I'd like to check the place out -- it's in the neighborhood and I really love sake -- and am wondering what's the best route. Given the prices, I'd prefer to avoid missteps. Appetizers and drinks, or full-on paella? Any thoughts on the menu? Reservations needed? etc.
Loved it - been there a few times. Went during the week - no problem getting seated. Went on a Friday as a walk-in, they were busy but we're able to take us fairly quickly. Space is beautiful (Rita St. Claire)- more contemporary downstairs with bar and a few tables, more Asian ambience upstairs. Have had several seafood entrees and paella - all have been from good to excellent.
I also had good success there. I had the duck confit, which was totally delicious. I had the fish cheeks for app, which was really not exciting. We had two desserts and both were fantastic.
We didn't get paella, but the people next to us did and tried to share, but it didn't look like nearly enough food for two people.
I think we went on a Friday too and had no problems getting seated.
I went Saturday night with a group of 4. We walked in around 8:30 & downstairs was completely empty. Had reservations for upstairs, which was packed except for one larger table. Really should have gone downstairs to eat instead!! The decor was very nice but the tables are packed in too close for comfort.
So we ordered almost all of the small plates. Some were good, but nothing seemed that great. The vegetable tempura was nice & crisp with a good flavor. The lobster tempura was gross - with chewy hard pieces in each one. The eggplant, grilled bread & lamb (separate dishes) were all OK - but not anything I'd bother ordering again. We also had a paella - yes - good, but not nearly as big as it should be for $25.
They were priced very high for my liking, especially since the same group had been to Pazo & spent much less for better food. I am embaressed I was the one to suggest this place. What a rip off!
And the service was almost laughable. We ordered 5 dishes & 4 alcoholic drinks off the bat & the waitress was obviously disappointed at the low total. When we ordered more later we could literally see the dollar signs flashing in her face. Then she messed up the drink order & it was way too much trouble to get her to come back & fix it. And she did not keep the dishes cleared enough. With tapas - and a tiny table - that is a very imporant.
Things would have probably been much better had we eaten downstairs - but I dont think I can afford giving this place another try.
Went for Valentine's Day this week and I had yummy sangria, while my boyfriend was able to order sake. He loved the tuna appetizer (which they served at a chocolate affair the week before) and the kobe beef. The veggie tempura was right on target, and I enjoyed the arugula salad. Not inexpensive, so we'd go back, but for another special occasion or just for drinks and small bites in the bar.
We live in the area and love this place. It can be pricey, but they do great things with the food, they always have Belgian beer on tap and in bottles, the wine list and recommendations are usually spot on and the specials are tremendous. I've never had a bad experience here and ever since Pazza Luna closed (but reopens this Monday 2/26) my wife and I have used this restaurant as our anti-pubgrub location in the neighborhood.
Now, that being said. The paella is great, but can at times be a little salty for my taste. I can see where some people might be a bit disappointed in the service that they may or may not receive. This is not a factory that trains people to fill the water glass when it is 1/3 empty and has consultants time how long the staff spends tableside. It is a local restaurant, owned by local guys who do great things with the food.
I think that out of the more upscale restaurants in the area (Bicycle and the Wine Market are really the two that come to mind), that this is the best choice by far.