The goods: NoVe (“north of Venetian”) Kitchen and Bar is a round-the-clock restaurant seeking to create a neighborhood niche on the ground floor of the Omni area’s Opera Tower.
Ambience: There’s ample outdoor seating with a shaded concrete canopy and doggy water bowl. The indoor dining room is a minimalist affair, with concrete walls, dark wood tables and floor-to-ceiling windows framing views of Margaret Pace Park (and traffic) across the street. A tiny bar has flat-screen TVs and a few high top tables.
The grub: Asian tapas and eclectic Mediterranean from Chef Hiro Terada (Doraku). The “Eurasian” menu includes sushi, Thai and Japanese dishes plus staples like burgers, pastas and salads. Prices are reasonable and portions are large. Starters are $5-$14, mains average $17 and oversized sushi rolls are $10-$18.
Begin with a Japanese small plate like crunchy, spicy kimchi tofu and sea bass marinated in yuzu-miso sauce. Mains include fettuccine tossed with chicken, gnocchi in pink sauce, Thai red curry and plenty of steaks, among them a 14-ounce Kobe NY strip. The signature sushi rolls — large enough to double as a main course — include the Opera Tower (tempura lobster, asparagus, avocado and a spicy tuna mix), the Viper (crab stick, asparagus, tempura flakes and an entire barbecue eel) and the NoVe (lobster tempura, crab stick, cream cheese, spicy mayo and three kind of caviar). There are nine kinds of fried rice including ham and pineapple and a “sumo combo” tossed with beef, chicken, ham and shrimp.
Desserts include a dulce de leche crepe flambéed tableside and strawberry ice cream tempura.
The verdict: A friendly neighborhood spot with a liberal dose of Asian exoticism in a menu that tries to please everyone.