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Brooklyn Girl- early review

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***It's not nice to review a place in the first few weeks of opening. Please take this as an early and unfair review****

Got a rez earlier this week to our newest local spot, Brooklyn Girl.

Short take spoiler: We liked it and will be back. Thrilled to have a decent spot in Mission Hills.

Still with me?

We've been waiting a long time for this. It was SUPPOSED to be Cafe Chloe North (or something) but Brooklyn Girl is the new place on Goldfinch in Mission Hills. Yes, it's a little loud.

Our only visit there (so far) was tonight, their second full day open to the general public. Probably a bit early for a formal review, and the reasons for that are evident here.

The areas for improvement:

Take the strings off the lamb roast.
Serve the lamb roast in the menu-promised jus.
Don't forget the salad.
Give the french fries a little more time in the fryer.

BUT- the rest was quite good, and I suspect the rough spots will be resolved soon. I enjoyed a "Brooklyn" (play on Manhattan) cocktail, and Mrs Name liked their BLT, with Basil, Gin lime and lavender or something like that. She said it was good.

We REALLY enjoyed their pork-and-bean startes- pork belly (how can one go wrong?) nice rich beans- maybe a tad undercooked (call me Mr Fussy) but quite enjoyable.

For an entree, we chared one of several large-portion plates- ours was a roast saddle of lamb. It was similar to an herby lamb porchetta which was also offered. They bring the lamb when it's done roasting to the table so you can see it before they carve it. A nice flourish, but when they brought it back it was not as hot as I'd prefer. It was sold as coming with jus, but we had no sign of any, and it was provided on the side with apologies. Came with roasted potatoes, carrots and onions. Very good.

Mr11 had a burger with bacon and cheddar, and was generous to his old man enough to allow me a piece. Very good- especially the bun.

I asked for suggestions for a glass of wine to go with the lamb, and the server was great- offered two slections, a pinot and a cab, which were both right for the dish. Our server was knowledgeable about the menu, friendly but professional.

We ended with one of their many house-made desserts, ours was their brownie. I liked the flavors (salted caramel, nuts and chocolate) and it was served warm- but had that microwave feel to it. I could be wrong...

Overall, we are very excited to have a solid choice in the 'hood. Walking distance, nice bar, etc. They plan lunch and- even better- BREAKFAST soon.

Highly recommended.

 
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  1. I am SO happy to hear a positive review from my friend with very refined standards. I really want this place to work for these people (particularly Mike and Victoria McGeath. We were just talking about Brooklyn Girl tonight and I thought we should give them a couple of weeks to work out the usual restaurant opening kinks. Glad that at this infant stage, the restaurant shows promise. Thanks for the report Mr. Name.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodiechick

      Oh, I stand corrected...Mr. Fussy.

    2. glad to hear it. I wish I could catch the menu online, might be smart that they don't have it "set" yet in case they need to make early changes.

      1. Fussy Fakey!
        Great report and couldn't be happier for Mike and Vic..if anyone can bring back our beloved Piret's back to life in that old space, it is them.
        They would kill it for breakfast.
        Did you notice if they had any veggie friendly dishes for your fave girlie?

        4 Replies
        1. re: Beach Chick

          It's not the Pirets space- its an entirely new space. Which means there is still hope for the corner building ; )

          I'm not in the habit of stopping dinner at the salad course, and therefore do not know of entrees suitable for rabbits and deer.

          Thus typed, it's the kind of place that will accommodate individuals who, in earlier times, would starve to death due to their limited abilities to hunt nor fish.

          I'd better stop now. ; )

          Live from breakfast at Snooz....

          1. re: Fake Name

            'I'm not in the habit of stopping dinner at the salad course, and therefore do not know of entrees suitable for rabbits and deer.'

            OMG...laughing so hard that I'm glad that Depends is snug and secure..

            1. re: Beach Chick

              "OMG...laughing so hard that I'm glad that Depends is snug and secure.."

              OMG, I just passed sprayed coffee on the monitor laughing so hard at that one...

              1. re: DiningDiva

                ;- )

        2. Went there Friday. Good place. Very VERY Bankers Hill but better lighting. Pork belly was excellent and would bring me back in a second. Overall, especially for a few days in, a solid place that I look forward to revisiting.

          1. Went back tonight with Mrs Name and Mr11. Had an even better experience. Enjoyed the kale Caesar salad, and the half-chicken was excellent.

            Stay away, please.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Fake Name

              No way, you can't keep us away.

              1. re: Fake Name

                On my way back from breakfast, I passed a car with a licence plate that said, 'I'm Fake'. Was that yours truly?

                1. re: cstr

                  Nope. Sounds like one of the many imposter wanna-bees.

                  1. re: Fake Name

                    I'm wondering if Naked Fame is another one of those wanna-bees.

              2. as an ex-NY'er will have to check out...it's got my attention since they have a little neck clams pizza, potato latkes, and matzoh ball soup on the menu.

