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Mar 16, 2011 10:38 AM

Patricia Yeo to OM in Harvard Square

I had read that Yeo would be back in the area soon and this confirms where: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.c... (terrible choice of font in the bio).

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  1. Yikes: completely illegible!

    Well, that's good news for Om, whose food I thought fell off a cliff when they ill-advisedly pushed Rachel Klein out the door, but it's only temporary. They're opening a place in Central Square for her called Moska.

    13 Replies
      1. re: jgg13

        450 Mass Ave, just down the block from Mary Chung. Former real estate office, I believe.

        Mary Chung Restaurant
        460 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          isn't 450 mass the theater? I guess maybe it's part of that complex?

      2. re: MC Slim JB

        You can read it if you zoom in - it's a career bio.

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Totally lost track of what you're saying. Why is the good news temporary? "They" are opening a place, with Rachel Klein? I don't follow at all. (Maybe I had too many dumplings at WInsor at lunch.) (Impossible.)

          1. re: Alcachofa

            Om's opening chef was Rachel Klein. It was really good then. She left / was pushed out. She chefs at Aura in the Seaport now.

            Om has hired Patricia Yeo as their chef, but she will only helm that kitchen a short time. Om's owners are opening a second restaurant in Central Square called Moska; Yeo will be its opening chef.


            1. re: MC Slim JB

              It got a lot of press upon opening, but we thought Om's food was pretty underwhelming even when Rachel Klein was the executive chef based on two times we dined there. We haven't been back since and an interim chef with an eye toward her new restaurant won't be reason to change that.

              It will be interesting to see what Yeo can do in Central Square though once that opens.

          2. re: MC Slim JB

            Great news, they finally just might have found a good Chef. Klein's was the down fall of OM and her food is just as is dreadful at Aura. We were at OM one night and sitting across from us were two very well know restaurateurs and a Food Editor. We all share the same opinion about the food. Solomon, the co-owner of OM, has great taste until it comes to hiring chefs.

            1. re: dotfoodie

              Can't say I think much of Aura's food either, but it's in a hotel catering to the convention crowd, and a chef has to hit a certain awful mean in such places. Not to discount your neighboring table's professional opinions, but I thought what Klein did as the opening chef at Om was fresh and original, and her successors never hit those heights. Ever wonder why the place almost never gets mentioned here since she left?


              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Klien was not a draw and all most bankrupted OM. One reason why OM never got mentioned after she left was they couldn't afford any PR. The only press they got was about their finances and it looked like they would close. We all know it isn't how good the food is, it's how good your PR is.

                1. re: dotfoodie

                  I think many on these boards would not agree with your axiom.

                  1. re: dotfoodie

                    In my opinion, each of your four statements there is complete bunk, dotfoodie.


                    1. re: dotfoodie

                      Sorry, add me to the "I totally agree with every statement you made" contingent.

                      "Couldn't afford PR." I worked in marketing communications for 10+ years. If done well good PR is free.

                      AND a good resto lives and dies based on the food/experience, not the PR budget.

              2. I'd add Om to the restaurant death watch. She's like the female equivalent of Todd English. One good restaurant (AZ/Olives), many failures. I keep rooting for her though.

                10 Replies
                1. re: JoeM

                  I wouldn't be surprised if OM fails, but I doubt it will have anything to do with Yeo. Given OM's rocky history, there are some clear management and financial issues running deep.

                  1. re: JoeM

                    I think Yeo did a great job at Ginger Park, and you can't blame its closing on her. The place struggled to turn a profit from Day One, and its investors finally decided to stop pouring money into it. It's a big space with high rent and jerky, hostile neighbors upstairs.


                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      While I liked Ginger Park, I don't think she did a great job. Her food, although great at its best, was very uneven, and the service was terrible resulting in cold, mixed-up or missed dishes. It only takes one bad meal to drive people away from that spot, as beautiful as it is. Given her lack of success at Sapa and Monkey Bar, I don't see how Om will be any different.

