It was Rosita's birthday, so we went to AW, telling the staff of the occasion. After saying we didn't want to sit 'outside', we were given a corner table 'inside', so Rosita, by far the best-dressed woman in the room, could survey the passing scene. And what a scene it is! The democratization of the place makes it thoroughly entertaining.
Anyway, Rosita was asked if she wanted a before-dinner drink. "A sherry" she said. (Good idea, I thought. Could I hope they would have chilled Dry Sack, her favorite?) The waiter, slightly confused, started poking the iDrinkPad, could find none, and excused himself to see what he could do. After some time, he returned apologetically, to announce that there did not appear to be any sherry in the restaurant, as far as he could ascertain. Well, OK I guess. (Only later did I think to suggest that he dash over to Mavro to see if he could borrow a cup.)
We started looking at the menu. I requested the crab-cake appetizer. Sorry, they were out of it: at 7:30 P.M., half-way through the evening?! OK, settle for the ahi tartare. Well, how about the fish? Sorry sir. They're out of it: at 7:31?! How about the second piece of fish, the ginger onaga? They still had some of that fortunately. Rosita ordered the tasting menu with wine. As I was driving, I ordered a glass of very interesting, if somewhat schizophrenic i.e. very floral bouquet, very dry, austere taste, German wine from Paul Furst. (Could have subbed for the sherry.) Rosita's wines were good, but (though the ginger crust was very nice) my fish was a little dry, not nearly as succulent as the fish I had at Mama's the month before. Rosita's food was as good as usual, the Parmesan cracker, the small crab cake (though she thought it was too salty, something about which we disagreed. Hummm, wondered the this reviewer who was denied crab cake 20 minutes before. Fortunately, we had a far superior crab bake at Sushi Izakaya Gaku a week later.), the boneless beef ribs, the Coconut, the signed scroll, etc. Unfortunately, the overly-attentive bussboy kept trying to remove our plates when they still had mounds of food on them. Were we taking too long to eat? Well, EXCUSE ME! $250, all in all, plus money for the parking attendant who, when I gave him three dollars, told me he had to give $3 to the restaurant, so he wanted more. On the up-side, the manager came over and offered another dish on the house to compensate for the salty crab, which we declined.
Overall, the evening was hit and miss, including, unfortunately, a series of small disappointments. Am I beyond the pale to expect that a restaurant with AW's reputation should try to stay at the top of its game and, maybe, worry a little less about shoveling 5-course menus across the counter?
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