                1 Reply
                1. re: El Chevere

                  Ate there the other night....not bad. Liked the vibe--very hip without being pretentious. Nice long bar for people watching--though I did arrive on a Wednesday night at 7PM and not one bar seat opened up for 45 minutes, not one (out of 20).....what, did people all arrive at the exact same time?

                  Anyways, had their complimentary popcorn with cinammon (very good) as well as their half chicken for dinner (quite good) and cheesecake for dessert. Had a craft beer (Coronado BC Idiot) and glass of red wine. Very diverse menu that I will go back and sample. Not going to say it's the best meal I had, but it was enjoyable and definitely worthy of a repeat visit.

                2. Finally got to BG last night. We are fans. Yummy Cajun popcorn. Tasty, perfectly cooked 1/2 chicken and the best restaurant pork chop I think I have every tasted (still moist and juicy!) with roasted brussels sprouts. Packed house with full bar whooping at the NBA game on the television, but noise level still manageable. Pretty interesting wine list too.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: foodiechick

                    We've been twice now and really like it. The oyster sliders and half chicken are fantastic. Good cocktails too. Wish it was within walking distance but it will definitely be on the rotation!

                  2. Anyone had the pizzas here yet? Thinking of visiting for a late dinner mid-week and am curious...

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: shouzen

                      we've probably been there 1x per week since it opened (it's an easy place to take people for business dinners). Of all the things on the menu, the pizzas have been the least impressive to us. The crust is a little thin and bland - the ones we've gotten don't have any blister on them. The topping are tasty, but really, nothing special compared to the rest of their menu.

                      1. re: salustro

                        That's sad :( Like El Chevere above, I was looking forward to the littleneck clams pizza. Any specific recommendations for other dishes, then?

                        1. re: shouzen

                          I agree the pizza isn't that exciting with tasteless crust. Sticking with the carbs, the corn bread was delicious. While I am no cornbread expert, I thought it was lovely and moist and the honeycomb on top was a perfect addition.

                          We've been a few times, mostly for the cocktails. I would still call them the real stars.

                          1. re: shouzen

                            That littleneck pizza reads a lot better than it tastes. Was a big dissapointment when I got it. Overall, over the few times I've gone the food has gotten less and less good. Its not bad but my first visit really turned me on to the place and it hasn't kept up that expectation for me.

                            1. re: mjill

                              Do you think that's because it's gotten really popular, really fast and the kitchen needed more time to get consistent? Or do you think it's just a downward trend in general.

                              Urban Solisce went through something similar when they had a really strong opening, followed by some issues until the kitchen hit it's stride, and then returned to opening form. Could that be the case with what you've experienced?

                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                Might be what mjill experienced, but (except for the pizza) I've had a series of great meals there.

                                Lunch service started a few weeks ago- I'm hoping for breakfast.

                                1. re: DiningDiva

                                  It is probably kitchen experience related. One time my burger was cooked to death and the bun was stale, another time I had that littleneck pizza and it was dry dry dry, pork chop was a bit on the leather side ect ect. I will say they set the bar pretty high on my first trip. I do have the unfortunate habit of heading in when they are slammed, so I'd like to come in on a slower night to see what happens.

                                  I do love the oyster sliders they do. Kale caesar is top notch too.

                              2. re: shouzen

                                Stopped in for a late dinner last night. Just squeaked in under their 9.45pm cut-off for ordering regular menu items (the kitchen switches over to bar food only after that). Surprisingly busy for a Wednesday night, I thought - the place was still about 3/4 full.

                                Had 2 cocktails. OK, but a bit watered down - if I'm drinking something with bourbon, I'd at least like to taste it! Food was better than expected (based on comments here about their downward slide). Was intrigued by their shared plates, but wasn't feeling up to it. Would definitely be interested in going back with a larger group to sample their whole duck, porchetta, and other wood fire-roasted items.

                                1. re: shouzen

                                  Went to BG last night. This was my 2nd visit. The first was okay but last night was very good. Shared the burger. It was good and the fries were better this time around. But the porkbelly.....ohhh. Sat on some noodles in a miso sauce and was topped with a poached egg. Still thinking about it today. Could be a very decadent cravable menu item

                                  1. re: Lynnester

                                    Doubtless, you were unusually hungry.

                          2. The executive chef quit today. It will be interesting to see if the former sous chef can continue with the food at BG

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: honkman

                              Agreed. But he is also the former sous chef at Cowboy Star and his recipe for fried chicken was the hit that launched their "Sunday Supper" program. I'm hoping it will turn out just fine.

                              1. re: foodiechick

                                I don't think he will have problems cookingwise but the former executive chef resigned because he didn't apparently liked the "beyond cooking" part of the executive chef position. Like in every industry you can only be trained so much for "leading" positions in the end you only can find out once you are in such a position.

                                1. re: honkman

                                  I know any number of Chef's who aren't crazy about taking exec positions where they don't get to touch the food as much. I thought it was a very respectable move, I hope he finds/starts a place where he can be as hands on as he wants to be.

