HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >

Discussion

Langosta Lounge Asbury Park

  • seal Apr 19, 2009 09:30 AM

Cliff notes: Good, interesting drinks; fairly decent and tasty food; rushed attitude to get in the late seating almost spoils it all.

There was a lively bar scene going on as we entered and we were lucky to get a small table there to have a drink while we waited for our friends. The pomegranite mojito and rum punch were good as were the small plate of fried olives we nibbled on.

Our reservation was for 6:30 so when the time arrived and our friends were yet to show, I walked over to the host and told him that we were drinking at the bar and would move to our table as soon as our friends showed up. They were not familiar with Asbury and I told the host they would be there any minute and I would watcdh for them. Right away he tells me that they are expecting to have our table ready for another party at 8:30 so he hopes our friends won't be late.

I was planning on having a no-holds barred night of eating and drinking way too much, but upon hearing the news that we were "on a timer" I mentally revised my plans.

Our friends showed up five minutes later we ordered drinks. We were catching up and chatting over our drinks when our waitress asked us if we were ready to order. It had only been maybe ten minutes since we sat so nobody had even opened a menu yet. The waitress then reiterated what the host had told me and said that we should order soon as they were seating another party at our table at 8:30.

So to review the food quickly:

Bread - not house made, but the tomato/oil/roasted garlic mix was very good to smear on the slices.
Pupu platter - kitchy, but ultimately unsatisfying. Seriously undercooked steak kabobs.
Lobster rolls - better choice for appys, tasty and fresh. 3 teeny rolls in an order made sharing hard though.
Skirt Steak Mole over "Ruby Rice" - Done medium rare as ordered. both steak and rice were flavorful and good, but the mole was weak. I make a mole with 21 ingredients that is insanely complex as a mole should be, and I can make it hot or milder, but this was just weak.
Lobster enchiladas - good, flavorful and a nice size portion too.

We then paid our check and left without coffee or dessert as we didn't want to go over our alotted time. Shame that the evening felt rushed instead of warm and hospitable.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Timer really? Crazy.

    For lunch - had my heart set on the Chaco Tacos for dessert.

    In any case, another chowhound post for this place
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/598504

    1. I have heard several stories of less than hospitable service there. My husband and I went for lunch one day, and whie the server was friendly enough, he was horribly slow and inattentive. And there were only two other tables at the time.

      I have only been told I was on the clock once. That was at Craft in manhattan. My fellow diners and I immediately walked out. Even if they did need the table and had to push the pace along, it should be invisible to the diner.

      1. Seal, what happened is really unfortunate. Most dinners, even with some of the party a few minutes late would last 2 hours or less.
        Hearing about a "time limit" at the beginning of the evening would certainly put a damper on the meal.

        1. thanks for the review. i posted the other two reviews. i really like this place and had bad service first time. second time was better.

          the time limit would make me leave. i'll report back next week as i plan on headng there for dinner next friday night.

          1. I am sorry to hear of your disappointing evening. From what I've read of your posts and what I've experienced at Langosta, I would have thought that you had made the right choice for a "no holds barred" outing (Hell, I would've been happy to join you!).

            We have frequently been guilty of excessive lingering while enjoying meals (including a brunch at Langosta) and have felt the stares of those looking to turn a table. Usually, I apologize, order plenty of extra drinks, and overtip – bad feelings are generally assuaged. Occasionally, we are recognized for our leisurely approach to dining and humored when we return to an establishment. Never, however, have we been told, prior to starting, that our table was to be someone else’s in two hours. That’s lousy.

            Although I am generally a fan, Marilyn’s restaurants’ strong points are in the back of the house. Service issues seem too common. They appear often to be borne from attitude, prejudice, and condescension. It’s a shame.

            Perhaps, I’m digressing, but I am afraid this is not an uncommon phenomenon. (Similarly, I am not saying this is what happened to the OP, just wanting to make a point generally about the problem, I suppose.) Servers, like most people, make quick assumptions about the patrons they confront. It sometimes seems more palpable at Langosta, but I’ve seen it at other Asbury establishments lately – this version is the “hip” test (basically, “Are they cool?”).

