So I went to Ninja for dinner tonight. It was entertaining, and the food was very good. Everything but this weird yogurty lobster brick was excellent. A bunch of excellents plus a "sucky" come out to very good. That yogurt was almost impossible to eat, too, since you only get chopsticks. And they're very pointy. And the yogurty cube falls apart quite easily. Those who are retarded with chopsticks need not apply.
We walked right past the place on the first trip down the street, but 10 minutes later realized that it really was at 25 Hudson street, but has nothing but a tiny lantern out front. A hostess greets you, and sends you into an elevator that takes you down one level into the actual restaurant. There, you're greeted by a ninja.
He asked us if we wanted to take the normal path in, or the super secret ninja path. If you don't take the super secret ninja path you obviously hate America, have no imagination, and have no business going to a hokey themed restaurant.
Bumping my head against a sort of stairwell door frame was the highlight for me. There was no lighting, so I would have needed to expect it to avoid it. If I took more joy in seeing others suffer, I'd have liked the part where the ninja guide jumped out in front of my girlfriend (in near-darkness) and she fell down the stairs.
After crossing a drawbridge over a plexiglass-covered hole, we were led to our table. Each table is in its own little room, and each room has a name. We were in "Kagero." Soon, our waitress ninja pulled out 2 ninja scrolls that were the menus. And no, not every room was named for a character in Ninja Scroll.
We ordered from a "spring special" tasting menu (which was also secret, and much cheaper for better options than anything on the normal menu), and there were 2 options for each course, save the sushi, which was a fixed assortment of mackerel, sea bass, salmon, yellowtail, and tuna. We got every option so we wouldn't miss anything. 2 people and 2 options works out very well - especially when you each prefer the other dish for each course... except that horrible yogurt lobster thing.
The coolest part was the fresh wasabi. I never knew that it was just ground down straight from the horseradish, but that's what the ninja did! I'll take her word for it, so as not to be murdered in my sleep.
Every employee moved as a cartoon ninja would. Think Ninja Gaiden, and have the guy running all the time. That's what these people looked like.
Between our 5th course and dessert, a magician ninja came to our table and did some simple sleight of hand. So as not to be a dick, I played along and didn't keep giving away the tricks. The guy was very good at the manual dexterity aspect of magic, and I almost missed a few exchanges/maneuvers despite my foreknowledge.
Overall, the place is pretty entertaining, and I think it's worth the price for a one time experience. The food is very good, as I already said.
In other news, I tried Pepsi One. It's a 1 calorie version of Pepsi made with sucralose (Splenda) that I can therefore drink. I'm one of those people that, in addition to getting cancer and dying prematurely, get terrible headaches from aspartame (NutraSweet). I therefore could never drink diet soda. I don't have a headache yet, but I bet Splenda will be giving me some sort of cancer. Everything gives you cancer these days, so you really gotta pick your battles. It tastes a little like regular Pepsi after you let it sit with a tiny amount of ice cream in it for about 15 minutes. Not too bad, so I should be on my way to quick weight loss.