Lure Fishbar is run by the same hospitality network thath also owns Bar Tulix and Mercer Kitchen, which is closed unfortunately. Whenever we were in the SOHO area, we always thought about checking this place out especially since we couldn’t walk into Balthazar. The restaurant is very seafood straight forward, and it always seems like it has a very steady crowd. The restaurant entrance is actually located down some stairs. We were able to walk in on a Friday evening around 6:30 PM without reservations, but they were only able to seat us at the sushi bar.
Ambiance & Service
When you enter the restaurant, the ambiance feels like you’re in a nice submarine. The decor was dark, and my partner said that it felt very “New York”. The noise level is extremely loud, and you can tell this was the SOHO crowd. The SOHO crowd to me has a lot of clientele from the modeling or fashion industry, and you also have a lot of group get togethers. Many people dress up smartly, and they put on their glam.
We were seated at the sushi counter in the back of the restaurant, which I thought was amusing. They still send a server to take your order from behind, and all you see here is them making sushi rolls. The sushi rolls are very Americanized, but it’s somewhat entertaining watching them make them.
The service was pretty fast, but because it was so loud, it was difficult to hear the wait staff. When the final bill came, I thought it was odd that the total reflected pre-tax and without drinks. If you’re someone that gives tip based on the food plus alcohol, you will need to make sure you do the math voluntarily.
The Lychee Martini ($18 - left) came with Dorothy Parker gin, lychee, and lemon. My partner enjoyed this, but I thought it was a bit strong for me. I am also not a fan of gin.
The Gruner Veltliner Federspiel Donabaum 2021, Wachau ($17 - right) was a white wine that was smooth, dry, and fruity. It was easy to drink and a great match to any white meats especially branzino or halibut.
The Dynamite Roll ($20) came with spicy scallop topped with spicy tuna, yellowtail, and tobiko (flying fish roe). This was pretty good, but of course, there’s nothing really outstanding about this. It’s like any sushi roll you can eat or find at a Japanese restaurant. For the price, I thought it was a little on the expensive side. We did have this as an appetizer.
The Crispy Asian Snapper for Two ($82) came with spicy ginger, fried rice, and stir fry vegetables. The Asian snapper was pretty large, and there was definitely a lot of meat that they fried outside of the fish. The fish skeleton was pretty crispy, but I would say most of it was not edible due to how the bones were still thick enough that you can’t chew through. The sauce that was used on the fish meat was a soy ginger type of concoction, and it was quite good. It brings a slightly Thai influence to it. The fish and meat sat on a bed of stir fry vegetables which was basically bok choy and some cabbage. I was hoping the meat would be crispy, but it tasted a bit soggy for some reason. Nevertheless for the price, we were actually full by the end. The fried rice they served on the side had little bok choy leaves in it, and it was pretty good too. The rice though had some little crispy grains which were surprising at times, so be careful as you chew.
Lure Fishbar is a decent restaurant that has a very hip, trendy clientele. The food was good for the SOHO area despite the entrees all not being that different than normal casual seafood restaurants. Regardless, if you’re looking for both of these facets in the SOHO area, check out this restaurant. The price is a bit expensive, but if you like crowds, then that will compensate.
We also had the rock shrimp, Mac and cheese with lobster, and crispy rice. The crispy rice was mediocre
I don’t know why people order the crispy rice gimmick. This is just a very crispy rice horizontal nugget with some type of topping like spicy tuna. Not only was this pretty expensive per piece on the menu, but it won’t have much flavor. I suppose the allure could be if some like the texture of crispy rice, but you’re better off ordering other things.
If I’m paying that much for a sushi roll, it better be fresh as hell; not that it wasn’t good, but for such an expensive roll I’d hope it would taste better than your average takeout sushi in this city.
The irony about this restaurant is it’s located in SOHO which is basically a shopping mecca with a bunch of flagship retail stores, and it has Japanese sushi with Americanized cooked seafood. The menu wreaks of an identity crisis. When you look at the cost of the sushi menu and the sushi offerings, it’s going to be a run of a mill Japanese/American seafood restaurant.
- Oct 13, 2023 - Initial revision.