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Langosta Lounge, Asbury Park

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Inspired by this post:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/596841

I checked out Langosta Lounge's website last week and signed up for their mailing list. On Friday, received an email notice that they were having an Oscars Night Dinner and we're giving away swag bags to diners. So I headed there with my sister and one of her friends. I loved the decor as soon as I stepped in, kitschy (spelling?), warm and inviting. Great decor, comfy booths with a great ocean view.

We started with the fried olives appetizer. These were little balls of fried heaven. They were green olives with cheese fried and served with a delicious lemon basil mayo. The warm bread was also great. It had a different, almost sweet taste to it, can't put my finger on it. That was accompanied by some olive oil with roasted garlic and red peppers.

My sister and her friend both had the Skirt Steak, "marinated and roasted –sliced and topped with spring onions . Served with rice and beans – Grilled asparagus and a side of spiced fruit salsa" It was actually served with a Spanish potato cake. I'm not sure know if it noted that change on the menu. I tried the steak and it was cooked and seasoned perfectly. And that potato cake? Luscious.

I had the Langosta Caldo Verde (the paella on the website menu): "In a not so traditional cilantro broth with mussels, shrimp and seafood mixed with chorizo and vegetables over Ruby’s special Mexican rice and spice roasted garlic aioli toast points."

It was more seafood than rice and it was great. Not too spicy, 3 large mussels, lots of shrimp, a few scallops, and other white fish.

For dessert, the two girls had the the pu pu platter, which was essentially smores. It had some fabulous dark chocoalte, one with cranberries and one with pistaschios, marshmellows, graham crackers, peanut butter cups, and strawberries.

The food was great, definitely worth a trip back. I loved loved loved the decor and atmosphere. I could see myself hanging out here all year long.

Now for the slight negatives...Service was a bit shoddy. The waitress was overall friendly and nice but not on the ball. When first sat down I ordered a club soda with lime, it came out with lemon. She was no where in sight so I asked the busboy for lime. He brings me back a plate of lemons. OOOOkay....So I gave up on the limes. She also forgot to bring my sister's friend's tea. She wasn't really around to get her attention much either for these two issues. Empty glasses were left on the table after new ones were brought as well.

And the kicker...During dessert I asked if we were getting our "swag bags" as noted in the email I received. She didn't seem to know what the deal was and said the wait staff didn't really know what was going on. Oh boy....Then we got ONE bag ONLY because I paid $10 to participate in the Asbury Park Film Initiative's Oscar Raffle (swag bag was pretty cool though - mostly candy, but a candle, glass work, pottery, and the actual bag were neat). So I"m thinking I missed something in email. When I got home it says "Attendees receive swag bags...." So a bit misleading and unorganized.

However, the shoddy service and special event unorganization won't keep me away. But hopefully if they plan on donig things like this in the future, they'll pull it together better. The food definitely saved them.

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  1. Great review dani! A friend from Ocean Grove just raved about this place! I noticed the dinner & a movie special Monday nights is also gaining popularity. Price fix $25/pp plus a free movie ticket @ the Paramount Theatre is a great date night deal! Thanks for sharing your take on some of the menu items.

    1. We enjoyed Langosta very much, as well:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/596841

      7 Replies
      1. re: MGZ

        We enjoyed a late brunch at Langosta on Sunday. We arrived at 2 and the place was jumping - live music, only a couple seats at the bar, a pretty nice crowd. Somehow, we scored one of the front booths - it was like sitting on the boardwalk!

        To open, I had oysters Rockefeller, my wife a giant bowl of vegetable soup, and my sister in law a broiled grapefruit. It's a bit hard to describe as I didn't taste it, but she loved it. Think grapefruit brulee.

        As we took our time between courses, we wound up straddling the menu switch. The kitschen was kind enough to permit us to order off either menu. I couldn't resist getting a pu pu platter (for two). I appreciated the frivolity of it very much - sort of an appetizer sampler served in a retro lazy susan (complete with lit grill). I tasted my wife's Eggs Marion (albeit without any shrimp or lobster) and it was quite tasty. Thumbs up were given to the Lobter BLT and Breakfast Burrito that my brother and his wife devoured.

        Only hiccup - the homefries served with the "breakfasty" entrees were cold. Given that it was close to four o'clock, it was forgivable. (At one point I heated some for my wife on the pu pu platter grill!)

        One request, could you guys please print up a list of all those wonderful tequilas?

