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Farmshop: Farm to Table to Soju-love to Austerity

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Had a much ballyhooed dinner at Farmshop last Friday night. The hostess station's cool ipad with a multi-colored reservation app made me wonder why the actual tables aren't outfitted with the same technology. After all, when it's a fixed menu and a very limited cocktail list, the waiter/waitress is almost a glorified delivery person anyway.

Speaking of the cocktail list, someone there made the mistake of falling in love with soju, which is a Korean spirit that you might kinda like once in awhile, but will always be a bridesmaid to more popular liquors. The list is loaded with soju concoctions, a beer "cocktail," and a couple wine "cocktails." Each comes with a stifled yawn at no extra charge.

The fixed-menu meal was good but not a knockout (heirloom tomato salad, nicely prepared salmon over seasonal vegetables - including Romanesco, one of my favorites -- a precious little cheese course with precious little cheese, and a serviceable shortcake dessert).

My table mates and I had wines by the glass from a pretty limited list, but we all found something we liked (after a rejection or two).

But my main complaint was the public-restroom austerity of the place which seems to tonally play against the whole farm-to-table family-style serving vibe of the menu. Those compound adjectives usually go with "warm" and "rustic," and Farmshop is anything but. And backless benches aren't rustic, they're just uncomfortable -- unless you're in a German beer hall.

At $60 per person for the 4-course fixed, not including drinks, it ain't cheap. But replacing the staff with ipads will definitely lower operating expenses which could be passed on to patrons. Hmm.

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  1. were there any hard alcohol mixed drinks available? there's a loophole in CA ABC laws that lets shoju slip through the cracks, so that it's allowed under a "beer and wine only" license. that could explain the shoju cocktails.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chez cherie

      Good call. Definitely a "beer and wine only" place. I'm a recent NY transplant, but duly noted on the CA loophole.