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2701 Belmont Blvd
Nashville, TN 37212
Reviewed by Clay October 2011
In the year that I’ve lived in Nashville I’ve heard a lot about PM. Some of it has been good, some of it has been bad. This review is based on two different visits to PM, and they illustrate precisely the mixed opinions that I’ve heard about this Arnold Myint restaurant.
My first visit to PM was on a Monday evening a few weeks ago. I was dining alone and craving a burger and decided to give PM a try. Of all the things that I’ve heard about PM, the most common has been how good the burger is. I sat at the bar, ordered the burger with sweet potato “fries” and a coke. I have to admit, the burger was very good. The wasabi mayo and a sweet soy sauce glaze really compliment the high quality meat and make this burger pop. It was cooked perfectly, juicy, tender, and flavorful. The veggies were crisp and fresh, and overall the burger was delicious. The sweet potato fries were also quite good, but not what you would typically think of as “fries”. They were sliced sweet potatoes which may have been flash fried with very little batter, but they had a mint flavor to them as well. Very different, but still good, However, I’d probably prefer standard sweet potato fries to compliment a burger. It was early and there was only one other customer at the bar, but the service was very good. The bar tender and I discussed Nashville burgers- he claimed that the PM burger was in his top 5, along with Brown’s Diner which is due for an Eat It, Tennessee review. The PM burger has also made many other people’s top burger lists, even winning a few awards as Nashville’s best. Now, I haven’t had every burger in Nashville and while the PM burger is very good, It can’t quite beat the Fido Local Burger to me. If I’m in the area and craving a burger, I would definitely go back to PM. (Author’s Note Watch for the Burger Beat-Down coming soon).
On my second visit to PM I went for the Sushi. Overall, I was mostly disappointed. The sushi menu is fairly exciting, with an interesting mix of standard go-to rolls like the Spider, California, and Spicy Tuna, but it also includes some exciting sounding rolls like the Miami and San Francisco rolls. Unfortunately these fail to deliver on the excitement that the menu generates. We started with an order of edamame and a cup of Miso soup. The edamame was good, you can’t go wrong there. The Miso soup however was mostly bland, really laking much flavor. I realize it is a soup of tofu, broth, seaweed, and mushrooms- but this doesn’t mean that it has to be bland. PM’s Miso wasn’t bad necessarily, just bland- I’ve had much better Miso soup. For my dinner I ordered a Pork Bao Bun and a Miami roll (crunchy shrimp with tuna and salmon outside). My wife ordered a Canada Roll (fried salmon and cream cheese) and another crunchy shrimp roll of some sort. The Pork Bao Bun was beautiful and delivered in its own little basket/box, great presentation. The bun was soft and looked delicious. The flavor was good, but the pork was overpowered by the bun, and there simply wasn’t enough pork. Unfortunately, the bun was also surprisingly chewy and somewhat tough… not as soft and fluffy as I had expected. The sushi came out and looked just as good as it sounded on the menu. Unfortunately for us, the taste didn’t live up to the appearance. I’m not saying that the sushi was bad. It wasn’t that the fish was old or that anything tasted bad, it just wasn’t that good. Overall it too was bland. Odd for sushi. It didn’t taste overly fishy or too much like rice, it was such an odd experience because it seemed to be just devoid of much flavor. Thank goodness for soy sauce and wasabi to give it a little punch. It looks like I’m still searching for a really good sushi restaurant in the Vanderbilt/Hillsboro/Belmont area- nothing I’ve tried has come close to the level of Lemongrass Sushi Thai out in Bellevue.
Finally, on this most recent visit the service was somewhat subpar as well. Our water glasses sat empty for extended periods, and after we finished our meal we waited and waited for the waiter to return to clear the plates or bring the check. Finally we had to ask another server to notify our waiter that we were ready for the check. Even after that we were left waiting longer than necessary for our check. All in all, my second experience at PM wasn’t a bad one, but it definitely wasn’t good either. I now know exactly why I have heard such mixed opinions of PM. I can’t recommend the sushi there unless you are really craving sushi and can’t find anywhere else. However, if you are looking for a delicious and different burger, PM won’t disappoint in this area. In the end, the burger can’t carry the other subpar elements to anything above average. This is the second Arnold Myint restaurant that has failed to live up to the hype and expectations. (Click here for my review of Suzy Wong’s)
Author’s Update: in the year plus since this review I have been back to PM at least once. The service was good on return visits. I’ve had both the sushi and the burger again and tried other items. My opinions are mostly unchanged. While I haven’t tried the signature sushi rolls again, the traditional rolls are good, not great. PM is a fun restaurant in a great location and with great atmosphere. The food (especially the burger) is good, but don’t think of it as a “sushi place” think of it as an Asian Fusion restaurant that also serves sushi, and it is more likely to meet your expectations.