If we here at the Food Chain have seemed inordinately interested in Moto lately, chalk it up to anticipation. On Friday, Sula and I finally got the chance to eat our way through one of Homaru Cantu’s notorious menus: gels, powders, packing peanuts, freeze-dried beef nuggets, and more liquid-nitrogenized food than you can shake an aromatic utensil at, not to mention the edible menu itself (left). A new review is pending, but in the meantime I wanted to share a few observations:

1) The waiters no longer wear lab coats–just regular old black suits, men and women alike–and only the bartender and hostess wore visible earpieces. Not sure when this all changed, but does this speak to some broader attempt to mainstream?

2) There are shockingly few people in the kitchen–half a dozen, I think. (“We’re very efficient,” one of them told me.) No Homaru in evidence.

3) There were shockingly few people in the dining room for a Friday night. We asked the hostess if Moto had experienced any sort of Iron Chef effect and she said the phones had been ringing off the hook. So I guess we’ll just have to go back soon to see if it’s true.