The Rabbit Hole
Had a chance to stop into the Left Handed Cook's new sit down spot last night.
The place is semi-industrial feeling, and the tables feel kind of like hand made wooden work cubicles. Your menus are hung on a wire at your table, and you press a button to request service, whether for more water, to order your food, or pay your bill. Kind of neat, and apparently, quite Korean.
The "working menu" posted online isn't quite "working" yet. As a vegetarian (that rarely dabbles in fish), I knew my options would be limited, but the absence of the fish dishes once we got seated really pigeonholed us. My date and I almost got up to go elsewhere (Left Handed Cook), but we decided we'd order what we could and if we were still hungry we could snack at our next stop.
We ordered the Broccoli Salad ($6), Charred Long Beans ($7), Truffled Parmesan Fries ($6) and Mango Pudding ($6).
The Broccoli salad had fresh, raw broccoli with crisped rice, orange segments, and shaved almonds dressed in a sweet dressing (no descriptor given). There were also craisins which aren't mentioned in the menu description and added a bit too much sweetness and were ultimately unnecessary. Really tasty little starter and a promise of things to come.
The Charred Long Beens came with caramelized onion, shaved almonds and a black bean garlic sauce. The char on the beans was moderate heavy to maybe even heavy, and it totally makes the dish. The sauce has a hint of heat to it, and the caramelized onions were delicious. At $7 for smallish plate of beans, it feels a bit expensive, but it's packed with flavor.
Then came our Truffled Parmesan Fries. It's a TON of fries. I was a little nervous about this dish because I've had the fries at LHC before, and I think it runs $4 for a wallet-sized portion of fries. Tasty, but not a great value. Well this bucket-o-fries is teaming with fresh hand cut fries. Some are crispy slivers, some are big square fluffy ones. It comes with a "kimchi aioli", that at first taste doesn't scream "kimchi", but it comes through after awhile and is really tasty. At $6, this is a good portion of fries anywhere, let alone gussied up with truffle oil (a hint, not overpowered) and that aioli.
We had gotten this far without ordering dessert, but based on the experience we were having, and actually getting full tummies, we opted for the Mango Pudding. A large ramekin of neon-orange pudding with some rabbit shaped "biscotti" that had a layer of chocolate and crisped rice. There was something else in the dish that was similar to mochi skin, it wasn't on the menu and we couldn't figure out what it was. A not overly sweet dessert, the broccoli salad was actually sweeter than this.
I also saw a hamburger go by my table that looked fantastic to those who enjoy consuming dead flesh. It was topped with a perfectly cooked egg (soft), that was sure to ooze all over the place once the top bun and some pressure were applied.
Can't wait for them to be firing on all cylinders and serving the expanded menu. Tons of flavor and potential are packed in The Rabbit Hole.
Visited for the first time last night. Three of us. Expected it to be better than it was.
Being seated. The host stand had a funky arch of books decoration. The host escorted us to the table where he planned to seat us only to find two people seated there. Then he went off to have words with the server who was responsible. Lucky us, we ended up with that server after the host move the two people seated to a table for two.
Drinks. There are keg cocktails and cocktails made to order. My wife and I each ordered a made to order cocktail. Both were nicely constructed, but the portion was small. On the rocks in a smaller than average lowball glass, and my wife's was only two0thirds full. If I go back, I'll get beer, which is priced well.
We ordered three small plates for all to share. Truffled parmesan fries came with large shavings of parmesan, which fell off the fries and collected at the bottom of the bowl. They were piping hot, though, which was nice, and appeared to be hand cut. the kimchi aioli accompaniment was on the bland side.
Charred green beans with caramelized onions and almonds were a second dish. No char whatsoever on the beans, but the onions were well-caramelized. Okay. Nothing special.
The third was my favorite, Duck Duck Dduk, rice cake with duck confit. It also came with whole garlic cloves, which were not included in the menu description.
We pressed on to one more dish each. My wife got the bacon pancake, which she found to be heavy and a little greasy. Our neighbor order the chicken thigh salad and raved about it. I ordered a burger with bacon, blue cheese, egg, gruyere, tomato jam. I liked the burger. It did not need to be presented with an anemic-looking tomato slice on the top bun. It also came with fries, which I don't think was mentioned on the menu. This batch was very greasy compared to the small plates batch, and I left them alone.
I would probably go back, if it was convenient to do so, or if I was meeting someone who wanted to check it out. But I don't see me taking the lead on a return visit. Maybe it was an off night, but the whole experience was average at best.