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Jan 21, 2008 06:52 PM

Room 39 Kansas City

We had a very disappointing lunch today at Room 39, between Genessee and Bell on West 39th in KCMO. Unfortunately, it was the third disappointing meal in 4 weeks. We live 2 blocks from Room 39 and try to eat there regularly, but probably not much longer. The portions are getting smaller and the quality more spotty. I'll only relate about today's experience.

We had Chicken Pastilla today, which is a Moroccan inspired pastry with almonds. The portion was maybe the size of a breakfast muffin accompanied by about 1/2 cup of overdressed greens. Nothing else. 10 bucks. It was served cold. It would have been much more enjoyable warm ( and much less expensive) but it was flavorful, even cold. About half the tables around us were getting bread before their food. For some reason, only some tables got bread. We didn't.

We also ordered a cup of butternut squash soup, again, barely warm, and a house salad that was supposed to have roasted beets. There were probably 4 one inch squares of beets and the salad was over dressed. We couldn't really asked to have anything re-fired. Our server never came back once the food was dropped. We think that this third time was the charm that will prevent us from going back and from recommending Room 39 to others.

The worst part was dessert. We wanted to order dessert, because our portions were so small we were still hungry. The server dropped our ticket and THEN asked if we wanted to hear about dessert. Yes, we said, so he rather impatiently took our ticket back and told us about dessert. We ordered the mini cookie plate, which we were told would have a chocolate chip cookie, a peanut butter cookie, a spice bar, an almond cookie and a homemade marshmallow with chocolate sauce. What was served was a very over done, dry chocolate chip cookie, a very over done, dry spice bar, a dry almond tart sort of thing with a jarred maraschino cherry on top and a nice marshmallow with a very ordinary chocolate sauce. No peanut butter cookie was detected. Getting a coffee refill was next to impossible.

Don't know what's going on there, hope they get it together.

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  1. Thanks for the info. I've only dined there for lunch once, and that was a couple of months ago. I thought the food was good enough, however a bit small on the portion size and pricey compared to other options in the neighborhood. A couple of people in my party ordered the scallops, and while they were tasty, both walked away fairly hungry. Overall I thought it was a nice change and the local products aspect was cool, but not something I would swing very often.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pollymerase

      We really like to support places in our neighborhood, so I hope someone at Room 39 sees the report. Maybe they are just having growing pains after opening their second location.

    2. That's disappointing to hear, especially since things have gone downhill, restaurant-wise lately on 39th street. I really hope they can sort things out, because there is a distinct lack of really, really good fine dining restaurants downtown, and a limited selection is definitely not a good thing.

      I try to keep a close eye on what's going on in the "Food World" in Kansas City, and compile a weekly list of "Goings On" in the "Kansas City Food, News, and Foodie News" section of my blog, and after seeing The Kansas City Star (Laurin Chapin) review yet another Bo Lings, reviews of supposed "nice" restaurants like Room 39 that go like this are even that much more disheartening.

      Recipes, Restaurant Reviews, Food News and More -

      1 Reply
      1. re: sirregular

        Laura Chapin's reviews are like reading a 6th grade book report.

      2. One should send a letter to the owner or manager at that location. Room 39 is one of my favorite restaurants and I want them to succeed. These problems need to be addressed in order to correct it. I eat there at least once a week, and yes I see your point of view because we had a very bad lunch there a few weeks ago and brushed it off our shoulders as a fluke accident.

        1. I have had a couple disappointments at that location, and yeah, they were once the Leawood loacation was in the process or had just opened. I do wonder about the coordination between the two locations. I haven't yet had a less than delicious meal at the Leawood location, though I've certainly eaten there less often.

          What happened at teh 39th St. location that was disappointing was food that was obviously cooked too quickly and at too high a heat. Burned toast, burned vegetable sides, both of which are unacceptable, and they corrected the toast, but my dining compation didn't say anything about her veggies. Her perogative, though I wish she'd told them. I do think we should all give them the opportunity to correct things, but yes, when the whole meal is bad, including service, that's more difficult to address.

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