The food is so lovely at Gobo that it is sad it must be given only four stars, not the five which the food deserves, because of the unbearable acoustics. Try to go for a very late lunch or a very early dinner (there's a $25 three course prix fixe meal offered until 6pm), when you will have little or no problem hearing your dinner companion. Arrive during popular meal hours and you will have more than a little trouble conducting a conversation at a normal decibel level. The decor of the restaurant is attractive, but perhaps, given the number of online mentions of the noise problem by patrons, it is time for a renovation.
Sound problems aside, the atmosphere is pleasant, mostly because the service is attentive, informative and patient. The food is delicious. It's healthy food that would be attractive to vegans and (open-minded) non-vegans alike. There is a wine list and a smoothie list. The Awakening smoothie, of ginseng, passionfruit and mango, is excellent.
Many dishes are gluten-free and many more can be prepared gluten-free, so there is a great deal to choose from. The organic white bean, root vegetable and pumpkin soup had wonderful depth of flavor. The fried yam and yucca fries were amazing (well, the yams were--the yucca was undercooked). The side order of coconut rice with raisins was delicious. The pine nut vegetable medley with lettuce wraps, pictured above, was not only tasty but a generous serving, despite being called a small plate.
Gobo: 401 6th Ave, between Waverly Place & 8th St. Phone: (212) 255-3242.
Note: there is another branch of Gobo at 1426 3rd Ave, between 80th & 81st St, but this has been a review of the branch in the Village.