        1. re: MGZ

          Unfortunately, as much as I want so badly to love Langosta Lounge because I think the concept is fresh and exciting for AP it has the same pit falls of all of Marilyn's restaurant endeavours. The decor is excellent, but service is alsmost always shoddy, and what you get on your plate is almost never what the menu says. Its seems to be this way at all of her establishments past & previous establishments on many different occasions. My friends and I have a joke that what you order at any of Marilyn's restaurants depends on what they have in the kitchen -Plate Du Jour!!!...-Out of homefries no problem -they'll just substitute with sweet potato fries -you wanted the lobster mac & cheese sorry we ran out but here's some pork roll mac & cheese!! The list goes on & on...Don't get me wrong, I do like Marilyn's establsishments but be prepared that most often what you think you are ordering off the menu is not what you are going to get on your plate. This is definetley a "roll with the punches" kind of place.

          1. re: stack_c

            I have to disagree with you stack_c on the decor of the restaurant. I was there last week for a function (it was a buffet meal so I wont comment on the food), and I found the decor to be haphazard and disjointed. Mind you, her other restaurants are somewaht like that as well and I assume it was intentional. However, the decor is not to my liking and I therefore wouldn't classify it as excellent. More my style is the nice decorating job performed by the people at Stella Marina (the Watermark is also quite beautiful).

            1. re: bgut1

              I'm on stack's side. I find the decor/vibe at Langosta to create a comfortable, enjoyable atmosphere. In fact, this topic made me think about how important the environment of a restaurant is to the experience. For example, I thought the bar at Nicholas was dreadful - sterile, devoid of soul - terrible new age music, horrible tapestry-type wall hangings. Yuck! It almost ruined the food.

              Then again, I'm a flip flops and t-shirt guy. I think of jackets and ties as a costume.

              1. re: MGZ

                MGZ - I recognize that taste in decor is very subjective however, we are on opposite sides of the spectrum. I, as opposed to you, love the design of the bar at Nicholas and I'm sorry to say can't comprehend how any decor no matter how horrid can ruin the food being served.

                1. re: bgut1

                  I suppose I was going past the simple decor and commenting on the overall atmosphere/vibe. To me, a meal is an experience. I want to relax, linger, laugh, tell stories, whatever - I want to be comfortable! Otherwise, it's just eating.

                  We found Nicholas to be a very uncomfortable place. Simply put, it is pretentious.

              2. re: bgut1

                Bgut
                you are correct "haphazard and disjointed" is her "thing" when it comes to her decor..unfortunately I feel that it often flows over into her kitchens as well :(
                Yes, the watermark is a beautiful establishment!

        2. Tried out their Sunday Brunch this past weekend. It was really great inside with the sunlight streaming in and the ocean off in the distance (despite the fog).

          Service was great this time, very attentive and on par.

          My friend and I both had the Baked Egg dish, which was fried eggs with home fries, queso blanco, rojo salsa, and choice of meat (I had the turkey sausage, she had the bacon) served with fried tortilla toast points. Nice, hearty meal full of flavors. I would say the only negative was maybe the rojo salsa was maybe a bit too watery because both of our home fries were slightly soggy, still good, but I want them with that outside crisp factor.

          She also had a side dish of a special of mac and cheese with pork roll. Not bad but too early in the AM for me.

          Overall, a nice job for breakfast/brunch. Definitely would go back for breakfast (or dinner for that matter).

          My only slight gripe was the price of coffee (which came in refillable mug). At $2.50 a pop seemed a bit much and I only have one mug with breakfast. Thinking it doesnt' cost nearly that much when I have breakfast at my local diners.

          But in general, I think worth a trip if you haven't been.

          1. Enjoyed late afternoon tea and dessert at the Langosta Lounge.

            Located right across the street from the Stone Pony.

            Oceanfront dining views late afternoon. Nice!

            For dessert ordered the choco tacos, these were just the ice cream you can get at the local Jay and Silent Bob Mini Mart, cut into threes, topped with strawberries and whipped cream.

            Also had the Caramel Sushi! This was sweet but very good! It is two different caramel sushi 'rolls' topped with pistachio and chocolate, with a side of chocolate dipping sauce and candied ginger!

            Service was beach casual - everyone kind - nothing to complain or rave about.

            Random Side note: Love the decor here, glass pineapple lamps, mosaic wave booths, bright southwestern colors, beach glass adorned molding. Bohemian, happy, and creative! An artists dream! The restaurant is attached to a surf shop. In addition, Pops Garage, their take out mexican restaurant, also attached to the restaurant will open soon.

