A quick report from my dinner at Flora in Downtown Oakland last night. I'd been really excited to try Flora for a full dinner after having really delicious pre-concert snacks there last year at the bar. I was pretty disappointed by my meal, which was surprising to me because I was delighted by the food i had had previously. I also found the prices staggeringly high for the food, particularly considering its location. On the other hand, the interior design is pretty amazing — a very smart, sleek art deco inspired space age masterpiece.
On the other hand, all the bare white walls that make the space very interesting also make it SO DAMN LOUD. The tables were also squeezed in next to each other, making for very close quarters. It was very difficult to hear across the table.
We shared the mixed greens salad with walnuts and pears and the crab cakes. The mixed greens were yummy, and the dressing was fantastic, but there were only 4-5 extremely thinly sliced pears and all the walnuts had settled to the bottom. The crab cake was very good, and had lots of flavor, but it was tiny. There is no excuse to charge $15 for it.
I had the halibut, a dish which the host told me just debuted the night I ordered it. It was an unmitigated failure. It was tasteless, overcooked, and the broth was brown and ugly. There was a clump of onions on the side, which also managed to be flavorless. I was extremely disappointed by this piece of fish, because there is no reason to charge almost 30 dollars for absolutely no flavor at all.
I had the affogato. The espresso was delicious, but the dessert chef was extremely stingy with the ice cream. Good, but very small portion. After a few bites, I ran out of ice cream and had to drink the rest of the dessert like a shot. The chocolate chip cookie they served along with it was stale.
A very disappointing experience for a place I had such high hopes for.