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Second City Bistro - El Segundo - Anyone been lately?

joschus Jan 9, 2008 11:47 AM


Rarely have I found so many split reviews about a restaurant (non-Chowhound site). The diners either loved or hated it. Nothing inbetween. Can you fellow Hounds tell me anything about how it is these days? I'd appreciate the feedback. Thanks -

  1. kealoha Jan 27, 2008 12:34 PM

    Had a bad experience my first (and last) time at Second City Bistro. Read for yourself: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/428226

    1. s
      slacker Jan 10, 2008 09:15 PM

      btw their "seared" ahi salad sucks to high heaven. A big plate of broccoli and other cheapo ingredients, topped with some very cold tasteless tuna that had sear marks put on it a day or more before then wrapped in plastic and refridgerated until it's sliced for the salad.
      The fish and chips (not sure if that's still on the menu) was not memorable but not too bad. What I remember is the side of salad: it was dressed with raspberry vinagrette. The same little side that came with other dishes. They didn't bother to use a different dressing that may possibly go better w/ the fried food.
      Been to Second City too many times, usually stick with the linguine with clams, lots of manilla clams, al dente pasta, it's fine.

      1. e
        ElissaInPlaya Jan 10, 2008 03:13 PM

        The atmosphere is lovely, and the wine list is quite decent. Service is slapdash and unprofessional, but somewhat friendly. Menu is American Bistro; cooking is fine - but there is no love wasted in the kitchen. If they hired a good chef who was given control of the menu, it might become a destination. In the meantime, soups and salads are not bad and the prices are reasonable.

        That being said, I don't plan to go back there anytime soon. If I end up there, it is better than some other terrible options.

        1. j
          joschus Jan 10, 2008 05:38 AM

          Thanks for your replies, everyone.

          1. j
            jlrobe Jan 9, 2008 07:00 PM

            It isnt as bad as Daily grill or Houstons, but certainly isnt great either.

            That's about all I can say.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jlrobe
              Will Owen Jan 10, 2008 01:19 PM

              ...and, just to make things interesting, please remember that both Daily Grill and Houston's have gotten raves here!

              I've been to Second City three times, once with Mrs. O - yes, we went there on purpose - and liked it very much all three times, though we never went beyond sandwiches and that lovely salad.

              1. re: Will Owen
                jlrobe Jan 11, 2008 04:18 PM

                "...and, just to make things interesting, please remember that both Daily Grill and Houston's have gotten raves here!"

                Well, Patina and Providence get mixed reviews, when both of them have michelin stars. Even our two michelin star restaurants get mixed reviews.

                If you go to citysearch on Tuscon's site, places like olive garden get rave reviews. Its all relative.

                When reading a review you have to pick out keys like
                1) Chef owned
                2) seasonal or high quality ingredients
                3) pacing of the meal
                4) Consistency
                5) Quality, authenticity, or focus of the menu
                6) Fussy vs simple cuisine.
                7) Execution

                People who eat at second city bistro, expect a quality bistro. When people eat at daily grill, they want decent food that is well seasoned ( enough salt and pepper) hot, well priced, and good portions. No more, no less.

              2. re: jlrobe
                westsidegal Jan 12, 2008 11:20 AM

                i've really enjoyed the home-made veggie burger at houstons and all of the side dishes that i've ever had at houstons.
                i've found nothing at second city enjoyable. their stuff is not awful, just not enjoyable.

                for truly disgusting food in el segundo, go to chef hannes. went there with a party of seven last month. the scallops were edible, everything else was awful and served poorly to boot.

              3. SauceSupreme Jan 9, 2008 02:37 PM

                In the years since it has opened (I had friends living within walking distance) I ate there once last October and was not impressed at all. I don't think it's worth your time.

                1. s
                  slacker Jan 9, 2008 01:33 PM

                  I doubt it's changed much since the last time I was there a few months ago. I hate the place. Kind of tired of ranting about it, though. Cheap (very low cost to the restaurant, like brocolli and carrots), boring ingredients, assembly-lined and thrown onto a plate. Too overpriced for what it is.

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