How does lunch at Aqua compare with dinner?
One of my favorite ways to get around difficult reservations, big noisy crowds and high prices is to have lunch instead of dinner. The $40 lunch tasting menu at Aqua caught my eye and I'm wondering if anyone could offer a comparison between lunch and dinner there. It is worthwhile? Or should I stick to dinner?
I enjoyed Aqua since the opening, I was lucky to have expense acct bosses. I have not gone lately. It was always a lunch place. They have tried to upgrade but it was so-so for dinner.
Pisces is Aqua's younger, more casual sister in Burlingame. The black mussel souffle is also on the menu there and there are other compelling apps and entrees as well. The restaurant is more casual than Aqua but the prices are less as well. I'm sure reservations are difficult to come by here but you can have dinner at the bar which was a fun experience. We were actually trying to go to a different place but were turned away because of a private wedding reception. As we were already in the Millbrae/Burlingame area, I remembered Pisces has been on my list for a long time. Though we were not able to get a table, we were able to snag two well-worth-it seats at the bar at 8PM on a Saturday.
One recommendation: the calamari is the best I have ever tried. Very light, crispy batter that was not greasy and the seasoning was assertively spicy and garlicky.
It's a nice casual (and cheaper)alternative to know about with all the quality of Aqua.
re: Melanie Wong
I saw your post about Pisces after I had contributed my own thoughts and was glad to know that I wasn't the only one who thought the calamari rocked! I didn't realize that it was that difficult to get a reservation there- good to know.
I was actually down in that area as we were trying to go to HK FLower Lounge. I saw your post about Kwong's and am very interested to go there now, in place of HK Flower LOunge. We hadn't been to HK Flower Lounge yet but have been meaning to go after we got a recommendation for it from the proprietors of our favorite Chinese restaurant back in Manhattan - Phoenix Garden. We went to Phoenix Garden at least once a week during the summers as we loved their salt and pepper soft shell crabs so much. Our staples ended up being either water spinach or pea shoots sauteed with oil and garlic, one soft shell crab a piece, and my husband always had to have a steamed fish with the black bean sauce, ginger, and scallions. Oh how we loved that place. We both have been leary of trying Chinese places out here as we have such a particular taste memory now of what we loved. I do want to try Kwong's though as it sounds like it could be right up our alley.
Last year, I had taken a large group to R&G Lounge for Chinese New Year and had ordered for the group. It could be that I don't know how to order but considering that my parents both love Chinese food and my mom is ethnic Chinese, I think I've got some ideas as to how and what to order. So I assume I didn't know what R&G's good stuff was. Do you have must-eat/favorite dishes as I'd like to give that place another try?