Raw Deal

Anthony Butkovich

Long before recall elections, eating raw was all the rage in La-La Land. But it's actually got nothing on the Japanese, who were serving up uncooked delicacies even before Madonna's first transformation. Fish (309 West Gray, 713-526-5294) has been in the sushi, sashimi and tartare biz since its inception as Blowfish. Now named just Fish, the Sex and the City eatery surrounded by stylish lofts (does everything in Midtown have to look like TV's version of Manhattan?) boasts super-fresh wonders, styled with panache and served on tiny trays. The tuna tartare ($12) makes a divine appetizer for those enamored of the fish and wanting a clean taste, sans rice and such. The raw chopped yellowfin is dressed with wasabi oil, tossed with chopped garlic, onions, chives and topped with a generous portion of soy-infused caviar. With a very Asian flourish, chefs like the talented and talkative Jimmy Q top the tiny delicacy with a cracked speckled quail's egg to create both a visual and tasty delight. Sprinkled with sesame seeds, the dish makes a nice accompaniment to the chilled sake or more Americanized martinis on tap.

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