Obika Takeout-Watch Day 3 is Better… But Not Great

I wish I could stop, but the reports just keep on coming in about Obika, the newly opened mozzarella bar on 56th and Madison. At least today it seems like the takeout only sandwiches lasted past 12:30…

Photo courtesy of Danny from Food in Mouth

From Lunch’er Bossman: “Sandwich was actually quite tasty, the quality of ingredients was excellent. I ordered the Prosciutto, Mozz and Basil and found with Mozz/Tomato/Basil in the bag when I got back to the office. It was on a 6″ long Ciabatta-like roll, the Mozz was creamy and oozed fresness. They still have a limited selection and if all they have is what’s on display- not much of it. The staff are dolts, even though the girl taking the order is next to the guy prepping the sandwich there were three screwups in the two minutes I was there (not counting my wrong sandwich)I think their issues on take-out, inexperienced staff aside, is simply not having enough storage space for the menu items. This is the Italian equivalent to Chinese food. 15 minutes later, I’m asking “what’s for lunch?”. Yips beckons.”

Lunch’er Dylan agrees: “I agree: the sandwiches are almost laughably small. Eight dollars later, I am sitting here contemplating an early-afternoon snack. The bread was crisp and fresh, but after all of five bites it was gone. The mozzarella/prosciutto was even smaller than my mozz/tomato/basil affair—that sandwich was barely the size of a blackberry. Dissapointed.”

Another photo, plus more lunchers weigh in… after the jump. 

Lunch’er Gosukusan : “Just got an $8 sandwich there. Burnt on the bottom. Otherwise good, but way too small, I’d need two of those. There are about 8 staff working there, all seem completely incompetent.”


And Danny from Food in Mouth sent this along with the photos: “Like the comments mentioned, they actually had food today, even at 12:30pm when I walked by. Barely a take-out line when I got there, I was the third person in line when I took these pictures. Then sanity came over me and I realized that this would not be filling at all. It looks delicious, and the sit down area was packed but… $8 dollar pretax for a tiny lil sandwich? I dunno…”

The photos don’t make the sandwiches look that small, but I take Danny’s word for it. And this is just for the takeout… if you’re interested in the outside-the-Midtown-Lunch-price-range sit down menu, check out this Savory Cities post. Plus Eater has this report (and the word shitshow is mentioned).


  • First pic…tray on the left, who’s slicing the bread ? stevie wonder?

  • Crikey! Lookit the size of that ginormous baguette!

    Danny is such a good photog I bet he can make his schlong look 2 feet long too

    Watch out Mamacita – false advertising afoot

  • my mazz/sun-dried tomato/arugula piadina from obika was more like an amuse bouche.

  • @wayne,
    nothing can make it look 2 feet long. it was an experiment i’ve messed with and it resulted in epic fail.

  • Dan, try flipping the ruler around to centimeters for the photo

    Just prepare yourself, if mamacita sees you’re hanging 15+ she may tackle you

  • Well, Zach you knew it was just a matter of time before ML devolved into a bunch of guys talking about their wankers.

  • Mama ‘Wankers’ is an an Ad-verb

    As in’those merrill lynch wankers’ et al.

    I think you’re refering to my Shropshire pork.

  • Hi-yoooooooooo!

  • terrible experience. never going back. period. if you can get it right then dont open.

  • Sat down at the lunch counter. 10 minutes went by and nothing. I tried to flag down a waitress and get a menu. She didn’t speak enough english to understand what I wanted. Then the manager came over and was very rude. I finally ordered a coffee and a salad. Food was ok but by the time I got my coffee (after asking three times) lunch was over an it was cold. I work in the building and was looking forward to this for so long. Such a terrible service experience its hard for me to go back. Good salad but the overall experience was awful. I wanted to like this place so much. :(

  • I have been watching on standby for this place to cool down. I knew everyone would swarm all over this place like a dead bug being eaten by smaller insects. I happened to interview an employee who was finishing their shift. They basically said they are in very high demand and can barely keep up. Visitors are from all over the world and believe it or not, the IBM building employees literally order sandwiches by the plate to heat up and serve for people upstairs. Including my boss! Thanks for the wonderful sandwiches Greg! I guess that’s the reason for the lack of sandwiches! Selfish people. I visited this past week to sit down at approximately 3 pm and the environment looked relaxed compared to the typical lunch rush. Give the workers some space and cool it with the attitude. I witnessed customers with such rude attitude. Not the employees with the attitude. I’m sure this place will be 5 stars soon once the ball gets rolling. This is not a private restaurant. It’s a kiosk! It’s not that bad and the Mozzarella is wonderful. The smoked Mozzarella is delicious! Quit raiding the place and leave some sandwiches for the rest of us! That includes you Greg! Visit again soon like I did. They told me this is the first kiosk version and the first in America with 15 locations worldwide. All ingredients are imported from Italy except the Vermont Mozzarella. 3 weekly shipments from Italy a week. I’m sure the chaos will cool down sooner or later.

  • Do you wear a bowtie?

  • Hey, where’s my Obika` saga? I like to read you guys ;-D
    I am in PA and our cafeteria stinks. I read your stuff to find cool places when I come to work in The City…

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