This year I'm trying to hit up 2-3 restaurants for lunch during TRW. I started with my first on Monday, which was Ocean Prime.
Everything was fine...but that's really all it was. Nothing exceptional at all. Again: the three courses were good, the place is pretty nice, service was good...but absolutely nothing came close to rounding second base, and getting to second was basically one of those "stretching a long single into a double" moments.
Started with the salad (no cheese for me), and it was pretty good. It's nothing that really turned my head at all, but a solid execution of a pretty standard salad. Sort of what I consider a "ladies lunching" salad to be. If I were ordering a la carte, I wouldn't have bothered, but since it was one of the two choices (the other being French Onion Soup, natch), that's the one I went with. Again: good, but nothing more.
Second course was salmon with sticky rice and some mushrooms and veggie garnishes. Again: fine. Nothing wrong with it, though the sauce was a bit on the heavy side. I was a bit put out with the fact that both the salmon and the trout that were offered were both farmed ("Wild farmed!" the server told me about the salmon). Really: if you're going to go by the moniker of "Ocean Prime", shouldn't your fish be wild caught? That being said, the salmon was cooked quite well, not overdone.
Dessert was either carrot cake (cream cheese frosting...again, no) or ice cream, which was a selection of either cookies-and-cream or their lemon sorbet. I chose cookies-and-cream...and it wasn't very good. Very not-creamy, and not a satisfying ice cream experience. Cold as all-get-out, but it wasn't a well-put-together ice cream. Swing and a miss there, so I asked if I could have the lemon sorbet instead, which was granted. And we're back to fine, again.
Service was paced well, and I should also mention that I liked the bread I was brought hot from the oven. I was kind of surprised that at no point did the server ever return and ask if everything tasted all right; it never happened once. Water was regularly refilled with one exception or so, but even with the "Everything okay?" thing, service was fine. They did a good job.
A city's Restaurant Week should really be a chance for a place to put its best foot forward, food-wise. The various places' menus don't really appear to be trying anything challenging or adventurous, which I'd prefer. This doesn't mean that they have to put outrageously expensive things on their menus or anything, but you're trying to draw people in to try your place and wow them so they'll come back. Iridescence did this for me. Jefferson House did this for me. Other places...but Ocean Prime is just sort of...there.
I'll go back if someone else wants to, especially if they're paying. Culinarily, though, I was a bit disappointed.
I plan on hitting up one or both of Capital Grill or Mon Jin Lau. We'll see what happens.
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