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Komi...a huge disappointment...just saying

d
DeborahC Jun 14, 2012 09:40 AM

Ok…someone needs to stand up here and say this emperor has no clothes!

We have dined in fine restaurants all over the world, and have spent much more than Komi’s (in this case, exorbitant price) per person. This restaurant is a joke. In fact we laughed often at it’s pretentiousness- which they are, in spite of it’s amateurish fare and modest décor.

Some lowlights:
-the little brioche bite topped with salted cod: this cod was extremely salty, and stringy…getting stuck in our teeth. Salt cod is supposed to be soaked in baths of water to remove most the salt. These ‘creative’ chefs-thought they didn’t need to…they really should.

- crudo of hamachi and sea urchin on a chickpea ginger puree
 and crudo of Monkfish liver and scallops: interesting textures I guess…but no flavors…zero …isn’t it supposed to taste good too? …or just taste of something?

- the sardines were tasty…but we were asked to share! two tiny 2” pieces of fish. There were 4 of us, and I was sharing this tiny plate with the person to my side…trying valiantly to slice this “bite” in two…and carry it with fork and knife to my fresh dish placed ceremoniously before me. What? For $125 per person…we are asked to share this dish?

- The little hot dogs were a happy relief. It’s popular because it’s the first dish of the evening that has FLAVOR!

- I know what a good potato gnocchi is…I do. I’ve had it all over Italy. This was soggy, mushy, barely formed gnocchi….with no discernable flavor. This gnocchi was like my first mistakes, trying to learn how to make a good gnocchi….not enough four worked in or something.

- A super sweet stuffed date in the middle of dinner? …super sweet. Wrong place, wrong time….too-too.

- The suckling pig should be a happy time. Greasy, not tender chunks of..pig, with skin that had the texture of leather. Sad.

- This Goat shoulder. It had no flavor. It tasted like it was boiled for a day…pulled out, and dried and then seared crisp on the outside. Great crunch on the outside…no flavor..just boiled meat flavor…awful bland mushy meat on the inside. Thank goodness for the little tasty sides that could mask the meat.

- Oh the little balls of…breaded cheese. Crisp on the outside, melted cheese on the inside. They hold out a plate of them, and ask us to use our fingers to serve ourselves…and then add it might be a little warm. Well, there is no way to test that…holding this cheese ball in our fingers, and it’s bite size…so it gets popped in the mouth. One of our party said she thought it burned the top of her mouth. Shouldn’t they have the temperature of it down…so this doesn’t happen? Dumb. Put it on a plate then, so we could cut into it and test the temperature.

- The gyro was very good, the rigatoni was good.

- These desserts are a sad play on dessert. When you see little chocolate things, you expect sweet, right. Not here….no sweet- for all three desserts. The some kind of “bark” actually tasted of burnt, sticky sugar…and this stuff got stuck on our teeth….really. Something sticky and nasty.

Yes, they will have two servers presenting plates at the same time, switching out fresh dishes in front of us that are many times not used, because they also suggest we use our fingers and serve ourselves family style from a community serving dish. …or they ask us to share dishes that are placed between two people- and it seems useless to cut and drag your portion to the fresh plate in front of you.

Honestly…a waste of money, and time. Who’s agreeing with me here? I can’t be alone.

  1. Delucacheesemonger Jul 19, 2012 06:06 PM

    Went last night, brought two bottles from my cellar. This was my first trip and thoroughly enjoyed it. Room was crowded but not noisy, service was exceptionally good, and while every dish did not hit a homerun, many did. The gnocchi was stellar with a simple tomato sauce, the suckling pig with crackling was as good as any encountered previously, and the hot Medjool date stuffed with mascarpone was so good, they did us again with it for an extra dessert. $ 460/2

    7 Replies
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
      kukubura Jul 21, 2012 06:49 AM

      How would you compare it to La Degustationm?

      1. re: kukubura
        Delucacheesemonger Jul 21, 2012 06:53 AM

        Not even close, not even a little close. While Komi was pleasant, servers delightful, most dishes were there to be made a prix fixe and while good and fun l would have preferred an ALC choice. In Prague, l had no idea what a lot of stuff was and there wasn't a miss anywhere in the innumerable courses.

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger
          s
          Steve Jul 21, 2012 09:48 AM

          Was there any choice at Komi?... some people have posted that there is an unspoken choice for the main grilled meat.

