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Dear Akasha: Please learn how to season your food.

dtud | Jun 7, 200805:20 PM

Went to Akasha last night after reading fairly mediocre reviews…but was hoping to be surprised. It lived up to the mediocrity. What was unfortunate was that the main problem is easily fixable: add a little salt or other seasoning to develop the flavors.

Cocktails: I had the “Akasha” which was kiwifruit vodka, organic cucumber juice and Thai basil with a cucumber garnish. Other than being a little foamy, this was quite refreshing. Very tasty. Sweet but also slightly savory. Kind of like a Pimm's cup lite.

Bread: they serve mini bread loaves which are very cute. This had a lot of different kinds of seeds - sesame. The bread was tasty but could use a little salt to give it some umph.

Sweet potato fries: tasty! But how can anyone screw up sweet potato fries? These are served like frites – in a cone with paper lining. Served with ketchup and I asked for the smoked paprika aioli that they serve with grilled artichoke. It was a bit too much on the mayo-side and a tad sour.

Onion Rings: tasty, but nothing really stood out. Just good onion rings with a thick and smooth crust.

Shrimp appetizer: these were 4 grilled shrimp and two dips – one tasted like a tomato and tamarind chutney and the other was a yogurt/mint/dill sauce. The dips were very good and the shrimp were seasoned and well grilled. I liked this a lot.

Tortilla soup: this had good flavor but was completely flat. This is when we asked for the salt (they might want to start having some on the table). I added salt and it was good, but would have rather had it added beforehand.

Mac & Cheese: this was just not good at all. It had no taste of cheese and what’s worse – it had some kind of unseasoned breadcrumb topping that dried out the whole dish. There was not an ounce of cheese/creamy in this dish. It was dried out elbow macaroni with breadcrumbs on top. I’ve never had “dry” mac & cheese – but that’s what this was. And the lack of flavor was really too bad. We didn’t eat much of it.

Parsnip Potato Puree: tasted like parsnip and that’s it. It was just a mashed white bowl of nothing. No salt, no pepper, no garlic, no butter, no seasoning at all! This was really pretty bad. I added some salt and pepper but that didn’t do too much to help it.

Heritage Pork Chop: this was cooked fantastically – charred and it looked great. And it tasted ok too once we added some salt. But without adding salt – it was just a beautifully charred piece of meat. It’s somewhat mind boggling how a restaurant could serve this. I wonder if anyone has tasted it. This was served with either a chard or collard green that seemed to have been deep fried and then sautéed – had a bit of a crunch to it. And served over a white bean puree. These two things didn’t taste much like anything, but we added some salt and they livened up a bit.

I am tempted to blame myself because almost everything I tasted didn’t taste like anything . . . but we were a party of 6 and every person had the exact same reaction: NO FLAVOR! Because all of us thought the same thing—and we’re not usually people who always agree on a place—it’s got to be true. There were some hidden flavors in the dishes but they were not developed or highlighted even through the very simple use of salt. It’s too bad b/c the service was good and the space is nice – but I probably will not be back b/c it’s way to pricey for dull and unseasoned food.

Total damage: 52/each with tax/tip (1 drink each/2 sweet potato fries and 1 onion rings for table/one entrée each).

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