I went to Laxy Ox last night for my b'day dinner. First time going there, high expectations - based on recent reviews.
First - the space and service. We walk in, were the only people at the hostess desk. She looks up and just stares at us - kind of in the 'what the heck do you want' kind of tone. I realize everyone has bad days... but it was incredibly off-putting. I finally spoke and said - we'd like a table for 2. And without a word, grabbed menus and made this funny motion with her arm (still no talking from her, mind you!). ooookay.
The space is small and loud (we were seated close to the kitchen). I liked the dark tones and the red hues. Some regular tables and some higher bar tables. They really did a nice job with the small space.
Water was delivered to our table very quickly, and was efficiently monitored and refilled - actually - the bussing of tables was the stellar part of the evening (if that tells you anything).
As we waited (and waited) and reviewed the menu, I was very impressed with the diversity and creativity of the menu - however, post-dining, I was surprised at the lack of detail the menu presented. Perhaps that is to afford greater creativity in the kitchen and not needing to be locked down to specific preparations - but simple things like if a dish was to come out fried would have been helpful.
After about 20 minutes and nothing other than water, I was beginning to think about another spot we could have dinner. But the effort to do so, and the eventual sincere apology of our water, seemed to make up for the wait. That didn't help my glass of wine come out any quicker (at least 10 minutes after I ordered it).
We ordered the pickles, shishito peppers, rapini, yellowtail, bone marrow, and the daily special - a roasted leg of lamb.
The yellowtail was the absolute standout dish. The pickles were over the top tart - inedibly for me, the peppers were fine but fairly boring and nothing I'd order again, the rapini was completely over dressed and oily, and the lamb was probably the worst dish of lamb I've ever been served. Chewy, oversauced and lacking in every way. I had one piece and had no desire for more. The best thing about the dish were the beets that were accompanying it. It also came with a large dish of mixed greens - which while one of the better dishes at the table, but - again, over sauced - which took away from the actual greens.
It's safe to say that either this was a heavy-handed night in the kitchen (from a preparation standpoint) or I simply do not care for this method of preparation.... or perhaps both.
I had read a review where Laxy Ox and Barbrix was compared, giving the edge to Lazy Ox and I could not disagree more. My recent visit to Barbrix included excellent service and EVERY dish there left us wanting for more. I expect some hits/misses at small plate venues - but Lazy Ox was just a mess of flavors. I felt they were trying way too hard and missed out on the potential of what their creative menu was meant to do. Coupled with subpar service (long wait time on acknowledging, ordering and beverages) made it a completely disappointing meal.