          1. re: Steve
            Delucacheesemonger Jul 21, 2012 10:28 AM

            l said l did not want fish, but that lamb or goat was perfect. They served me an excellent suckling pig. Saw other mains at other tables.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger
              s
              Steve Jul 21, 2012 03:07 PM

              Did they prompt you? Or did you ask if there is a choice?

              1. re: Steve
                Delucacheesemonger Jul 21, 2012 04:20 PM

                l asked if choice, and they said l would get 'what the chef wanted to serve'

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                  k
                  kelewis Jul 23, 2012 02:41 PM

                  We've been a handful of times, always as parties of four. In our experience you can specify between "meat" (goat + pig for the party of four) or "fish." I'm guessing that as a two-top you could specify goat, pig or fish. I've always wanted to try the fish ... but not enough to miss the pig.

    2. discojing Jun 27, 2012 09:46 AM

      I took my boyfriend here for his birthday and he loved every dish. I thought that the balance of the whole meal was off by putting a huge goat leg in the middle. I liked the crudos and the other dishes before the goat, but the goat itself wasn't the star of the meal. Cheese dishes and a light dessert seemed a bit anti-climactic, but after that many courses I'm glad there weren't heavy desserts.

      1. biscuit Jun 23, 2012 12:32 PM

        Well, Tom S. of the Post gave it 4 stars back in October '11. While I'm sure there's an off-night or certainly the "just didn't like it" factor, I would find it difficult to believe they've fallen off that hard in 8 months. But hey, anything's possible (I didn't care much for Citronelle on my one visit). I'd like to go back soon and see for myself.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/res...

        2 Replies
        1. re: biscuit
          m
          mdpilam Jun 23, 2012 04:14 PM

          Wow. I hadn't seen anything over 3 stars (in my 18 mo. here). Has any other restaurant gotten 4 stars?

          1. re: mdpilam
            biscuit Jun 23, 2012 10:55 PM

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/sea...

            Cityzen
            Komi
            Citronelle
            Rasika
            Eve Tasting Room
            Inn at Little Washington

        2. crackers Jun 22, 2012 07:18 AM

          Word on the street is that the President and First Lady had another date night at Komi last night. I hope one of them reports back on Chowhound!

          1 Reply
          1. re: crackers
            f
            foodtrip Jun 22, 2012 02:26 PM

            I'm guessing that Johnny Monis was in the kitchen for these guests!

          2. The Chowhound Team Jun 21, 2012 09:11 AM

            Folks, we removed a bunch of posts from this thread. If you have your own experiences at Komi you'd like to relate, that's fine. But if you just want to take the original poster to task for her opinion, please skip the thread -- restaurants change, have bad days, etc. and different people can have different takes on the same food.

            1 Reply
            1. re: The Chowhound Team
              t
              Teddybear Jun 21, 2012 09:46 AM

              First time I ever agreed with the Team.

            2. c
              cfoodie Jun 20, 2012 06:14 PM

              I also feel that the food may be trendy/weird at Komi, giving the diners a avangard feel. But overall it was an okay meal regardless of pricel. Some of the stuff like forcing two peple to share one plate is plain arrogant or uncool. They tried to duplicate Asian stewed pork belly. For someone eating it all of my life, it's pretty bad. For someone who don't care about Asian foods unless they are in a posh place, it's wow, innovative. So really depends on your perspective.

              1. ipsedixit Jun 14, 2012 08:58 PM

                One can say alot of things about Komi -- unfocused, small portions, too avant-garde or trendy -- but lack of flavor is probably not one of them.

                4 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit
                  d
                  DeborahC Jun 18, 2012 07:58 AM

                  Please, enlighten all of us here...and defend those dishes. Tell us what the goat shoulder tasted like, was the salt cod topping prepared thoughtfully, great gnocchi?,

                  1. re: DeborahC
                    ipsedixit Jun 18, 2012 08:12 AM

                    Well, it was several years ago, and we had the "dinner" tasting at $90/person.

                    The highlights of the meal were the Shellfish Sabayon on a spoon which was both tart and briny -- in a good way.

                    We also had the famous “Spanakopita” -- which made me rethink the whole notion of Cesar Salads and perhaps even the whole concept of smoothies.

                    King Salmon Belly was probably like the foie of the ocean.

                    The baba ghanoush was fine, but certainly not memorable.

                    Were all the dishes great? No, absolutely not. But was the entire meal worthwhile and spectacular? Yes. And I've been back a couple of time since.

                    To each her own, I suppose.

