We went on a cold, rainy, weekday evening a couple of weeks ago. Edmund's Oast had only recently opened and it was packed, which we expected. The space was nice and you'd never know it used to be a decorative hardware store. As soon as we walked in I knew it was the wrong place for me, though. I don't own skinny jeans or a plaid shirt with snaps. I don't wear loafers without socks and a sweater around my neck. These trappings, along with a zeal for obscure pale ales, seemed to be key components of the clientele.
We were seated at a communal table and given menus, which we could barely read between the very low light and the poor choice of font. I hadn't heard of any of the beers so I had to ask for something that wasn't hop-driven since I don't like bitter beers. The server recommended two and I chose one at random. It was pretty good but not especially memorable.
We ordered a small charcuterie platter ($12) and roasted Brussels sprouts ($6) to start. For main courses we tried the seared triggerfish ($26) and miso rubbed pork loin ($26). Both the Brussels sprouts and charcuterie were tasty, but both portions were very small. The triggerfish was slightly overcooked and a minuscule portion, but tasty. The miso rubbed pork loin was cooked nicely but also small and almost devoid of flavor. Miso packs a punch but it was completely missing. The dashi had not even a hint of the smoky ham hock flavor that was promised. I love pea pistou but this tasted like a parsley chimichurri instead. In general I felt the food was okay and had potential but was overpriced by about 25%.
I wouldn't mind going back when it warms up, sitting outside at a table and having a beer, then moving on somewhere else for a meal.
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My review was about my experience. I found the food is overpriced, the portions small, it was so loud we practically had to scream at each other over the table, and the clientele was extruded from the same vintage cookie cutter. Maybe I hit it on the night of a scenester convention. Regardless, that was my experience. Yours may vary, which is why I think it's good for a wide variety of people to offer different points of view. What works for some may not work for others so it doesn't make either of us wrong.
As for "hating on top restaurants," I'm guilty as charged. I don't like being ripped off, end of story. That's how I feel about virtually everything on Upper King with the notable exception of Prohibition. Also, "top" and "popular" are not synonyms. Top is subjective and, as I said above, people have different opinions.
No, Chris, clearly you're being pedantic and find great joy in misrepresenting what people say. Continue on with your uncouth ways, I'm done trying to combat your trolling.
Chris Haire - The fact you can't even comprehend the myriad ways you expressed bigotry leaves me wondering who thought it was a good idea to hire you to express your opinions.
The change you made does not make it any better, either. Since you seem incapable of empathy, let me break it down for you. First, as others have already mentioned, "tranny" is a derogatory word. I don't care where else you have seen it. It is wrong. The only proper place to use that term is when referring to car parts.
Second, by correlating gay sex to HIV transmission you further the stereotype that it is a gay disease. You correlate the two in an unnecessary and inaccurate way made all the more hurtful because you think it is funny.
And finally, by making light of an incurable life-threatening illness you pay massive disrespect to the more than 25 million people who have died from it.
Perhaps instead of denigrating a group of people and pretending it's humor you could, you know, say something meaningful.
"And they pay back-page trannies to drop a load of HIV in their backsides just so they can get a subscription for medical marijuana and lose a few pounds here and there."
That is extremely callous, uncouth, and contemptible. This piece should be retracted, an apology issued, and the moron who wrote it fired.
I think most of these places get over-hyped early on by a really good PR team. Case in point: The Ordinary was announced as a contender for this list before it even opened. By the time the food hits tables the media are so far in that no one has the courage to stand up and say that the emperor has no clothes.
I truly believe that Chef Lata is talented. I also think that when people like John Mariani, Alan Richman, or Andrew Knowlton show up, Chef Lata personally prepares the plates to ensure perfection. That gives them a very stilted view considering that is not what happens on the average night. When I went Chef Lata spent the entire night standing and talking to someone at a booth while people came by for photo ops. He didn't circulate through the restaurant, he was fixed to that one booth. Meanwhile my dishes showed a severe inattention to detail and had flaws that would have caused me to fail my first semester of culinary school.
If I had experienced Chef Lata at his best -- which I have yet to do at FIG or The Ordinary -- I might have a different opinion. Based on what I have experienced, though, The Ordinary is yet another over-hyped, overpriced, mediocre place that will keep drawing in people who are in search of a scene.
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