The window behind shows a view of Avenue of the Americas, and the light snow coming down.

(4-5) They offer you bread, I picked the sweeter raisin bread that comes a sweet potato spread. This is really good and it’s just the free part!

(6) Juices are a big part of Gobo and there’s smoothies and a many selections of juices that come with a tiny flask. Walking around New York city which has issues with fresh produce, having a good, high end juice with organic fruit. Cleanse yourself with a nice juice concoction.

(7) spinach wonton soup – this was decent. The wontons were really nice, but the broth was simple. This works, but didn’t wow me.

(8) salt & pepper king oyster mushrooms – finger foods. This is the type of dish that makes you forget that you’re eating mushrooms. It’s almost like a beer snack. Imagine it to be like the fried squid that you’d have in Chinese cooking. You wouldn’t eat it with rice, you just sort of pick at it.

(9) kale, seaweed, beet salad with toasted walnuts – An interesting combo, and I’m not a huge fan of beets, but the kale and seaweeds were nice. What the heck were the walnuts for? This worked leaving them in clumps. I wonder if people normally mix it all together?!

(10) natural seitan medallion in sizzling spicy citrus sauce – Orange chicken! Yes, that’s what this was exactly, but they should just admit it. I ate bad orange chicken the day before, so this restored faith in this Asian American specialty.

(11) Vietnamese spicy stir-fry rice noodle with bean sprouts – it looked good.

(12) soy filet with coconut curry rice – This was a winner. Soy filet is supposed to be like fish. It’s another Chinese style veggie dish and the coconut rice is excellent. Imagine brownish rice, and some coconut shavings in it. Alone, it’s a tasty snack. Together with the food, it’s right on.

I like Gobo, but just maybe, their menu of trying to admit what they’re really serving actually does a disservice since I’m used to going to places that actually tell you what they are trying to mimic, i.e. “orange” chicken. Here, they’ll tell you what’s really in it, but won’t give you a frame of reference. At the same time, I also don’t like it when menus say “chicken” and it’s mock chicken. So change has to start someplace, and it’s here.