Saturday night after the movies (Ajami - Oscar-nominated Israeli film about crime and its affect on a Jaffa neighborhood - highly recommended) Diner Diva2 hit the Flagship Diner in Briarwood. What can I say? I have a soft spot in my heart for this place; after all it has The Roast Turkey Platter on the menu every day. So what if the cranberry sauce is from a can, the vegetables are overcooked and I could make a better baked potato at home. The gravy is good and the chestnut stuffing mighty good and Thanksgiving is a religion for me. Alas for stupid me, I ordered Eggplant Parmigiana instead and got just what I deserved: watery pasta, listless tomato sauce and inattentive waitress service. Won't make that mistake again.
Yesterday, I went off to try Fuji, the new Japanese restaurant in Forest Hills. OK, it's not a diner, but I'm not a foodie, I was hungry, I wanted food. The restaurant is only a few weeks old and in the middle of its shakedown cruise. The Salmon Teriyaki was quite good, but the vegetables that came with it, for the most part, weren't hot and you get the same insipid salad you get at every Japanese place in NY, although the dressing had a nice spicy tang. Had Red Bean ice cream for dessert; it wasn't frozen properly and the sugar had turned gritty - give that a miss.
Went back again for lunch today and had the basic sushi platter. It came with a piping hot and very delicious miso soup and the insipid salad, but along with a California roll and 8 pieces of sushi it was quite a substantial lunch. Tried the Green Tea ice cream this time; it had a great deep green color and a nice smoky taste - Fuji definitely got the ice cream right this time.
Fuji also got the decor right, over the other Japanese places in this neighborhood. They put in windows along the front so one can actually see into the place and when you go in it is airy and spacious feeling. Plus they have 2 flatscreen TVs to keep diners amused and it didn't hurt that the kitchen radio was blaring classic rock; any place that lets me hear Norman Greenbaum's Spirit in the Sky at lunch gets my vote.