In the second of our Iron Chef themed restaurant outings, we went to Bobby Flay’s sous chef Patricia Yeoh’s restaurant SAPA. We were disappointed. Our waiter failed to give us a bread basket. The food was small, cold and didn’t even match what was on the menu. The environment was so pounding with sounds that we couldn’t hear each other talk. The only thing to say was that the Cosmo-jito was pretty good. Not recommended.
So, we were still hungry and looking for something to rescue it, say a slice of pizza. Then we thought, where is the nearest Mario Batali restaurant? Otto Enateca at 1 Fifth Avenue was the answer. It’s designed to simulate an Italian train station – you’re given a ticket to an Italian city, and you wait in the waiting room-like bar until your city appears on the tote board. You then are led into another room which appears to look like any train station cafeteria you might see oversees, just nicer. Not much pretense – we ordered 2 pizzas, a salumi salad, and drinks. They came fast, hot and of high quality. And we didn’t break $50 between the 2 of us.
Cityscape has a number of complaints, mostly about the B&T crowd, and not the restaurant itself. Perhaps because we came off hours, it wasn’t a factor. For me anyway, the ambiance is important, but not as important as the food. If the food is bad, the rest isn’t worth it.
In other Food Accidents, Alton Brown crashes and burns in his series Feasting on Asphalt, where he and his merry men motor from one coast to the other in search of non-chain restaurant food. If you can imagine Monty Python and the Holy Grail as an informative Food Network show, this would be it. The crash scene happens in episode 4, where he wipes out on camera just outside of Las Vegas, and breaks his clavacle. Ouch!
The neatest found object from Feasting on Asphalt is the 12V Travel Oven. It looks like a big lunch box, but actually inside are 2 metal trays where you can put food on. You then close the lid and plug it in your cigarette lighter outlet. Sometime later, you have hot food. Convenient for anyone who spends all of their time in the car.
I’m going to Vegas for my friend’s bachelor party, and thinking of making it an entire West Coast week. Any suggestions welcome…