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Restaurants & Bars 5

camino (oakland)

sundeck sue | Jan 31, 2014 11:01 PM

I love Camino this time of the year, when crab is on offer. After Michael Bauer's rave on Thursday, I felt like we were in for a treat.

My martini was great. My husband's quail was terrific--perfectly cooked, seasoned, really masterful.

He didn't love his smoked rockfish soup--he found it thin and one dimensional (I've thought in the past that soups were not this kitchen's strong suit).

But salads they do well, so why was my kabocha salad skimpy, under-seasoned, oily?

And the storied crab was mis-conceived: lots of pepper that overwhelmed the delicate shellfish--and in some of the smaller pieces, it was almost dry (their crab has always, always been moist). It was mis-matched with a spicy/flat aoli to boot and a few unmemorable pieces of yacon, an obscure vegetable that tasted like a less bright cousin of jicama.

The server, who was otherwise fine, brought me my hot towel, when I had a crab leg to go--it was no longer hot when I was ready for it (I just asked for another).

Even the best kitchen has an off night. Or it wasn't off, but just didn't connect for me.

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