            Some photos

            2 Replies
            1. re: shabbystorm

              From a Lagosta mass e-mail:

              "Do you like Langosta's decor? What many of you may not know is that Langosta Lounge was designed from a host of recylced and reclaimed materials from the Barnegat, NJ-based Recycling the Past. My friend, and Recycling's owner, Matt White, helped me pick exotic finds to construct the bar, tables and wine racks. Many of the lighting fixtures, mirrors and decor are from Matt's extensive salvage yard, too. In addition to his amazing store, Matt will make his television debut this Monday, June 1 on the DIY Network. His show, Operation Salvage, highlights Matt's search for exotic finds and how he uses reclaimed materials to construct eco-friendly and design-savvy decor. Langosta Lounge is even featured in one of his episodes! Check it out!!!! Operation Salvage, airing on the DIY Network June 1 thru 5 at 6 p.m. On June 8 thru 12, Operation Salvage will air at 11:30 a.m. Support the show so Matt can keep teaching us about his rare finds and how they can be used to decorate our homes and businesses!"

              1. re: MGZ

                cool - thanks!

            2. Ended up here Friday night for drinks and apps. Had a table of four. The place was jamming. We had no reservations so we waited at the bar, maybe a half hour. Not bad. We ordered a bunch of different things:

              Mini Lobster Rolls - pretty good
              Fried Calamari - ok
              Fried Olives - heavenly
              3 Sushi Rolls - all fresh and tasty

              Great service this time around. Kept the drinks flowing, the plates cleared. Loving this place.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dani0622

                Next time you're waiting, cool your heels at Waterview. Amazing views, great wine list.

                1. re: aacharya

                  I believe aacharya meant Watermark.
                  http://www.watermarkap.com

              2. I've been waiting for an overcast Sunday to try this new ish spot on the Boardwalk along with Stella Marina.Today it was Langosta.In short it was pretty much as I expected after a quick glimpse at the website and styled not unlike old vintage stalwarts like Live Bait in Manhattan.Casual,eclectic,surfed out beach spot.Any sandblasted enzyme washed adjective could be used on this place.Certainly more style than substance and yet I never left dissapointed.
                Not particularly busy due to the weather,but (Jonny ?) the bartender provived amiable friendly efficient service and was typecast for this type of establishment.Big menu of average to smallish looking dishes.The tuna shrimp and mango ceviche was delicious, though expensive when you consider the ratio of seafood to mango - almost non existent !Mini lobster rolls were o.k. if slightly over salty,but nothing outstanding (Pearl is my benchmark).
                The flourless choc.cake was more like a fudge brownie,thick and heavy,with the interesting and tastefull garnish of diced watermelon and chocolate sauce.Normally I'ld finish with an espresso,but as I didn't see a machine behind the bar I trusted my gut instict and decided on a mug of regular joe.It is the best i've tasted in recent memory.I would go here in the winter and sit at the bar just to watch the storm tossed waves and drink the coffee - it was THAT good.Go figure?As a previous poster commented,there is really very little to scream with joy or complain about with this joint as far as I experienced.If I were to make one comment it is that most of the staff didn't look particularly enthusiastic or happy to be there.( I know - I was a twenty something once !)Maybe it was because it was a Sunday,or maybe because the tip jar was looking slim on this cloudy day?Don't get me wrong,I hate phony corporate smiles and BS,but waitreses munching on food while out on the floor don't belong in any diner or restaurant.It's basic unprofessional,however casual your establishment.
                Our bartender was one of the exceptions IMO.Overall a good choice and i will return and recommend.

                1. Check out this review:
                  http://jerseyshore.metromix.com/resta...

                  Ok, maybe it's me because this is one of my favorite restaurants, but I have some issues with this review.

                  Issue number one: the writer asks in the beginning what the result would be if a fine dining establishment tried to find it's place on the boardwalk. First of all, Langosta Lounge is not fine dining. Fine dining is Nicholas, or the such. Yes, it's more upscale, than say some of the other typical boardwalk places. And also, there are TONS of fine dining and midscale dining restaurants on the boardwalk all over the state of NJ - Stella Marina, Tisha's in Cape May, numerous ones in Long Branch, etc etc.

                  They then go on to criticize the edamame for having sea salt and lime and calling it distracted and muddled. Really? Because the chef added a squeeze of lime juice?

                  They complain about the wait but never say how long. It's Friday. It's July. You're eating at a restaurant on the boardwalk that had an hour and half wait.

                  They then go on to complain the bread wasn't freshly baked. Um, how many restaurants have you folks been to where the bread is freshly baked. Almost every restaurant I know has the bread from an outside vendor.