                                  1. re: Rodzilla

                                    One can be as creative & hands-on in ones' own place but if one can't manage the admin piece & make the numbers work week after week, month after month one won't stay in business and all that creativity goes down the drain.

                                    Restaurants are a business. Cooking is only one part of a successful operation.

                                    1. re: DiningDiva

                                      Completely agree - being responsible for a kitchen or having an own place means so much more than "just" cooking or being resonsible for the menu.

                                      1. re: honkman

                                        I agree with that. I'm saying for those reasons it was a respectable move. Obviously restaurants are a business, and there are many more aspects to being an exec chef than menu design and cooking (depending on the resto). I was saing, if it's the cooking that he wants to do most, I'm hoping he's able to find a position where he can do so, (perhaps a smaller venue with less covers per night).

                                        1. re: Rodzilla

                                          Yes, but I believe restaurant owners often have the attitude that chefs are a dime a dozen, and that you can just plug a new one in when the old one leaves. For what it's worth, no one who hasn't been an executive chef can know what the pressure is like. As a friend once said of a friend of ours who is an executive chef, "He's the only person I know who really works for a living." Managing an often volatile staff, working within budget, being creative, executing flawlessly, suffering owners' demands-- and appearing as smooth as Marcus Samuelson. 7 days a week, 24 hrs a day.

                                          I haven't been to Brooklyn Girl but I couldn't help weighing in on this discussion which is at the heart of all dining out. A restaurant is only as good as its chef. That's the one variable that isn't variable. I wish the sous chef and former executive chef well in their journeys.

                                          1. re: pickypicky

                                            There should be a thread of really great chowhound posts.

                                      2. re: DiningDiva

                                        I think a restaurant should have a front man as talented in PR as the chef is in creative cuisine. Teamwork, two heads better than one, etc. I really miss The Better Half, great example.

                                        1. re: P Macias

                                          and how'd that work out for them?

                                          1. re: Fake Name

                                            It changed for them when they moved away from the "teamwork" approach. Without the personal problems which developed due to some issues between both key players at Better Half I think there would have been a good chance that it would still be around.

                              2. We went for the first time yesterday, for lunch. Had the littleneck clam/brussels pizza, watermelon/steak salad.
                                I had their version of a whiskey sour which was wonderful, service was great and that's about it. The salad tasted ok but the greens were slightly jilted and wilted (not on purpose) and the watermelon cuts were gigantic and not well-chosen (mealy). The pizza...geez. The clams were rubber bands (I've had a lot of clam pizza in my time, these were the most difficult to chew) but the amount of cheese on that pie was obscene; there were mere hints of brussel sprouts and the crust resembled - in both texture and level of underdone-ness - one of my own failed attempts at making crust at home with a inadequately hot oven. I could almost tell that the dough had dried out and gotten a slight skin to it before they rolled it out...
                                And don't get me started on the decor, which made me think about the name of the place, which all together just seemed kind of tacktastic.

                                1. You know I rarely post bitchy reviews. I try to avoid being an Eeyore- there are plenty here to go around.

                                  But sometimes I feel I have to warn others, and I'm warning you about Brooklyn Girl.

                                  I want to love BG. And when we were first going there, I did. But it's sadly changed.

                                  Started with a celebratory dinner with family that cost a small fortune and had some of the worst service I've experienced. When the food finally arrived, the burger was beyond well-done (despite the med-rare order) and the other food was really off the mark. They were gracious, and took the burger off, and comped dessert. But it was an indicator of things to come.

                                  I've been in for lunch since then, and while acceptable, it was sloppy, and featured the same over-cooked meat. A lunch salad with beef should be nice and red or pink- not grey. But on a lunch schedule, I didn't have time to fuss about it.

                                  Fast-forward to last night. We were greeted well, and the staff remembered we'd had a really bad expensive meal on our previous visit, and assured us it would not happen again. Nice folks.

                                  It did happen again. Three burgers, 2 med rare, one rare- all were grey. Not light pink, not even close. Mr12 was too hungry to wait, but I pushed mine back (rarely happens) as did MrsName. Apologies all over, comped the kid's burger, and new burgers were brought right away.

                                  The med rare was gray, the rare had the slightest tinge of pink. They were good- good flavor, and pretty juicy, but not rare/medrare.

                                  Yes, I know the dangers of rare ground beef, and I know restaurants are loathe to serve rare burgers- fine. Then tell me when I order you only prepare gray burgers, and I'll select another menu item.

                                  Again, the owner and staff were very kind. I really, really want to like BG.

                                  But I can't. Maybe for cocktails.

                                  16 Replies
                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                    I wonder if the reason they won't cook to less than medium is their meat sourcing. Perhaps it's cheap feedlot stuff?

                                    1. re: Josh

                                      Or an untrained line staff. I am sorry to read about your experience Fake Name.

                                      1. re: Josh

                                        Of course it's cheap feedlot. And I'd be happy with medium. Well, medium happy.

