After waiting a little bit for the opening hype to die down, I finally got to try Hibiscus this weekend. My thoughts in a nutshell, I will go back, but I won't be running back.
And before I say anything else, I do want to preface all of this by saying that I was getting over a cold and that might have affected my dining experience.
We arrived at 8 to be told that they were running behind on reservations and could we please wait at the bar. I was fine with grabbing a cocktail, the only problem was that we were standing there for about 10 minutes and not a single bartender spoke to us. They were running around trying to fill orders for the tables and the cute blondes at the bar, who I might add were not actually eating at the restaurant.
We got seated in the main dining room and had a good table with a view. I'm glad we were in the main room, but next time I go I'm going to request a booth. Our waiter was very sweet, but seemed a little out of it. It took a little while to get any water and our cocktails, but once we started ordering, everything seemed to work itself out.
They had a good deal going on a bottle of Merryvale which was very nice. We let it breath while waiting for our appetizers and it was delicious. Overall thought he wine list is very California heavy, but very reasonably priced.
We ordered the fried oysters and the crab dip for starters. The oysters were FANTASTIC!! They were huge, deep fried and served with a little blue cheese. Their presentation reminded me of the fried chicken livers at Hectors, which are still my favorite appetizer around, but the oysters are giving them a run for their money. The crab dip was tasty, but not of the same caliber.
I do admit that we were chatting alot at the table and were eating semi-slow. We had just finished up the oysters and maybe had a bit left of the crab dip, when our entrees arrived. Our plates were quickly whisked away. I started feeling a bit rushed.
I got the flat steak with the sea salt fries. It was very good, but I was a bit jealous of my friends crab crusted sea bass. It was seved in broth with scallops, I think. I don't know for sure because he wouldn't even let me have a bite of it. My steak was cooked perfectly and had this sweet pepper sauce on the side. It was very nice, but wrecked havoc with my sinuses. The two of us shared a side of the spinach with garlic, ymmy. Overall, very nice main courses and we weren't rushed through these like we were with the appetizers.
A quick side note, we were looking to get the Lobster in orange sauce, but at $75, it was a bit too rich for our blood.
For dessert we shared a huge piece of chocolate cake. Ok, let me rephrase that. For dessert, we were given half a chocolate cake. It was excellent but very rich. We made a dent in it, but ended up having enough left over for me to have breakfast for 2 days.
The place was great for people watching both inside and out at the curb for valet. I saw two couples get into the wrong cars. I guess one black E class looks exactly like another.
Overall the meal was excellent. I can't complain. The service was a little lacking. The managers (well I'm really only guessing the man constantly walking around in the tailored suit sporting the Mike Modano hair cut and beard circa 1999 Stanley Cup was a manager) were on their feet constantly. Its just that for what I'm paying to eat there, one would expect everything to be flawless. The food definately earned them another visit, but it won't necessarily be anytime soon.