                  The next complaint centered around one of the main entrees not having the sauce "spread over the dish" instead it was spooned onto a section of a plate. And this showed "a lack of attention to detail." Wow. Maybe I've been eating at too may places that dont' smother the entree in sauce and use it as an accompaniment.

                  Finally, the writer goes on to say that the cost of their meal, $75 for two beers, one app, 2 entrees, plus tip, was too much and this is what's keeping diners away. And people don't want to pay that for a meal "eaten on the boardwalk."

                  Sorry, if you think that is expensive, that I don't know where you are eating. That is reasonable to me for a place like Langosta. And furthermore, a place on the boardwalk??? That is completely laughable. See my point above about other high end/midscale eateries on the boardwalk.

                  And the price is keeping people away? With an hour and a half wait on a Friday night, it doesn't look like it's keeping anyone away.

                  I will step off my soapbox now, but this review really got my goat. Just appeared as a inexperienced diner trying to write a review and ends up slammng what a lot of people think is a good restaurant.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: dani0622

                    A well-warranted diatribe. Cheers, Dani!

                    1. re: dani0622

                      Not to mention the dark text on the black background making it all but unreadable. This must be what is keeping readers away from these reviews...

                      1. re: equal_Mark

                        Cheers to you MGZ and EqualMark! Next time I'm at Langosta (tomorrow!) I will have a drink and think of all my fellow chowhounders!

                    2. So I made it back for this year's Oscar party. I've been eating at Langosta often with mixed reviews. Sometimes very good, sometimes medicore. Previous to this past Sunday, last time I ate there was for New Year's and thought while the food was good, the price was too much (which I don't recall).

                      But back to Sunday....if you read my original review, I went to watch the Oscars and get my swag bag, but only upon paying to be in an Oscar pool and asking for the bag did I get it. And my party of three only got 1.

                      Well, we had a repeat of last year. Food this time was all across the board. My salmon appetizer left little to be desired and was a very fatty, chewy piece of salmon. The mac and cheese app though was very good, with a surprise of collard greens on the bottom. For entrees, I had the sea bass with risotto, which I enjoyed and she had the same thing as last year which she ate up and loved. Dessert was an unmemorable berry crumble tart. Not until we were home did my sister remind me we didn't get our swag bags. Well, too late. So frustrating that they promote the giveaway (in emails and facebook numerous times) and then this happens again. Won't be going back to the Oscar party next year. Sure I'll be back eventually for dinner.

                      17 Replies
                      1. re: dani0622

                        We enjoyed Langosta when it opened. We like Marilyn and what she
                        tries to do. It's been a while since we've gone and, other than grabbing a
                        quick tequila during a body surfing break this summer, I don't see us going
                        back. Why pay AP Boardwalk prices (and deal with the "I'm just doing this
                        until my CDs sell" staff) when I can eat the same (or better) food at
                        Labrador?

                        Having once worked on the Boardwalk, I was an early cheerleader for the
                        rebirth of Asbury Park. For a while, it was exciting to see (and taste) all
                        the new offerings on the dining front. As the popularity of the restaurants there has increased, the quality of the food and experience has plummetted. I suppose the best way to sum up my feelings is the fact that when we go see Jeff Beck in June, we will likely stop to eat someplace on the way.

                        1. re: MGZ

                          Agree MGZ. Have you tried any of the places on/off Cookman? I've only tried Old Man Rafferty's (which was terrible), Market in the Middle (unmemorable) and Brickwall (good bar food).

                          1. re: dani0622

                            Tried most of them. Market was great when it first opened. Old Man is a great space, but you can't eat decor. Brickwall has a good beer selection, but I think the comfort food thing has gotten old. Maybe we'll try Synaxis someday . . .

                            1. re: MGZ

                              IMHO, the best restaurant in AP is Moonstruck on Lake Ave. Food is consistently excellent and service is exceptional

                              1. re: lggfly

                                Is anybody else just bored with Moonstruck? I'm all about sticking with what works...but has their menu EVER changed?

                                1. re: joonjoon

                                  an even bigger issue is not just the unchanging menu, but the focus... is it Italian? not really... Mediterranean? pretty much, save for the thai this and asian that... and I'm sorry, but 20 bucks for a grilled chicken breast! they should be jailed for that alone

                                  overall, bored and underwhelmed... also a little tired of a few snotty and less-than-gracious hosts... maybe it's me, but we go in there and on a slow night they bring us all the way to the third floor to a far corner table... last time, as we passed through the half-empty second floor, I asked the person leading us if we could stop and eat with the rest of the people... I got a glare and a weak nod and was allowed to sit with the others... I mean, my fly was up, shoes tied, shirt buttoned and they hadn't even seen me eat yet, so what gives?