                                      2. re: Fake Name

                                        This seems a perfect example of my favorite thing to bitch about. Nobody in the kitchen cares. Out front, they're more comfortable with excuses than with doing it right. (Hence comps and apologies.) A place where Barbies (or Blowfish) on the Wall matter more than food. They won't pay for real cooks and think we'll pay for the scene.

                                        1. re: pickypicky

                                          I would say it is a problem of a new executive chef not up to speed yet or in general not able to lead a kitchen.

                                          1. re: honkman

                                            Exactly what I was thinking.

                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                              (You two are more generous than I am. I'm deleting my less than nice comment.)

                                              1. re: pickypicky

                                                I don't think we are generous but everybody in every industry is trying to progress his/her career up to a level where he/she is not any longer competent/beyond their skillset (or can't cover up their mistakes any longer). Perhaps this is happening with the new executive chef. Either he is able to enlarge his skillset or gets moved to a career level equivalent to his skillset

                                                1. re: honkman

                                                  I think your response has a great deal of merit. But really....how large does your skill set have to be to cook a BURGER to the correct doneness?

                                                  1. re: foodiechick

                                                    We all know the Exec chef is not the one flipping the burgers. But (pure speculation!) he/she is the one that should be managing the person flipping the burgers, and (speculating again) it appears that management is beyond his/her skillset.

                                                    As a sidebar- we had a family discussion about the f word while dining there. My policy is that there are no "bad" words, and the f word is a particularly fine word when used appropriately by adults in appropriate (but rare) circumstances. I explained to Mr12 that the f word would be (while unavailable to him at his age) particularly useful for a restauranteur addressing kitchen staff that cannot cook a simple burger to order. Said restauranteur might even raise one's voice slightly- As in, WHAT THE F IS GOING ON BACK HERE! CAN'T YOU EVEN COOK A F'ING HAMBURGER MEDIUM F'ING RARE? YOU PEOPLE ARE GOING TO COST MY MY F'ING LIFE SAVINGS FOR F'ING OVERCOOKED BURGERS? GO COOK AT F'ING BURGER KING FOR F'S SAKE.

                                                    1. re: Fake Name

                                                      I agree 100%. A chef-- if he/she is a chef with any useful experience-- only knows a valued customer's needs (ie. dinner has not been prepared properly) IF FOH makes him/her aware of it.

                                                      On the other hand if the line cook cannot cook a burger to order, then it's a BOH staffing problem.

                                                      But in the end, it's a FOOD problem which tells me the management is less interested in food prep than grandstanding. I mean, you had THREE disappointing experiences. So, maybe it suits as a neighborhood place but not as a place to actually get what you want.

                                                      1. re: Fake Name

                                                        You've caught one of my top pet peeves-- the inability for a restaurant to distinguish between rare, medium rare, and well done...last I checked, that's usually Chapter 1 in cooking school, unless a restaurant has plucked someone off the side of the highway to do the cooking for them...it amazes me how this very simple concept cannot be mastered. I WILL send the product back, though there is a 50/50 chance when I tell them I want it Medium rare--not medium, not well done--that the next one will come out rare and undercooked.....funny, but I remember at one place where the manager came over to me and explained that is was cooked medium rare but that it continues to cook while the server is bringing it to me--moron.

                                                        I have found a couple of places that almost always get it right--the first time.....JRDN at Tower 23, Counter, and Neighborhood...of course, I almost have to give a big production and explain to them rare is on the far left, well done is on the far right, and I want it in the middle.

                                                        1. re: El Chevere

                                                          well then they should let it continue to cook so that it arrives to your table at the correct temperature ;)

                                                          I was wondering if that might be the problem at Brooklyn Girl, burgers left on a hot plate while the rest of the food is cooking.

                                                          1. re: El Chevere

                                                            'Chapter 1 in cooking school, unless a restaurant has plucked someone off the side of the highway ' that's part of the issue, these so called line cooks probably get $10. per hour straight from the highway.

                                                          2. re: Fake Name

                                                            What was Mr12's reaction to your timid example?

                                                            1. re: cstr

                                                              Looking at the post, it suggests I actually yelled it- I didn't. I use my casual dad informational tone.

                                                              And said f'ing rather than the "real word". But "f'ing" is also a term unavailable to him. At least around us.

                                            2. I have to put my 2 cents in because I too wanted BG to rock but after two less than acceptable meals, I would rather walk to Red Door and spend my money. The last visit to BG, the waiter told me the reason why my gnoochi looked like a blob of mashed potatoes is because "they were made fresh this morning". Um what? So I must have eating not fresh gnoochi all these years. Who knew? And each plate of food was so under seasoned that we actually asked for salt to brought to the table. The meal was doubly disappointing because we had started the evening with a glass of wine at the Red Door, Chef Miguel tried to tempt us to stay with a tasty appie but my girl friend was determined to try BG.

                                              Plus the noise level..... my bitter old ears were starting to bleed...

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: binkychow

                                                'The last visit to BG, the waiter told me the reason why my gnoochi looked like a blob of mashed potatoes is because "they were made fresh this morning". ' They probablty were made that morning, that is.. made inncorrectly.

