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Patricia Yeo to OM in Harvard Square

SEH Mar 16, 2011 10:38 AM

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).

  1. MC Slim JB Mar 16, 2011 10:47 AM

    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.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

    13 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB
      jgg13 Mar 16, 2011 10:54 AM

      where in central?

      1. re: jgg13
        MC Slim JB Mar 16, 2011 11:20 AM

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

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        -----
        Mary Chung Restaurant
        460 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

        1. re: MC Slim JB
          jgg13 Mar 16, 2011 11:38 AM

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

      2. re: MC Slim JB
        Bob Dobalina Mar 16, 2011 11:36 AM

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

        1. re: MC Slim JB
          Alcachofa Mar 16, 2011 12:01 PM

          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
            MC Slim JB Mar 16, 2011 12:37 PM

            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.

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

            1. re: MC Slim JB
              g
              Gabatta Mar 16, 2011 01:24 PM

              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
            d
            dotfoodie Mar 16, 2011 07:17 PM

            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
              MC Slim JB Mar 16, 2011 10:50 PM

              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?

              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

              1. re: MC Slim JB
                d
                dotfoodie Mar 19, 2011 06:09 PM

                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
                  h
                  hckybg Mar 19, 2011 09:25 PM

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

                  1. re: dotfoodie
                    MC Slim JB Mar 19, 2011 11:02 PM

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

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                    1. re: dotfoodie
                      StriperGuy Mar 20, 2011 07:12 AM

                      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. j
                JoeM Mar 16, 2011 12:28 PM

                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
                  d
                  DoubleMan Mar 16, 2011 12:32 PM

                  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
                    MC Slim JB Mar 16, 2011 12:38 PM

                    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.

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                    1. re: MC Slim JB
                      j
                      JoeM Mar 16, 2011 12:59 PM

                      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
                        MC Slim JB Mar 16, 2011 01:53 PM

                        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.

                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                        1. re: MC Slim JB
                          s
                          Swankalicious Mar 16, 2011 03:21 PM

                          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
                            MC Slim JB Mar 16, 2011 04:07 PM

                            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.

                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                            1. re: Swankalicious
                              t
                              tastypalate87 Jun 15, 2011 08:55 PM

                              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
                            s
                            scotty27 Mar 16, 2011 04:47 PM

                            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: scotty27
                              h
                              hckybg Mar 16, 2011 09:05 PM

                              You're the shrink, Bro.

                              1. re: hckybg
                                s
                                scotty27 Mar 17, 2011 05:10 PM

                                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. s
                        scotty27 Mar 20, 2011 12:31 PM

                        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.

                        www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: scotty27
                          c
                          cambridgedoctpr Apr 12, 2011 11:30 AM

                          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. d
                          DoubleMan Apr 11, 2011 06:32 AM

                          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
                            r
                            robwat36 Apr 11, 2011 08:31 AM

                            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
                              h
                              hckybg Apr 11, 2011 06:17 PM

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

                              1. re: hckybg
                                StriperGuy Apr 12, 2011 12:14 AM

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

                                1. re: StriperGuy
                                  h
                                  hckybg Apr 12, 2011 07:21 PM

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

                            2. Unfoodie Apr 11, 2011 08:07 PM

                              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
                                s
                                scotty27 Apr 13, 2011 07:00 AM

                                I agree completely. She is a star.

                              2. opinionatedchef Jun 14, 2011 03:14 PM

                                Patricia Yeo is doing an interesting dinner series for the summer, featuring prix fixe dinners along country themes:

                                http://www.bostonchefs.com/news/event...

                                so many CH fans of hers; I hope people will report back from some of these dinners!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: opinionatedchef
                                  n
                                  nickls Jun 15, 2011 09:28 AM

                                  I wanted to see if Yeo's influence was making OM worth eating at again, so I had dinner there last Friday. We walked in, decided to sit upstairs and were literally the only people in the dining room at 7:30 on a Friday. I was a little worried about the food as the menu seemed kind of strange to me including a General Tso's chicken, and ricotta ravioli dish.

                                  We had the dumpling sampler and a special of nectarine, melon, and tomato salad to start. The salad was quite nice, and most of the dumplings were tasty although a mushroom-filled one was rather bland to my taste.

                                  The entrees didn't really do it for us. I had a tamarind glazed salmon, which was a perfectly nice filet of salmon that was covered in a thick layer of a super-sweet sauce. I didn't get any tamarind flavor, just sweetness, almost like a sweet barbecue sauce. My DC had the General Tso's. It was inoffensive, but lacked much interest. It was chunks of sauteed chicken in a brown sweet and sour-type sauce. The nicest thing about the dish was the presentation with the chicken and rice in two separate bowls.

                                  After this dinner, I can't see us going back to OM anytime soon, and I understand why even at prime dining time all the action was in the lounge section and outside.

                                  1. re: nickls
                                    hotoynoodle Jun 15, 2011 10:18 AM

                                    i can't help but wonder if the bell has already tolled for om? regardless of yeo's efforts.

                                    1. re: nickls
                                      t
                                      tastypalate87 Jun 15, 2011 09:00 PM

                                      for 25 dollars you would expect a better general tao...

                                      1. re: nickls
                                        opinionatedchef Jun 15, 2011 09:27 PM

                                        uh oh nick, those descriptions sound really scary to me.Makes me wonder if she was away and her sous was sick and............. Thanks for reporting . And so sorry for your loss ; -}

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