All’onda Our Expectations

Allonda nyc

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Pants at a Glance
  • scene: Well dressed groups of youngish people with good hearing
  • sip: Lambrusco was quite lovely
  • savor: Um....
  • sit: With anyone who enjoys a good laugh and can tolerate shitty service; people who can hear well and don't mind shouting
  • spend: $$
  • address: 22 East 13th Street
  • phone number: (212) 231-2236
  • website:

If a knife falls in a restaurant and no one comes to replace it, is it really dirty?  This was one of the silly questions that  we were forced to ask ourselves while desperately trying to get someone’s attention during dinner at All’onda.  Now it might seem like I am going a little hard on this place given the fact that  it just opened, but the whole experience served up not much more than some funny punchlines.  We were truly excited for All’onda and already envisioned becoming regulars, and although D is more inclined to return again, I most certainly will not.  We know that  a visit to a restaurant close to its opening date may not be indicative of the true experience to be had, but All’onda has a lot of work to do; and it is a joint from seasoned restaurant peeps, not a mom and pop shop, so the expectations were set accordingly.

allonda nyc
Uni in photos may appear larger than on your plate

For starters, the whole Italian/Japanese concept is a little ridiculous; I know some pretentious, high-minded critic (Ryan Sutton), will no undoubtedly pontificate on the ingenious and harmonious blending of two ostensibly dissimilar cuisines, but soy sauce ice cream is stupid.  It is not that I am not sophisticated or open to new things, but  a dessert menu comprised of entirely savory items is a hard sell.  Also- the room is beyond loud, without a soft surface in sight to absorb any of the sounds,and the service was terrible.  Our waiter was completely useless, and the other waiter working the room was very good at looking but not seeing, appearing to be busy but not actually attending to anyone.  Four of us were literally, exaggeratingly, waving our arms in the air for attention to no avail.  Boyfriend lost his shit when the waiter came over and appeared to be about to give us some insight into the menu, or recite specials, as is the case in other restaurants, but merely rather read general descriptions of the already  clearly divided menu. : “Up top, those are some small bites, and then, there are the starters, following that are the pasta courses, and then the main courses.” It was remarked that it was the single most useless interaction with a server ever, and I am inclined to agree, but I am of the small segment of the population that has encountered a menu before, so maybe I am cynic.

Best thing we ate…
Allonda nyc
Clam sauce, ish

Squid ink and uni arranicini were tasteless and black inside, (like my heart), topped with the smallest, most useless piece of uni; Alla’onda’s lack of skill with such a special ingredient would also be obvious in the uni bucatini dish.  I have had uni croquettes before and uni with pasta done to rich, briny, simple effect; this was just uni rape.  The hamachi sashimi dish had great flavor, and the clam pasta dish had odd flavor; it seems too much the ramazotti leant a almost curry like aroma to the dish and overpowered what was probably the most well-executed dish we had all evening.  The oh so scandalous duck with chocolate pasta dish tasted of neither; it wasn’t bad, for a completely brown dish, and Boyfriend finished it, but it was very short on duck.  As mentioned before, my bucatini with uni and breadcrumbs did not have any delicateness of uni, but rather a smack you in the face flavor of smoke that made it seem like a terrible carbonara, not a treat from the sea.  Sister’s branzino was enjoyable, but nothing extraordinary or noteworthy; it could have been a good branzino at any place in the city.  Our fourth had the skate, and at that point I had lost my patience with this restaurant and didn’t want to try one more bite.


Several times our waiter came over to our table, noticed our still forks and finished plates, and just removed glasses. No matter what was going on, the only thing that got any attention was glassware; by the time we were cleared and briefed on the desserts, we were late for other plans and made the painstaking decision to forgo the soy sauce ice cream; somehow, it does not keep me awake at night, wondering what I had missed. ( Had I partaken, I think I would might have been awake at night for different reasons…)

Although it is early and this place has received a lot of hype, I am firm in my stance that my experience at All’onda was comical and underwhelming.

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  1. I NEVER comment on blogs or anything of that nature ever and one of the main issues with the comments section is that anonymous commenters can ramble on offering useless dialogue without real meaning because…well…they are anonymous. Well, my name is Jay Glazer and you can look me up, no anonymity here. You are a fool. Clearly, blog writer, whoever you are, you have never opened a restaurant. It is incredibly challenging and typically not that busy in the first couple weeks. As a result you are gifted a certain learning curve to get your act together. Given that its but 3 weeks old and they have reservations galore, this place is DAMN good. I, personally, have been part of a restaurant opening team and it is incredibly painstaking, exhausting, and frustrating. I think All’onda is delicious, well presented, and holding itself up with grace. Your review is bitter and misinformed.

    1. Jay-It is not nice to call names, no matter what kind of differing opinions one may present. We have been part of opening restaurants, actually, and stated clearly that we understand that there is a grace period upon first opening; we know that the kinks must be worked out. We are also upfront that this was our experience on this evening; I don’t see how our opinion of what we ate and experienced is any less valid than yours. I am very happy that you had a more positive experience than we did, but unfortunately we did not enjoy All’onda. I have no doubt that this restaurant will be successful, and then I can just continue to be a bitter, misinformed fool, who will have to eat humble pie, but it will probably taste better than some other items I tried. Have a cocktail…

  2. Quite the opposite, your opinion in theory is more valid than mine which is why I would expect a more informed review. To preface your review with “We know that a visit to a restaurant close to its opening date may not be indicative of the true experience to be had, but All’onda has a lot of work to do” is to pretty much disclaim your review as if it were a high school essay and therefore we should give you a free pass towards saying whatever you feel. Why not actually do your research, supposed restaurant opener, wait for the place to have saturated a bit longer and write a review after 2 or 3 visits. Furthermore, isn’t the entire paradigm of the blogosphere to create a free worded catechism between writer and responder? Why must I hold back any shots, you clearly didn’t with your review. As for a silly comment in regards to having a cocktail, perhaps you had one too many when you wrote your review?