                                              2. Anybody been more recently? Was thinking of going tomorrow, but the shift in reviews here makes me question it.

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: mayache

                                                  I've not been, but I'm hearing MUCH better things from sources I respect.

                                                  Don't know if that helps- it's a bit removed.

                                                  1. re: mayache

                                                    I heard dreadful things from a friend I trust a lot as recently as two weeks ago.

                                                    1. re: mayache

                                                      We were there a couple of weeks ago for drinks.

                                                      I think this is your typical neighborhood eatery. Unless you live in/around the area (Mission Hills or Hillcrest), there's really no reason to go. Food is fine for what it is, but is grossly overpriced, which makes it overall less fine.

                                                      It certainly is not a destination restaurant, even if you live as close by as say downtown.

                                                      1. re: mayache

                                                        I went last weekend for dinner. Date and I split apps and cocktails. We had the shrimp and chorizo, the Vietnamese meatballs, and the sausage.

                                                        The shrimp was the best prepared in my opinion. The textures were interesting and the taste was savory and not too overpowering, the masa with the juices was worth licking the plate.

                                                        The Vietnamese meatballs were too sweet on the glaze and the texture was fairly bland. We didn't finish this dish after we each had one meatball.

                                                        The sausage was meh. It was serviceable but nothing stood out for me aside from the mustard. I find that sad as I'm an avowed carnivore.

                                                        The cocktails were good. The popcorn that they provide when you first sit down seemed stale to myself and date. When I mentioned that to the server, she replied that it was made fresh that day (that seems to be a common refrain, from having read other posts) and in addition, it was seasoned, so that may make it taste different. I replied that I thought stale is a texture, and not a taste.

                                                        The ambience was loud and crowded on a Saturday night, so obviously they're still pulling in business. I won't be going out of my way to return, however, unless someone else really wants to go.

                                                        1. re: mayache

                                                          Since it was for my girlfriend's birthday, I decided to pass due to the decidedly mixed reviews here (and overarching sense of inconsistency). We went to Bleu Boheme instead and enjoyed it.

                                                          1. re: mayache

                                                            I went a few days ago and they still can't cook a burger medium rare. I didn't mind all that much, it tasted fine, but I did wonder what is so hard about undercooking a burger.

                                                            Overall it was a good experience and we'll be back.

                                                            1. re: scottca075

                                                              I think they should just tell customers that, for health reasons, they won't cook less than well-done.

                                                              It would solve the problem right there. It's all about managing customer's expectations.

                                                              1. re: scottca075

                                                                I was delivered a medium-rare burger there about three weeks ago. I almost fell over in shock.

                                                                1. re: scottca075

                                                                  I just had 3 burgers from 3 different places up here in North County over the last couple of weeks. All three were able to pull off a perfect Medium rare and two of the locations were dive bars where the bartender was also doing the burger orders.

                                                            2. Revisited BG last night and had a solid meal. Very good Fanny Bays, the usual kale Caesar, and a solid steak with Chimichurri. Peach Crumble was meh. Not BAD, but meh.

                                                              Good, overall

                                                              11 Replies
                                                              1. re: Fake Name

                                                                We revisited Wednesday night and decided we removing it from our list of nearby eateries when we see a movie at landmark.

                                                                Fanny Bays were great, how can you ruin those?
                                                                Ordered the salmon special and the halibut, requesting them cooked to medium-rarish (because fish is always overcooked and this way MAYBE they would come out at least medium).

                                                                They were both so overdone we could barely cut through them with a fork.

                                                                When we showed up for at 635pm for a 630 reservation (made over the phone with the owner) they could not find it. Because it was put in for 6pm and they cancelled it at 615 when we weren't there.

                                                                Buh-bye BG.

                                                                1. re: foodiechick

                                                                  I was there about 6 weeks ago with 2 friends for an early dinner. The food was fine, really we just ordered salads.

                                                                  The new oyster bar had only been open a short time and we ended up being seated in this area, which was fine, but geez of pete, the chairs in that section were murder. They make the chairs at Cafe Chloe seem like an over-stuffed recliner. Bad design choice.

                                                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                    Salads...Early Dinner?? that's it!!

                                                                    1. re: cstr

                                                                      Yeah, that was it. They were entree sized salads tho'

                                                                      1. re: DiningDiva

                                                                        My heart be still......

                                                                        1. re: cstr

                                                                          It just leaves room for a late dinner.

                                                                          Win-win.

                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                            Oh sure.... let's hear it from someone who has trouble gaining weight!!

                                                                  2. re: foodiechick

                                                                    Wow.

                                                                    You're a meanie-head.

                                                                    1. re: Fake Name

                                                                      Just kinda at the point that you were several months ago. Not yucking your yum.

                                                                      1. re: Fake Name

                                                                        And not yucking your MEH. Mrs. Name and I can do a much better job with that peach dessert.

                                                                        I like being called meanie-head. Kind feels like I'm back in Jr. High. ;D

                                                                        1. re: foodiechick

                                                                          Yeah- that dessert was a real sour ending note. Again, not bad exactly, but compared to what I'm used to at home it was absolutely a miss.

