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Tanglewood in Santana Row (short)

We weren't too hungry, so only ordered 3 apps last night: a square of succulent pork belly sweetly glazed; risotto with corn and chantelles (my husband ate it so quickly that I couldn't get a taste) and buttermilk fried quail (nicely crusted, even though I don't know why I ever order quail) which came with an unusual veggie slaw. Stylish room, kitchen, and presentation, friendly staff. $48 (with bottle of Badoit) before tax and tip.

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  1. Had to catch my breath at that tab! How big (or maybe I should ask "small") a square of pork belly? Are the apps sized for sharing?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      The pork belly was 2 1/2" square, which is plenty rich for one person. It had a frisee garnish. The risotto was tiny - fewer than 10 manly bites, from what I could tell. The quail was one bird for $15, with a small pile of slaw (quail was tasteless, which they mostly seem to me, but the crust was nice) and two small but tasty biscuits with honey. I don't mind small portions, but they do seem pricey, now that you've brought it to my attention. I forgot to check out the portions of the main courses, but the price points were around $18 - 30.

      1. re: Claudette

        Claudette, I had to take my hands off the keyboard momentarily to frame those dimensions. Guess it's about the size of the touchpad on my laptop. Made me think about a conversation with one of my aunties who had the pork belly at Fifth Floor in SF, then proceeded to tell the chef why her own version is better!

        Anyway, there's been a lot of interest in this new place and I've been curious too. Thanks for reporting in.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          You and I might be cousins then, Melanie, since my mother also tells servers and chefs in not-too-soft, heavily-accented English why her pork belly is better-and-by-the-way-why-you-charge-so-much-you-know-in-Chinatown-it-much-cheepah-and-bettah!

    2. That does seem lower than I would've thought, judging from the description & photos on their website, plus the online menu listed entrees in the $20-40 range. Thanks for the report, albeit short. I've been hoping for someone to visit & report ever since it opened, since I'm considering it for a celebration dinner. Can you tell us how it compares to La Folie, or to other high-end Cal-cuisine restaurants (Zuni, CP, etc)?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Alice Patis

        You could be right about the price points being higher than I mentioned, because my memory has been slipping lately. It's not as high end in $$$, atmosphere, nor service as La Folie nor CP, but more comparable to Zuni. There's a communal table in the center of the room that seats 16, has a nice view of the kitchen, and was inhabited by several small groups. I'd bring 15 of my friends there because the atmosphere is so festive, but the noise level insures that we'd be reading lips. You can book via Open Table if you want points.

      2. Went to Tanglewood recently on a weekend with some friends. Like Claudette mentioned, the decor was nice and the waitstaff were friendly.

        For appetizers, we had KAMPACHI "COCKTAIL"(the fish was not very fresh, the dressing was good, lobster roll(Generous amount of lobster, nothing great about the corn fritters)and sweet corn and chanterelle risotto(I did not like it)

        For entree, we ordered the halibut(The halibut was quite good and perfectly done, the squash blossom was excellent, the ratatouille was too sweet), scallops(6 pieces, were good but not fresh, grilled meatloaf(friends loved it), salmon with herb broth( okay but did not like the broth) and the Gnocchi(was okay)
        Dessert: had few desserts, nothing memorable. None of us liked the desserts except for the caramel cake(forgot the actual name)

        In short, great ambience, good presentation, Okay food, small portions, overpriced(price did not justify the quality) and good service. The portions were really small. We were still hungry after dinner. We do not intend to go back again to this restaurant.

        1. Thanks for these reports. I've been wondering about Tanglewood as well. Here's their website menu w/ pricing for those interested: http://www.tanglewood.com/eat.html

          While I hesitate to have a blowout meal here at this point, it sounds like going for a small bite and glass of wine would be a good way to check it out. Hope others who have tried it will chime in.

          1. We dined at Tanglewood last night. While the food was excellent, the service was very poor. The waiter brought the wrong food for my daughter, the wine we ordered turned out to be a half bottle, even though it was not marked on the wine list as such. The waiter told us that the wine is always sold in half bottles, as it is so sweet. He was talking about a Gewurtztraminer, even though we had ordered a Muscadet. We had completely finished our meals by the time the new bottle we ordered arrived. By the time we ordered dessert the waiter was so mortified he didn't even come to the table but spoke to us over the back of the banquet. At first I didn't even know who was speaking to us. They were out of the dessert we ordered, but the bread pudding was good, although cold and a very small portion. We got the bill and there was an error. The waiter said, "Well, things have certainly snowballed", meaning the service. No one ever apologized for all the mistakes and did not offer to comp anything. For a high end restaurant the service certainly did not match the food. I doubt we will go back. If you do go, the market soup is excellent as is the halibut.