            The irony of this is the fact that chefs like Marilyn open places like Langosta to serve great food without the pretentiousness associated with your grandfather’s “fine dining” – the “wealth” test (basically, “Can they afford to eat here?”) If I’m dressed in my usual attire, the bartenders at Nicholas, for example, treat me like Cousin Eddie. I see no difference.

            I suppose a certain amount of attitude becomes ingrained in the culture of a restaurant. I even suppose that sometimes this can be a positive factor. Too much attitude, however, may create a cliquish, uncomfortable establishment. Certainly, that doesn’t have to happen to Langosta.

            3 Replies
            1. re: MGZ

              If a restaurant EVER advised me that I had a "time limit", I would leave. I would not give my business to that type of place. The customer is always right !!!!

              1. re: MGZ

                I recently dinned at Langosta and would would classify the service as Sub Par. But I don't think it's only a Marilyn issue; I've had great service at her Labrador Lounge Establishment a number of times; I think it's more of an Asbury Attitude. I've dinned at Stella Marina, Market, Brickwall (worse service ever), Old Man, moonstruck, watermark, O'tooles; and have been disappointed by this asbury attitude . I patronize these establishments in hopes that this once prominent city comes back to life. In order for these new shops and restaurants opening up to succeed, they need to start with a simple greeting... Welcome to Asbury Park.

                1. re: mav10

                  mav10 - I've dined at most of the restaurants mentioned in your post (especially Stella Marina where I dine regularly) and never have experienced any type of "attitude".

              2. I intended to illustrate the hypocrisy emerging at Langosta in the hopes that it can be remedied. My encounters with Marilyn, Scott, and those who appear to be close to them, suggest that they would be dismayed to learn that Langosta was becoming elitist. It is, however, one of the few places where I think bringing attention to the issue might help.

                I am probably one of the last people who should raise this issue. I have never received anything but excellent to special attention at any of the Schlossbach establishments. Believe me, I could’ve had Seal’s table by 8 o’clock . . . I will get my tequila refilled before the bartender bothers to pour your first glass of wine . . . (Get it? Yes, Virginia there is a secret local handshake!). It doesn’t make it right.

                Above, I noted that such practices are engaged in everywhere; I too have been guilty of it. Given the quality of the food, Labrador Lounge is one of the most egalitarian places I know. I confess, however, laughing about the bennies with our waitress. Face it, at one time or another each of you was prejudged and pigeonholed.

                Part of this< I am certain, is because in the course of waiting on someone for an hour (or two) it’s easy to treat them as the most immediately recognizable cliché. Maybe you really are comfortable as the cliché and therefore don’t mind – fine, it’s still not right. When the fat lady asks for extra butter, the staff laughs! And don’t think that your mispronunciations go unnoticed simply because they were not corrected.

                I know this rant has digressed into too broad a point, I am just hopeful that Langosta can stay cool and that perhaps by pointing out this peril they will be aware. After all, sooner or later, you gotta let Barney try!

                BTW – “Cousin Eddie”? Why do I waste such good stuff on you people?? :)

                1 Reply
                1. re: MGZ

                  I agree with you MGZ, I want Langosta to succeed. It's been my first choice to dine lately when I head to AP. I've never had rude service, just the first time, not great service. Maybe I'm ignorant and maybe my table was given the snub by our waitress because we were prejudged (me - female in her 30s with two teenage girls) or maybe it was just an inexperience waitress. But on my second trip with a friend, it was fine. I will definitely take notice next week when I return.

                2. A quick post about this place (my GF took detailed notes but I don't have them with me.)

                  We thought the food was a solid B - nothing remarkable but not bad either. I'd certainly give them another try.

                  The service was really pretty good. It was a Saturday night and the place was full. In spite of that orders were taken smoothly and dishes delivered without a glitch.

                  This place is noisier by a fair margin than a typical restaurant. We were lucky in the placement of our table but if we were in the center of the room we barely could have heard each other.

                  The lights, already on the dim side, were inexplicably dimmed further 2/3 of the way through our meal. We were mostly finished eating but had the lights been at this level at the start of the meal it would definitely have been a real negative. I like to be able to see what I'm eating.

