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Taluhia's Garden or Farm and Fisherman

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Misha Jun 20, 2011 05:23 PM

Celebrating a birthday next month. We're going to be a party of four and am torn between making a reservation at Taluhia's Garden or Farm and Fisherman. We were fans of Django back in the day but are wondering whose place we should first frequent. (None of us are much into outdoor dining so that shouldn't be a factor.) Suggestions?

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    urbanfabric Jun 20, 2011 07:08 PM

    Did you start by seeing which restaurant had an available reservation? With Craig Laban's recent review of F+F, it might get much tougher to get in.

    2 Replies
    1. re: urbanfabric
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      Misha Jun 21, 2011 04:59 AM

      My friend's bday is far enough out (and on a weeknight) that there's still openings. But who knows for how long.

      1. re: Misha
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        Beulah Jun 21, 2011 01:14 PM

        We've eaten at both and enjoyed both BUT Talulah's Garden is more special -- more elegantly decorated etc. More of a birthday place.

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      Capaneus Jun 22, 2011 07:06 AM

      If it matters, I thought the food was better at The Farm And Fisherman, though both are good, and the service was far superior: you can cut the smarm at Talula's with a saw, as long as you lean into it hard. And if part of what attracted you to Django was the spirit of the thing - mom-and-pop and so forth - that's far more present at F&F as well, what with Starr not being involved.

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        swordfish Jun 24, 2011 07:49 AM

        Great thread for me, since I have reservations for both for next Saturday (I will of course cancel one when I make up my mind). At F&F I can bring a nice $15 bottle of wine that would cost me $50 at Talula's, and I have read more than one comment that the attitude at Talula's may not always be the best, but the menu choices at F&F seem much more limited. My questions are:

        Are there really only four mains at F&F on a given night? Should this concern me (we eat anything)?

        What about the noise level at each (more and more of a concern as I age and become less tolerant of a loud scene)?

        1 Reply
        1. re: swordfish
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          Capaneus Jun 24, 2011 08:30 AM

          It's a smaller menu: four selections in each of three savory sections. Not sure why the first two sections are separated, but it really amounts to eight appetizers and four entrees. We went with four apps and one entree, because I've come to believe most chefs tend to be more conservative in the larger dishes, and let fly in the cheaper, smallar plates. In the actual event, the entree we got, the lamb, was easily the best dish of the night. I love lamb, and that was the best preparation I've had in many many moons. Possibly since my Lamb Revelation And Apotheosis at LBF twenty years ago. To balance out the gushing, I will also mention that the soft-shell crab was oddly muted in flavor, though good, and that the mild-flavored hiramasa was largely drowned out by the very assertive surroundings; the quail and the poached egg were both delicious, though not quite lamb-level.

          So when I go back, I want to dig deeper into the entree menu. Also, the desserts LaBan thought were not quite up to snuff were, in my opinion, excellent. Only problem being that there were only two, and similar in flavor profile: panna cotta and crepe were basically of the cream-and-fruit flavor family.

          At Talula's there was no sharing, so I can only tell you I really liked the oxtail consomme, and was happy enough with the duck. Did not have dessert. That was sometime ago, and options may well have changed. The wine list... Well, it wasn't what I could have brought, and it was pricey. There were, as I recall, several interesting choices. Generally, most of my objections had nothing to do with what made it to the plate.

          I think you'll very likely enjoy either place, but it should be clear where my own preference lies, yes?

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