                                                                          Neener, neener.

                                                                  3. I went to Brooklyn Girl last night with some friends for the first time. I have to say, I was disappointed with my meal overall. Started with the stuffed zucchini blossoms, which were the highpoint for me. It went downhill from there. Service was soo slow too. There were 6 people at the table and it took 30 min after our order to get the apps out. Then another 30 after we were done eating to get the main dishes. The guy next to be had ordered the salmon. As soon as it was put down, I felt sorry for him. It looked incredibly dry and overcooked. I ordered the flat iron steak with chimichurri med rare. How did it come out? No pink to be seen anywhere! Came with roasted (burnt on the outside but raw on the inside) potatoes and a dice of sautéed squash. I ate half of it and gave up. On the positive side, my DH ordered some kind of pasta with shrimp that he enjoyed.
                                                                    Another ordered the Bibimbap and he seemed quite happy with it. Anyway, I don't know if I will go back and give it another chance. After spending $110 for two people (including two cocktails) I think I will head to Cafe Chloe next!

                                                                    1. Under the premise that one may repeatedly try things the same way and expect a different result, the Missus and I walked up to BG for dinner and a cocktail this evening.

                                                                      It was good. Solid, well prepared, enjoyable meal. I could quibble about the delay between starter and entree, but it was not all that bad, really

                                                                      I had the brick chicken, she the porchetta special.

                                                                      Interesting aside- BG seems to be very popular with groups of females, mostly 35+. A "girls night" kind of place. Highly skewed demographic.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Fake Name

                                                                        So, if say, one was on the hunt for a cougar, this might be the spot to visit?

                                                                        1. re: DougOLis

                                                                          LOL :D

                                                                          1. re: DougOLis

                                                                            Maybe- maybe not. These are not the "cougar types"- just packs of women enjoying each other's company.

                                                                            Lots of birthday celebrations, etc.

                                                                            1. re: DougOLis

                                                                              You would be better off at Pony Room at Rancho Valencia on a Thursday or Friday night.

                                                                              1. re: DougOLis

                                                                                In order to satisfy the "Cougar" description, one must be an age prior to maturity.

                                                                                Otherwise, they are simply "women".

                                                                                Sure, there are often attractive women there of all ages.

                                                                            2. By now, it's clear I have a love/hate relationship with BG. Tonight, I love it again.

                                                                              MrsName is traveling again, Mr13 has computer privileges for a couple hours, so what's a dad to do?

                                                                              Walk up to BG for a nice meal, that's what.

                                                                              The walk is about a mile, so this exonerates me from any calorie counting- a good start. Sidled on over to the bar, got my BG cocktail, and settled into my spot.

                                                                              Uh-oh.

                                                                              Restaurant Weak.

                                                                              But not so much a crowd, and I have my own spot, so what the heck.

                                                                              $30
                                                                              Chicken Larb
                                                                              Porchetta
                                                                              Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding.

                                                                              I also had a glass of some Russian River Chard- I'm usually an ABC guy (Anything But Chardonnay) because in California they beat the hell out of the grapes with an oak stick, making it taste like kerosene, but I make exceptions for Frenchy stuff and RRiver. It was nice. They offered a pinot.

                                                                              Pinot = the IPA of wine.

                                                                              Very good, all of it. OK, so the porchetta MIGHT not be as good as the place in La Jolla, but it's well-plated with big fat lima beans and chunks of panchetta, and it's sitting in front of me, hot from the kitchen and rendolent. The Chicken Larb MIGHT be better at Sab-e-Lee, but I can't walk there, either, and it's only a few degrees off- plus the environment is far better.

                                                                              Yes, the bread pudding could have been a few degrees warmer. But nothing wrong with it, and I enjoyed it immensely.

                                                                              Overall, a fine meal for a Friday night, and I will return.

                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                A beautiful night for a walk, and a great place to be able to walk to. I'm envious. Ever since my companion moved from her place just north of Washington on Falcon, I only get over there once in a while. Sigh. Like you, I have mixed feelings about BG, but overall I think it's a pretty good place to go for pretty decent food.

                                                                                1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                  You need an "I survived Restaurant Week at BG" button or bumper sticker. Brave you.

                                                                                  Actually, I think BG is settling in - to exactly what it is supposed to be...a neighborhood eatery. Those usually come with highs and lows, hits and misses. Otherwise they become a destination restaurant.

                                                                                  Now, what are we gonna do about that place that is for sale on the corner of Washington and Goldfinch?!

                                                                                  1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                    Piret's..a girl can dream.

                                                                                    1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                      Don't we wish.

                                                                                      I've read some hopefully-unlikely horror stories about possible acquisitions of this prime spot, but the last time I was more specific, FN almost had a seizure.

                                                                                      1. re: DoctorChow

                                                                                        what- WHAT?

