I am a fan of the Lazy Ox Canteen, and up until last night, only had positive things to say. However, it seems like while the waitstaff is the same, many if not most of the kitchen staff has left to help start Baco Mercat. This is my assumption anyway since the food was not up to usual standards. Here is the chow:
We started off with Salpicon ($15) which is a type of ceviche. Made with yellowtail, this plate was flavored by guajillo chile sauce, oranges, and celery. Delicately prepared, it was very tasty.
Our next dish was a tempura artichoke ($8) which was actually two small pieces of the artichoke heart, deep fried, and served with lemon aioli. The batter was very un-tempura-like and greasy. I would not recommend.
New to the menu was a dish called Huevo Arzak ($16) which is kind of hard to describe. Picture a poached egg on top of warmed machego cheese, on top of small pieces of bacon, on top of something potato gloppy, swimming in chorizo oil. Perfectly cooked poached egg but the rest of the dish was forgetable, dare I say ill conceived.
We also had Lazy Ox Fried Chicken ($9). Two small pieces (one white, one dark) of very tasty and expertly fried chicken on top of a basil hummus? The chicke tasted marinated, the skin well seasoned.
Next was their Cauliflower ($9) roasted with chile flakes, pine nuts, mint and same as usual, which is good.
We also had spaghetti squash ($12) which had butter, chives and pecorino. Not bad but not worth $12.
Our final dish was the Manilla Clams ($16) with chorizo, kale, and crispy potato cubes. Unlike must shellfish dishes where things just keep getting better as you go, I like this dish less and less with each bite. The potato cubes were not crispy but soggy, there was way too much chorizo, and the clams were over cooked.
With a glass of iced tea and one glass of wine, our bill was an even $100 + $8.75 tax + $20 tip = $128 out the door.
I should mention that the service was VERY good. We were given clean plates for each new dish, drinks were kept filled, and our server was well acquainted with the menu.
So...7 dishes...and we really only liked 3, 4 if you count the spaghetti squash. I expect more from LO. I have had much, much better, at LO. Hopefully in the future, the LO I knowwill return.