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Creola - not la, la :( - (long)

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I know this restaurant has gotten good reviews on the board but here is my experience (now mind you I am NOT any kind of expert on Cajun cooking but have enjoyed my share of food in New Orleans ;) )

The good - seated in an extremely comfortable corner booth with lots of comfy pillows, warm bread, soft butter and ice water arrive quickly.

The bad - asked the person who seated me if there was mayonnaise in the Remoulade (not sure since I'd seen lots of different recipes), he was quite flustered - didn't understand what I was asking (? had he seen the menu), but said to ask the waiter. Okay, so I asked the wrong person, my fault.

The waiter arrives, as does the chef (it was early and I guess to the credit of the m'd I think he had asked him to come talk to me). I ask the question and yes there is mayonnaise. So I ask about another dish that lists a "creole roux" sauce. The chef explains that a roux is butter and flour - yes I say, but what makes it "creole" - does it have tomato, spices??? His answer is the creole is "the area, you know" - when pressed he admitted it might have some spice. I thank him.

The waiter then lists the specials (they did not have the oyster appetizer that was on their web site that I had planned to order "we don't serve that any more"). Okay maybe I should go for one of the specials - what better way to test the place than to order a special. I order the crabcake (which I know is likely to have mayonnaise but I don't have the heart to ask) - which is described as dungeness crab, with onions on top on a tomato sauce base.

Fortunately I don't order more until I test this dish. It arrives on a very hot plate (good), but it looks like a crab salad with slivers of crab shreds which has been fried on each side so that there is a brownish crust on top and bottom almost to the edges but if you didn't see this you'd think you had a scoop of crab salad. Rest of the presentation is nice - an attractive tomato sauce base, some greens (later thought it tasted like fresh basil) and a small amount of thinly sliced onion on top.

So what about the taste? - bland, bland, bland (oh, yes the waiter had said as soon as he described it "it's not spicy" - is that supposed to be good news or mean it has no flavor?). If I didn't know the red sauce was tomato I couldn't have told from the taste. The whole dish was improved by salt :( Can't remember the last time I had to salt a balanced dish in a decent restaurant.

I decide this isn't the place for me (well if you like loud music with your meal - like Perry Como it might be for you and others have really like their food so I don't know if it is me or a new chf) so I ask for the check. Then comes my next surprise - I had asked the price of the special appetizers and was told they were $9 - so I was a bit surprised to see a price of 10.75! I asked the waiter about this and he said that "oh the snails (the other special are $9 the crab is $10", no... I said it is 10.75 and it might matter to someone. He apologizes, I pay and go next door to continue my dinner at the much better (IMHO) Thai restaurant.

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