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Langosta Lounge, Asbury Park

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. 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!"

            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.