                                  1. re: aklein

                                    I hear ya ak...there seems to be some kind of disconnect at Moonstruck in terms of quality of food, price, and snootiness. The 20$ chicken is a perfect example...very underwhelming for 20$. The chicken at the bar at Nicholas is 19$ and completely blows away Moonstruck's, and somehow the staff at Nicholas seems more laid back than Moonstruck's.

                                    30 bucks for shrimp....35 bucks for steak...I'm sorry, but IMO Moonstruck's food just isn't at that level...

                                    I was hanging with a few buds downstairs at the bar the other day and we ordered my favorite thing at Moonstruck - the fritto misto. My friend's comment was spot on: "Is it just me or does this dish get smaller every time we order it?"

                                    Blah, sorry to turn this into a MS poop fest, but I'm just generally bored with a lot of places these days...

                                    Edit: #*$%!!! Just checked Nicholas's menu online and they jacked up their chicken to 24 bucks...wtf?

                                  2. re: joonjoon

                                    Also, the HOSTESS at MOONSTRUCK can be a bit rude at times and a bit sassy. He sometimes makes you feel like he's doing you a favor to let you dine at his restaurant.

                                  3. re: lggfly

                                    I think this thread has been hijacked?

                                    1. re: xny556cip

                                      You're right, xny... for my part, sorry for leading the thread OT....

                                      1. re: xny556cip

                                        In a way, the thread may have been "highjacked," but in a way we're all making the same lament. Somehow, the money being spent to bring AP back (including our Federal tax dollars) is put at risk by the condescending wait staffs at these eateries.

                                      2. re: lggfly

                                        Moonstruck continues to offer delicious food of high quality prepared to your liking. Had a party there in the VIP room, dropped $1000. and was totally satisfied. If you're not happy speak up and the owners/managers/waitresses/waiters will fix the problem. Cool coffee and cool soup are my only complaints...overall, always a classy experience.

                                        1. re: jerseygurl

                                          And this relates to Langosta Lounge... How?

                                          -----
                                          Langosta Lounge
                                          1000 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

                                          1. re: equal_Mark

                                            joonjoon brought up Moonstruck up thread :)

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              Actually, it was Iggfly that brought up moonstruck..I just turned it into a silly rant.

                                              BUT, in an effort to bring this thread back on-topic, I'm heading out to Langosta lounge for breakfast...right now! Will report back later.

                                              1. re: joonjoon

                                                The wife brought me home some takeout from Langosta last evening and I must admit to being a little impressed with the dish. I tried the Bangalore Pork Tenderloin which was advertised as being a tandoori spiced seared loin over Moroccan style red lentil and cous cous salad topped with pistachio, sesame, fig and harissa gremolata, Although the Indian/Moroccan combination sounded a bit odd, the dish worked. In fact, while I enjoyed the tandoori spiced pork loin, the lentil/cous cous salad stole the show with the figs adding just enough sweetness to counterbalance the Moroccan spicing in the dish. I've got to remind myself to give this restaurant a chance and not dismiss it off hand.

                                                1. re: bgut1

                                                  Went last night for dinner. Service was very slow, two servers working 22 outside tables. The pu pu platter was good. I had the Kane salad, with grilled chicken. I found it odd that the chicken was cold. I prefer hot protein on my salads. It was good, though. My husband had the skirt steak, which had good flavor but was really really tough. He had a delicious one a few weeks ago at McLoone's Asbury Grille. We ordered sorbet for dessert, waited ten minutes for it to arrive, and then were told they were out of it. We walked down to McLoone's for the funnel cake fries. Langosta was alright. Not horrible, certainly not terrific. I won't rush to go back, especially with the other choices in the area.

                              2. Everything coming by looked good, mostly salads, but I wanted the lobster roll; out but they did have the lobster macaroni and cheese so I went for it despite the waitress' lukewarm expression when I asked how it was. The appetizer portion is small but adequate as I had expected but it was dried out Kraft type, small noodles, same sauce and with shredded (packaged maybe) lobster and not much of it. My friends burrito was very good. Wrong choice and I'll try again. Good service and constant refilling of water on a hot day.

                                -----
                                Langosta Lounge
                                1000 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: queeks

                                  99% chance it was vac-pac'ed lobster meat, broken knuckle meat probably. if not frozen meat, then it could be culls, one armed lobsters restaurants often buy to make lobster rolls, bisque, etc. anything that equires loose meat or husks.