                                                                                        1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                          I shouldn't have used the plural because in truth I saw just one article, somewhere. I don't recall where. It was right when the Gathering's closing was posted on this board in early August. The article I saw mentioned a number of potential suitors.

                                                                                          You had a similar reaction when I made passing reference to this at the time. Sorry I brought it up again. In any case I very seriously doubt that'll happen. Completely inconsistent demographic.

                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/911260

                                                                                      2. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                        Oh yes, I have such fond memories of Piret's...I attended many always good, sometimes great winemaker special dinners and greatly enjoyed assembling picnics made up using the outstanding goodies available from the deli...oh drat, now I am scaring the dogs with my drooling.

                                                                                    2. re: Fake Name

                                                                                      I have had nothing but consistently good experiences there....love the Michael's pizza, shrimp arrabbiata, and flat iron steak with chimichurri (when available).

                                                                                      1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                        I feel assured that there was no mention of the music.

                                                                                        1. re: cstr

                                                                                          It wasn't very good, so...

                                                                                      2. Ok, tonight they pissed me off.

                                                                                        We had a 6 pm reservation for four, and three of us arrived right on time, one was on the way.
                                                                                         
                                                                                         
                                                                                         
                                                                                        But we couldn't sit.
                                                                                         
                                                                                         

                                                                                        Noooo. All members of the party must be present before you can sit down. You'll just have to stand there. No, you can't sit down at the table and order a drink, nor you can buy a drink and a starter, no, you must stand like cattle in a feeding pen until your one more guest arrives.

                                                                                        No, you are not worthy of our service unless there are four of you, not three. Three is too little- you just stand there. No drink for you.

                                                                                        "It's just our policy- it will mess up our reservation system, it's very confusing, so that's our policy."

                                                                                        Yes, I'm certain the sky will fall the hell down if we sit at the table and order a cocktail.

                                                                                        I suppose if that one guest's car breaks down, we'd never get to eat. Or if that person became ill between the time the reservation was made and 3/4 of the party arrived, those 3 people would have to go hungry. Because the reservation is for 4, not 3.

                                                                                        And you're not allowed to sit.

                                                                                        Fortunately, the 4th guest arrived 5 minutes later. Thank non-specifichigherpower we didn't mess up their precious reservation system.

                                                                                        PS: If you're going to use cheap paper photocopies of menus, please change the pages once in a while. The stained, dirty curled-up,tattered and nasty menu that must have been through 200 pairs of hands is really gross. Thanks.

                                                                                        15 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                          Whoa.

                                                                                          1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                            Ditto DC...whoa. Is that a new policy? George's used to do that but I think they dropped that policy some time ago.

                                                                                            And I agree about the menus.

                                                                                            So, how was the meal?

                                                                                            1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                              Cheap dirty menus..gross!

                                                                                              Glad your friend was only 5 minutes late, any later, I would of said party of 3.

                                                                                              1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                Maybe you shoulda acted a little skitso and said that 'Ralph' is standing right next to me can't you see him? Can't imagine what would have happened if you were a minute late, maybe a painful caining for the group in front of the other wait staffers. Did you dip yourselves in disinfectant after handling those snotty menus?

                                                                                                1. re: cstr

                                                                                                  It's so odd. I want so badly to enjoy this place, and I have on several occasions. I'd been traveling this week in the eastern sierras having camp meals and crappy diner food, so when MrsName texted me during my 7 hour drive that we had reservations at BG, I was SO ready for a good meal. I though they finally worked all the bugs out, and it was clear sailing.

                                                                                                  Then this pathetic slap across the face of all that is hospitality.

                                                                                                  (OK, melodramatic, but you get the idea.)

                                                                                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                    I recently had this happen - I think it was at Bleu Boheme. A restaurant I want desperately to love (it does indeed remind me of my beloved moules) but when they make you wait upon one person? I do not understand. I am more likely to run up my costs waiting on said person with apps and/or drinks, so the idea of making me wait is simply contrary to business! I do not understand it.*

                                                                                                    *Please, someone in the biz, enlighten me in a way that makes logic to someone who is simply a hungry (and often tired) customer!

                                                                                                    1. re: TeeBeeinSD

                                                                                                      Right? I am soooo not ever eating at BG. When we venture out to environs west for a semi-expensive meal (for us anyway), places with mediocre service like this are automatically evicted from the "go-to" list.

                                                                                                2. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                  Fakey breaks his policy in a major way - wow.

                                                                                                  I'm guessing it wasn't the perfect environment for you to complain to some sort of management figure (if that would help), but are you considering firing off an email or something similar?

                                                                                                  1. re: RB Hound

                                                                                                    It was the first time I didn't see one of the owners there- believe me, I scanned quickly.

                                                                                                    Yeah- I know most restaurant managers will tell people to ask for them when these things happen before complaining on Yelp or something. But here's my take on it:
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    When I go out, I don't want to problem solve. I've been through mediation training, I know how to neutral-speak, I know how to resolve conflicts in a mutually-beneficial way. I realize the great stress a host/ess has doing his/her job. But I go out to dinner to a nice place TO AVOID hassle. To be welcomed as a vauled guest and customer, to enjoy hospitality- and I'm willing to pay for that. Maybe the manager can or cannot resolve the issue- but that's not good enough.

