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Eurasian Harbor/Babalu Grill--I Don't Get It

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Eurasian Harbor/Babalu Grill--I Don't Get It

asun | May 17, 2002 08:56 AM

Last night, my wife and I took two of our friends to Eurasian Harbor as a thank-you dinner (for watching our somewhat demanding puppy). I was looking forward to trying it for two reasons--first, I had heard lots of really good things about this restaurant, and secondly, I had a previous not-so-good experience at Babalu Grill and was hoping that was just an aberration.

So now, some 11 hours after the experience, I can truly and objectively say that I simply don't get it--why do people rave about these two restaurants? True, Steve DeCastro knows how to create an inviting space, but in my opinion, the food just isn't worth the money. We started out with drinks which are really expensive but don't have any alcohol. Then we ordered sushi--which I thought was something EH is supposed to be good at--and the rolls and the nigiri were almost as bad as some of the stuff you get at all-you-can-eat places. Lots of rice. No fish. No flavor. And then the entrees come. I had the shrimp with crispy noodles. That came with the ubiquitous brown sauce that I often find at Chinese carry-outs but could not imagine with a $16 dish. My friend's something-encrusted chicken was overcooked and dry. My wife got the duck, which was also overcooked, and she barely ate any of it. Of the four entrees, I can honestly say that only the sea bass over glass noodles was any good, and to be honest, they really didn't do much with the sea bass other than cook it. To top it all off, we arrived at 8:30 and by 10:00 they were practically shooing us out the door (even attempting to remove plates with food on them).

To be fair, the seaweed salad was very tasty, and we loved the two desserts that we got. Though for almost $200.00, that hardly seems worth it.

I would write this off as an off-night, but this basically is the same thing that happened to me at BG. Beautiful space. Interesting menu. But when it comes down to brass tacks, the drinks are overpriced, the food isn't prepared very well, and the service is rushed. So I just don't get why people say such good things about these restaurants. Am I alone in this? Is this just an aberration? I'd love to hear other people's comments to either or both restaurants because I feel that I've donated enough money to the Steve DeCastro empire (I didn't include Ruth Chris because, well, it's steak and can you really screw up steak?).

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