We went a couple of weeks after they opened and everything was sublime. The food was inventive with a great conciseness. We went back this past Tuesday and I wondered what worm hole I had stepped into. For one, the place was packed to the rafters. We took the last table they had. It took a while for anyone to realize we were there and bring us menus. And then it took an even longer while for them to come back and ask if we wanted something to drink. And a while after that we got our drinks and got to order.
We had the kung pao sweetbreads, which we shared, then we both got ramen. The kunb pao sweetbreads were sweet breads. They were not even remotely kung pao. It's supposed to be bite-sized chunks of protein with a mixture of chilies, Sichuan peppercorns, and peanuts. The sweetbreads were fried in three large chunks. The sauce was simply straight soy sauce that completely overpowered the delicate sweetbreads and was so salty I couldn't eat it. There were no peanuts, peppercorns or chilies in sight, and it was topped with some incredibly pungent scallions that I was still tasting at lunch the next day. When our waitress -- who is one of the owners -- asked if we liked it, I said no and explained why. She asked if we wanted the chef to remake it for us. I was thinking in my head "he doesn't know what kung pao is", but I simply said no.
I ordered my ramen with lamb belly, kim chee, and pickled mushrooms in a pork broth. The lamb belly was three postage stamp sized slivers that I had to dig to find. The kim chee was spicy, but straight from the refrigerator, as were the pickled mushrooms. I didn't mind the kim chee being cold but was put off by the mushrooms.
I enjoyed talking with the owner and we had an okay time, but something really went off the rails. Because we had such a wonderful time the first visit we'll give them another try. I hope they can pull it together.
Its a great little place, great selection of cheese and meats but the prices will have you heading for the door.
If you love cheese and have got some cash burning in your pocket though, I can't think of a better place in town.
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