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      d
                      DeborahC Jun 18, 2012 08:24 AM

                      Yes, I agree that the Spanakopita was very good. We were not presented with any of the other dishes that you mentioned here.

                      I suggest at the very least, that multiple years is a long time to continue a strong defense of this restaurant...that now costs $125. Please...go again and let us know what you think.

                      1. re: DeborahC
                        ipsedixit Jun 18, 2012 08:25 AM

                        I was there just this past winter. And my opinion has not changed.

                2. s
                  shake N baik Jun 14, 2012 08:13 PM

                  What city are you from? Only ask to get a point of reference. I haven't been to Komi in 3 years but I left with a good impression. There were hits and misses but better than some of the top 50 pellegrino restaurants I've been to.

                  Perhaps foodtrip is right and quality has gone down.

                  1. f
                    foodtrip Jun 14, 2012 12:47 PM

                    We made our first visit to Komi in the fall of 2008 and our second in 2010. Both times we thought our meal at Komi was heaven. One of the best dining experiences of our lives and, like you, we have dined all over the world.

                    We made our 3rd visit to Komi in November 2011, not long after they had opened their Thai-style restaurant, Little Serow, downstairs. What a difference that experience was. We were profoundly disappointed. As you said, almost every dish had no flavor at all. The highlight was the half-smoke and a pasta dish was quite good. Beyond that, everything else was totally forgettable. We noticed that the chef, Johnny Monis, was not in the kitchen. We were told by the wait staff that he was in the kitchen at Little Serow. Everything about the evening was off, from the food, to the service, to the wines (their-then sommelier, Kat Bangs, was also downstairs). The gap between this visit and our previous visits could not have been wider. We couldn't help but wonder if having the chef's attention diverted to the new endeavor was having an adverse effect on his flagship. This would not be unusual, just very, very sad.

                    Needless to say, we concluded that a future visit to Komi was not in the cards -- too risky for such an expensive outing.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: foodtrip
                      l
                      lalajane Jul 14, 2012 06:04 AM

                      I read an article somewhere that described the DC restaurant scene as having some truly great restaurants at any given time, but with short shelf lives. They start out phenomenal, but within a few years they are shadows of the former restaurant, resting on the laurels. Maybe the case here as well?

                      1. re: lalajane
                        m
                        mdpilam Jul 14, 2012 09:38 AM

                        Or maybe it's this cycle: a chef starts a great restaurant -> it blows up -> turns trendy -> chef (leaves and) opens up another restaurant that will "blow up" -> original turns into shell of former self.

                        I've never been to Komi or Little Serow, but it could be the case here.

                        1. re: mdpilam
                          w
                          wineo1957 Jul 15, 2012 04:22 AM

                          Komi and Little Sparrow are chef owned so I don't think that this has anything to do with it.

                          1. re: wineo1957
                            m
                            mdpilam Jul 15, 2012 08:58 AM

                            Right, but it's by the same person, that's what I was suggesting (again, haven't been to either, but I have seen this happen before, where a chef leaves his original and opens a second restaurant and the original suffers due to his focusing his efforts on the new darling).

                    2. w
                      Worldwide Diner Jun 14, 2012 11:59 AM

                      I'm sure there are others who've had a bad meal there. Most complaints I've heard of are from rather big people who think the portions were too small. I can assure you that Komi is worthy of at least 1 Michelin star (if it was in NYC).

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Worldwide Diner
                        d
                        DeborahC Jun 18, 2012 07:54 AM

                        I assure you that I am very fit, and never mentioned the size of the portions. I attempted to post information on the quality of flavors of the dishes. There was plenty of food presented.

                        1. re: DeborahC
                          d
                          drewpbalzac Jun 19, 2012 01:15 PM

                          I count at least five distinct references to portion size:

                          "little brioch bite"

                          "two tiny 2” pieces of fish"

                          "little hot dogs"

                          "little balls of…breaded cheese"

                          "little chocolate things"

                        2. re: Worldwide Diner
                          d
                          DeborahC Jun 18, 2012 08:05 AM

                          Honestly, this restaurant as serves now-as of April 2012 couldn't dream of a Michelin star even if they plopped it on top of le Tour de Eiffel.

                        3. j
                          Just Visiting Jun 14, 2012 10:45 AM

                          I've never been there, but your review is just what a review should be: very detailed so that others can know exactly what the issues were and make informed decisions before spending a considerable sum on a meal. I really appreciate your taking the time to write it all out.

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