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Restaurants & Bars 11

kind of bloo (more bad news)

jordan | Mar 17, 200210:26 AM

I have read the preceding posts on this new cafe in the Lower Haight, and seen a growing rift in opionion. The better reviews favor brunch, dinner seems suffer in comparison. However, even in the positive brunch reviews I note a heartfelt generosity in tones,as if they'd like this place to be better than it is.

Last night a friend and I ducked in for a snack, and found it suffering from the extended wait to get sat at an open table to the inept waitstaff (and it's not like we were expecting 4-star service) to the mediocre, unctuous food.

We entered at about 9:30 on a Saturday night. The place was pretty well packed with a very trendy, black-clad young hip crowd. Lots of expensive glasses (including my own) and nice haircuts (excluding my own). There was a bit of a wait, but as the only two-person party on the list it took about fifteen minutes for one of the waiters to come over and invite us to sit at a table that had been vacant the entire time. Then it took about another 10 before our waiter came over with menus and then water. An amuse bouche of squash soup was brought in little espresso cups. However, our man didn't send spoons with the soup. It was too thick to drink from the cup, so we used our forks. It tasted not unlike pumpkin pie and had sat so long on the stove it had lost the liquidity that makes it soup.

This kind of thing continued all night. We tried, it turns out, some of the same things as the other posters and got similar results. The salmon cakes were fishy and boring--the mayonaissy sauce could have come from a jar. The deep-fried shrimp rolls were similarly unstyled, and the dipping sauce meant for them was flavored exactly like, but thinner than, the "duck sauce" that comes in plastic from Chinese fast food joints. The caesar salad was pretty tasty.

The short wine list features nothing American, which seemed strange in a restaurant specializing in a mediocre brand of American melting-pot cuisine with an emphasis on bland, cloying flavors delivered without much originality or flair.

I'm disappointed, as Bloo is only a couple of blocks from my house and I've been looking for a disctinctive, sweet cafe to move into the area. While business seemed good the night we were in, I don't have much hope for the food.

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