E&O Asian Kitchen: Anyone Tried It Yet??
The recent thread asking for an upscale Viet or Chinese restaurant downtown, suitable for a wedding anniversary, made me realize I haven't seen anything about the reopened E&O, formerly E&O Trading Company, on Sutter St. It was always a drink first, eat later, place, but some of the dishes were good and the sauces were all fresh, a rarity in Asian restaurants. Prices were high, but it was a fun place for a splurge.
Any Hounders been there since it reopened? Supposedly was remodeled a bit as well; restaurant was one of the biggest dining rooms around with that big mezzanine. I believe they also had a banquet room downstairs, but not 100% sure about that (it's been a long time since I needed to book two dozen people for a business dinner, LOL!).
We went for a an early dinner tonight before temple services, and really enjoyed the choice of small shared plates - which weren't that small. We had roasted beets with candied pistachios and chèvre, we had butternut squash dumplings in a spicy soy emulsion, we had an heirloom rice salad with char sui pork and white prawns and pickled vegetables, we had scallion fry bread with minted yogurt sauce and we had roasted eggplant with tofu and chiles.
All the flavors were distinctive and the portions suited our appetite.
Never having been there before, I'm not sure what the former room(s) were like, but it was a wonderful room with beautiful appointments when we were there this evening.
Years ago, when E & O Trading opened on Sutter St. they made a fine selection of beers that went really well with their various Asian dishes. The brewmaster was Frank Commanday, and he creating some very nice lager beers that, honestly, were not all that popular with ale drinkers. To me, when E & O closed down the brewing operations, it just wasn't such a good place to go. I wonder if the new Asian Kitchen could start some brewing operations?
I went to the old E&O Trading Company a couple of times over the years and always found it fun and somewhat offbeat - a good place to drink and nibble but nothing to write home about. I heard about the rebrand/remodel and decided to check it out.
I didn't expect this modern open dining room with super comfortable chairs and plenty of space. I didn't expect a big beautiful bar with a fascinating new cocktail list. And I certainly didn't expect that it would become a really great place to enjoy a meal with friends on a weekday night.
We ve been there twice now - we prefer the high tables in the lounge for some happy hour fun - mushroom dumplings, fritter bites (had these before) and OYSTERS are outstanding with any of the cocktails - i love the blushing geisha and the moscow mule. A young dark haired guy who was new gave us perfect unobtrusive service with a sly sense of humor. He steered us towards the cocktail menu - emphatically stating that the bartenders were spot on in their 'mixology skills.' Glad we listened to him though we may have overindulged slightly, in a good way.
For our dinner experience, we sat upstairs in the quieter calmer dining room with sutter st views - shaking beef and salmon crudo were the bomb! Our server daphne was such a sweetie - we loved the devil's food cake and bananamisu
So yes it's been remodeled - it feels like a new place with a new menu yet there's something reassuring about it, too. And when Slanted Door is packed (when isn't it?) this place is more than just a great alternative.
Next time we drink at the bar.