                                                                                                    I simply don't want an issue.
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    I further understand if the reservation is for a 12-top and one person shows up, that's out of line. But when 3 of 4 are there, it's just plain dumb and insulting to make them wait. If the last person has some tragedy and does not show, a 4-top table will still be used for the party of three. There is no advantage to the restaurant to make us stand around.

                                                                                                    1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                      I agree with you - just was curious if you raised the issue with the "brass" and if they had any sort of response to it.

                                                                                                      1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                        ' I've been through mediation training'. . .lots of internuncius on the SD board.

                                                                                                        I would send Mike or Vic an email and let them know what you told us..
                                                                                                        I'm sure they would love to hear from the beloved Fakey.

                                                                                                        1. re: Beach Chick

                                                                                                          Internuncius?

                                                                                                          I had to look it up!

                                                                                                          Now, I know that you aren't the pedantic type, so I guess my vocabulary just needed a new word today... :)

                                                                                                    2. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                      You know, I have been having a similar experience at Cucina Urbana the last few months. I'm not a fan of Bertrand at Mr. A's or The Prado so CU is our go to resto when we go to the Old Globe. The last three dates we have made reservations, but every time we arrive they make us wait 5-15 minutes past the reservation time "so they have a few moments to set up the table", while several tables sit set up and empty (including 2 and 4 tops). Insult to injury, they seat people that came in after us, without reservations, before us. I understand that I am no longer in the desired 19-34 demo, but please, give me a frickin break.

                                                                                                      1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                                        Gota be one of the 'beautiful people' to top someone with a reservation but, you're right is must be the demo group. The group I'm in has been demoed and put away for life!

                                                                                                        1. re: foodiechick

                                                                                                          ' Insult to injury, they seat people that came in after us, without reservations, before us.'

                                                                                                          Wasn't there a Seinfeld episode on this..

                                                                                                          I wouldn't tolerate this kind of bulls*t for one second.

                                                                                                      2. Ok, I went back.

                                                                                                        MrsName travels often for work, and I will often duck out for a nice solo meal while she's gone.

                                                                                                        Bring a (what used to be called) book and languish.

                                                                                                        There are other neighborhood places that might be better, but I like the bar setup at BG (I don't like to sit with my back to the door) so I thought, aw, what the heck? Besides, dining solo means the noise is not a problem, and I can walk the 2-mile round trip without concern for safety and the laws of our state.

                                                                                                        Started with a perfectly prepared Manhattan (rye and Antico) two Fanny Bays ($3 each- ouch) and a very good chilled gazpacho. I moved on to a forgettable Cum Laude Super Tuscan (nothing super about it) and the lamb sirloin with pea risotto. Needed a little salt, but was very good and prepared perfectly medrare. Spot on.

                                                                                                        Then I killed a weeks worth of fit camp with a carrot cake and a cheap yet delicious Muscato.

                                                                                                        It was a very good meal.

                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                          Interesting. I thought you were never ever going to set foot in that place again after the lovely experience you had last time.

                                                                                                          Well, I guess time heals all wounds. Glad you enjoyed the meal.

                                                                                                          Nice to have neighborhood places you can walk to.

                                                                                                          [Turns green.]

                                                                                                          1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                            You don't sit with your back to the door? That's a cop thing. hmm..

                                                                                                            1. re: Dagney

                                                                                                              No, I think Fakey wants everyone to get a gander of that famous or not so famous eye shot.

                                                                                                              1. re: cstr

                                                                                                                Ha! Yes, this.

                                                                                                              2. re: Dagney

                                                                                                                No.

                                                                                                                But I agree with "the cops". I'm more comfortable knowing what's coming toward me.

                                                                                                                Besides, it might be a great old friend that I'd otherwise miss.

                                                                                                                Right?

                                                                                                                1. re: Fake Name

                                                                                                                  Or, it could be the raw shock of finding out your waiter is named Filner.

                                                                                                            2. Just picked up SD Mag restaurant issue. There is ad for Brooklyn Girl that features a photograph of three women cooing over a chicken.

                                                                                                              Really? REALLY? Did these people just come from central casting for Portlandia? Are people so gullible to believe chefs and cooks are galvanting around with fresh makeup and luscious hair in a damn garden with a thrift store basket?

                                                                                                              I know it's an ad...okay fine. Everyone has to look preened and pretty, but come the eff ON. This one looks like some Stepfordized chefs and cooks prancing.

                                                                                                              During my years as a server, I never saw a chef prance. Work, yes. Toil, yes. No prancing though, no flowing hair. BG, throw up a photo of your chef cooking or something, because your current ad looks fake and contrived.

                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: Dagney

                                                                                                                you are talking about the ad and restaurant -> successful, thoughtful ad

                                                                                                                1. re: honkman

                                                                                                                  True, but it was corny as all get out and does not motivate me to eat there.