Somewhere out in the blogsphere exists a prediction, written by a Chicago woman who owns a restaurant PR firm, of what’s to come for “food bloggers” in 2010. One of the items she discusses is that food bloggers will become less “snarky”, instead being more serious, writing lengthier editorials.
I don’t want to be that guy. Since the previous post was about what’s AWESOME in 2009, now let’s have what really blew goats (since that’s all the rage of late ’09):
Manager came over to ask check on the prided margherita pizza. I replied with something to the effect of: “you should stop serving pizza”. He might have been a wee bit put-off, and asked if I’ve had pizza in Italy. “Yes sir”, followed by silent. This was a limp pie, no matter how great the brick fired oven might be, with over sweetened tomato puree (not so much sauce). We split half a dozen dishes, which represented nearly one-third of the menu. Nothing stood out, from the absolutely mundane eggplant, to the equally tasteless octopus (see O.Mozza/Cube, Lazy Ox for superior versions), to the self-proclaimed “cassoulet” featuring wayward ingredients and a thin broth. However piercing Fresser’s coverage might have been, it was deserving.
I know Infinite Fress, along with many others, including Mr. J Gold, loves this place. I do not. Having been only a couple times, perhaps I’ve been missing the essence of this joint. But I doubt it. Chung Dam owns Park’s for the complete beef experience. Tokyo Pork X? Them famed chunks of sam gyup ssal? Better served at Park’s new sister restaurant, Dong Dae Gam. Surely this might still be the panchan queen of Los Angeles, but Chung Dam’s beef game is right up there, without the grease fire, without the wait, without the crowd. Try it out folks.
ZOMG. WTFBBQ. See previous post from last month. Just thinking about this pisses me off.
We should all feel bad for Eagle Rock.
I take full responsibility for the mishap. A sausage I did not stuff into my mouth while at DBGB, instead I did have the burger, and some shit-tastic “Thai” moule frites in curry broth. Geezus chefs, please put away the coconut milk and curry powder. The Frenchie burger was fine. About as fine as HKeller’s Burger Bar, which is to say, not worth the pricey paper on which the burger list was printed. This burger confirms the dogma: 2 primary proteins stuffed in between buns is schizo (as first demonstrated by the overwhelming shortrib stuffed burger at Blue Dahlia Cafe, Little Tokyo). The bar space is just amazingly New York, with perfect view of First Ave, but the main room smelled of a bad diner. Despite all that, I did manage to have the quintessential “I <3 NY" experience when I ran into a Blue Hill Stone Barn dining neighbor from the night previous at DBGB’s bar. Cool space, but not a fan of pricey wieners served in this environ. Save you $30 for the lunch prix fixe at Bar Boulud.
Famous chef new restaurant hype.
Flour & Water, San Francisco
Loved the apps, thought naught of the pizza. Thin woody-smelling crust, but straight soggy in center – especially since we had a cracked egg in the middle – short on bubbling, with oversalted dough. Yes, it’s a totally “proper” Neapolitan styled pie, but just lacked overall cohesion. This would’ve been an excellent meal if the restaurant name wasn’t so overtly indicative. After all, some of the finest raviolis & seasonal salads in town can be had here. The braised lamb tongue with poached egg, though minuscule, is fantastic, better than even The Fig’s brilliant lengua. David Chang can hate on figs all he wants, F+W churned out a seared duck with fresh figs + arugula/microgreens that was most glorious. Fig and San Franciso are so in touch with each other’s feelings!
Blinded by out of town pizza hype. Damn you San Francisco. Delfina was just doing fine.
It’s been around for ever, it’s soooo high end and weekend reservations are still quite difficult — I had to wait just to be seated at the bar, 10 min after the doors opened. But, it seems, purely due to location (much too close to fisherman’s wharf), the flavors and creativity have dropped significantly over the last few years [it won James Beard's best new restaurant back in 2000]. SF is known for old timers ala Chez Panisse (Cafe) & Zuni, but Danko falls far outside that tasty circle. Again, I was told I ordered “wrong”, but at $66++ per person for the 3 course prix fixe, nothing has the right to be wrong. Yes, I just called quail stuffed with foie boring. The foie was mixed into a mushroom mush and due to stuffing, transformed itself into blended offal with composition akin to pureed innards. The quail was underseasoned & underspiced, needing unfulfilled support from the foie.
Old school staid Hype
Taste of Brazil
The maracuja juice is imported? In a can? Really? And I want this WHY? Just because it’s imported? Hey, melamine-tainted milk is imported. Overall bland & boring prep. Pao de Queijo is how much?
$7$8 for 8 6 little cheese balls the size of ping pongs? Wow. Straight rip. Stroganoff tasted straight from University of Michigan’s North Campus dining hall, so that was probably the best item for the night. Brazilian sausages, again, IMPORTED, tasted of Farmer John’s. Skirt steak, completely mundane, the one dimensional peixe a baiana makes one appreciate the complexity of a good Thai green curry. The loud musician on weekends brings tunes that pierce your ear drums while your palate is bored by the food. Good times? Hell no.
Once again, I was told I ordered incorrectly. Except this time, I studied the menu and read the massive threads on Chowhound. I got some shrimp in booze sauce, and a ceviche mixto. This the best of Nayarit AND Sinaloa? The ceviche came out with surimi. Game over. Apparently if you go with a Spanish speaking person you won’t get whited. While not having traveled extensively in Mexico, I’m pretty darn sure every piece of jaiba flesh I’ve had in Mexico, even down to the $1.50 marisco stands, was real. The medium large shrimps looked pretty, but were overcooked. No matter how stupendously diablo their sauce might be, if the shrimp has to die the second time on the cooktop, I don’t want to eat it. But no worries Claire, I will go visit one more time.
Ok, so there are 8. In fact, there really MUCH more, but these are what really popped out.
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