                      1. re: JoeM

                        Not sure how Ginger Park's service issues can be laid at the chef's feet. I'm not privy to all the backstage drama, but there are many who ascribe Monkey Bar's failures to ownership, not the chef. I know less about the reasons behind Sapa's demise.


                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                          I agree that Ginger Park's downfall wasn't totally Yeo's doing by any means. But when it comes to service, I think the chef sets the tone -- at GP and otherwise. A happy kitchen directly translates to happy, proactive service. When people are excited by and proud of the food, it shows. I have no idea what Yeo's like to work for, but generally I think chefs do contribute to service (good or bad).

                          1. re: Swankalicious

                            Sometimes there's a correlation in quality between front and back of house, but it's not axiomatic. Many restaurants fail despite well-run kitchens producing great food.


                            1. re: Swankalicious

                              I had insight about what it is like to work with Yeo. She is very grouchy and frankly everyone has to stroke her ego because of her accomplishments instead of give criticism which would ultimately benefit the establishment. Her food rely's to much on soy sauce and for someone with so much accolades, she should at least be able to make a better general tao.

                          2. re: JoeM

                            I agree completely about Ginger Park. I loved Yeo @ AZ and at GP. And I agree about inconsistencies in food. I wonder what the deal is; there's a story here, what is it? How can a chef that skilled have so many difficulties? I wish I knew. I love her food when the kitchen is in sync.

                              1. re: hckybg

                                Yeah, well, I'm going in on Saturday night. I love her food. I think that the Asian-Bobby Flay experience is unique. Jeez, I hope this time it works out for her!!!

                      2. Ate at OM last night for the first time as am a Yeo fan from her AZ days. Happy to report that everything was delicious: Korean BBQ in lettuce leaves; "chop-chop" salad; whole ocean perch fried; pho with tea smoked duck. Silly complementary "truffled" popcorn and potato chips on each table and the disco music has got to go, but the food was worth it and the service was great. This quality comes at a price: Two apps, two entrees, two cocktails, a glass of wine, and one dessert = $144, including tax and tip. I wish the restaurant every success...a good value and a good alternative to most places in the Square.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: scotty27

                          i agree with you that the popcorn and potato chips were not tasty at all.

                          I particularly like the trout in banana leaf.

                          I met the chef after telling the bar tender that I used to eat at China Moon in SF. She was very kind and gracious; we talked a bit about Barbara Tropp. I still use her cookbooks.

                          China Moon Restaurant
                          170 Main St, Stoneham, MA 02180

                        2. This weekend I walked by the location in Central for Yeo's new place, Moksa. It's in the same large space as the Veggie Planet diner offshoot, right next to the Central Square theatre. The spot is huge and been empty for a while - it's been screaming for a restaurant (or two) to take the lease.

                          You can't see how far along either spot is because the windows are completely papered up. The Moksa paper says that it's an "Asian Tapas Lounge" and coming in early summer (the 'O' in Moksa has a Poseidon trident inside - so maybe a seafood focus?).

                          The only other information is "lavender cosmos being served." Hopefully, with Yeo's involvement, there will be a focus on food, but leading with lavender cosmos is disheartening.

                          What year is this? Lavender cosmos? Come on.

                          Veggie Planet
                          47 Palmer St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: DoubleMan

                            Yeah, you can't open a place within crawling distance of Rendezvous, Craigie, and Green Street and go lax on the cocktails.

                            1. re: DoubleMan

                              If your PR people tell you to lead with lavender cosmos, fire them.

                              1. re: hckybg

                                I splash some of that on every morning before I go to work.

                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                  "Lavender Cosmos, a celestial sunrise...the new fragrance from Todd Anglais"

                            2. Yeo is doing amazing things with the menu at OM and the bar is turning around. I was there a week or so ago and was not only amazed at the food but also at how much the bar has changed in the recent months. No longer do they have shelves of flavored spirits and the cocktail menu reflects that decision. I think they have the best cocktails in the square next to Russell ( I'm always disappointed with Upstairs...).

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Unfoodie

                                I agree completely. She is a star.