On Friday, my wife and I went to Aubergine on Fourth Avenue in the Gaslamp. We were on our way to Chive and my wife thought it looked intriguing, so we inquired about a table. Immediately, we had a terrific corner booth. Our server was friendly and informative but slow, especially for a restaurant that wasn't close to capacity at 6:30.
The first course was enjoyable. I had the Thai soup with duck, which was a bit too sweet but otherwise perfect, with a nice, creamy consistency and balance of flavors sometimes overwhelmed by lemongrass, etc. My wife was really pleased with her salad -- a basic arugula with parmesan.
The entrees were mixed. I had the seabass with lobster mashed potatoes. The seasbass was slightly overcooked, and the mashed potatoes had little flavor. It was sort of thrown together, resulting in an underwhelming mass of food without any distinction. My wife's dish was another story -- panko crusted salmon. It had the perfect consistency and I was lucky to have a bite.
We waited so long between courses due to the slow service that we passed on dessert. It seemed that the staff was preoccupied with transitioning the place from a restaurant to a nightclub, so that may explain the lack of attention and the fact that our backwaiter took over midway through the meal (although he was terrific with recommending wines by the glass). Overall, it was a 6 and not much of a value. Perhaps a more focused staff would have made a difference.
Has anyone else had a similar experience?
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