                  We had a drink at the bar before being seated and I was unpleasantly surprised to find that they charged a personal NJ record $11 per martini. I'm accustomed to far more gentle pricing - $8 is common, with occasional $7 bargains and the high end at $10.

                  I'm sure that other people on the board have paid this much or more in New Jersey but it was an unpleasant surprise to me. Come on guys ... it's Asbury Park. Wait until the area is fully gentrified before you jack up the prices.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                    Yes, it is Asbury Park, which is becoming more Trendy and THE place to dine right now. Mostly every lounge in Asbury charges 11$$ or MORE for a martini. The Mattison charges more than that and have been doing so for well over a year. Last summer I paid 8$$ at the Tiki beach bar to drink a tiny cup of wine out of a plastic cup. The wine was equal to 2 buck chuck at trader joes. Lovely view at that beach bar but I will not be going there again, I work too hard to throw my money away like that. For 8$$ they should at least serve nice wine in a real GLASS glass.

                    1. re: FrankieT945

                      As a point of comparison both Charley's and Rooney's serve well made $8.00 martinis. Large ones too. They're pleasant places to have a drink and Rooney's has an ocean view. (Whatever you do, don't eat there.) I mention this because Asbury Park is still a bit of an adventure. Outside of Langosta Lounge the landscape is pretty desolate. At least in the off season there's no foot traffic so people are making a special effort to drive over there. Under the circumstances it seems churlish to reward people's loyalty by gouging them on the drinks.

                      And just to be fair, I thought the wine list at LL was really well priced with lots of attractive choices at around $30 or less. That's why the drink prices seem way out of line.

                      1. re: Bob Martinez

                        Bob - What about Stella Marina (with regard to your comment about the desolate landscape) ? BTW, II agree about the wine list at LL as well as your Rooney's comment.

                        1. re: bgut1

                          I didn't even notice it but I'm assuming from your question that it's close by. Lets be candid here - even if you factor in Stella Marina, Asbury Park isn't exactly Red Bank.

                          Honestly, the fairly deserted neighborhood doesn't bother me at all. I wish LL and Asbury Park well. I just figure that right now if the customers are loyal enough to go out of their way to go there then LL shouldn't rip them off at the bar. If anything, their bar prices should be extra friendly in order to attract a crowd. (Not that they seem to have trouble getting people in there.)

                          Rooney's is indeed a very pleasant place for a drink. The food, OTOH, reminds me of those food replicas you see outside Japanese sushi restaurants. It *looks* like it would be tasty but Lord help you if you try to eat it.

                          Anyway, I'll definitely head back to LL for dinner. I'll just have drinks somewhere else first.

                          1. re: Bob Martinez

                            I wonder how all these new restaurants in AP have the ability to sell booze while so many other places are BYOB....................

                            1. re: FrankieT945

                              Frankie, Every town has a set number of liquor licenses, They are buying existing licenses.
                              Bob, Asbury Park may be an adventure for you, but not for the large number of us locals who are having a great time trying all the new places. Of course, now most will be too crowded to return to until after the Season is over. If you haven't yet tried it, go to a First Saturday...lots of fun!

                              1. re: SusieQQ

                                except it's the same thing EVERY time, they need to come up with some new ideas. All those existing liquor licenses along the boardwalk that was vacant, deserted and desolate for so many years??????????

                                1. re: FrankieT945

                                  I actually think that there is a nice diversity of establishments on the Boardwalk. Similarly, I feel the ressurection that has taken place is impressive. (I remember working on the south end of Boardwalk in the summer of '88 . . . pretty much the last year anything was really open up there Twenty years of foulness!).

                        2. re: Bob Martinez

                          I had a $10 shot of tequila (blanco) yesterday. All I could think was "College would have been a lot less fun if shots of tequila were $10 a pop!"

                    2. Lessons Learned:

                      1. Timing a customer at dinner is wrong.
                      2. Never judge a book by it's cover!
                      3. Secret Handshake - Nanu Nanu?
                      4. Remember your perception is your reality but it ain't always the truth or how the real world works!
                      5. Jersey Rocks!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: shabbystorm

                        Sounds good to me!!!