Restaurants & Bars 16

London Calling - A few Musings on Places I ate at whilst in London

jaydee | Feb 26, 200409:23 AM

I spent the last month in London for an extended assignment for work. I spent a majority of my time eating, drinking, and exploring the areas between Green Park and Bloomsbury. I have jotted a few notes down in terms of places that stood out during my business trip......I have made every attempt to put addresses down for these places, but I cannot recall a lot of them - so apologies in advance.

Ramen houses - Who knew these would be plentiful in London? I have to say the Ramen at Wagamama's (Bloomsbury locale) was underwhelming - but overall pretty decent for a relatively good valued meal. I would have to say the service that night was off - with one of my coworkers having to wait an extended period of time for her ramen bowl (was the special that night - was pretty good!). I had the ramen at a Japanese place along the main Chinatown strand, which was nothing to get excited about. I also found a noodle house close between Soho and Mayfair (along Glasshouse St I believe). I cannot recall the name, but it is right next to the Glassblower Pub which is near the Zara's. It had a decent broth, but I liked the noodles at Wagamama's more. I was particularly fond of the Kira Age (fried chicken pieces).

Le Bistro Savoire Faire - Bloomsbury - New Oxford St. This little Bistro made a decent steak pomme frites that I had every time I went. Good selection of wines by the glass, and consistent service (they were training a handful of newbies when I ate one day, which was the only poor service mark). Good ambiance, cozy. My veggie coworker enjoyed a Goat Cheese salad that she had for lunch one day - it looked good. Limited menu - but a good 2 course menu that I would like to try next time.

Gaucho Grill - flavorful - if small steak - I thought the roasted garlic side needed a little more UMPH. Service was snooty - but I think it was because the waitress had issues. They seem to think too highly of their meat given they don't provide steak knives - the meat wasn't THAT easy to cut. Several locations throughout London I ate at the one off Piccadilly - www.gauchogrill.com

Soho Spice - I believe this is along a strand of restaurants - on Wardour Street? This is definitely in Soho. Loud funky colors - attentive service - decent Indian food. I would have to say that my Indian palatte is limited but I had some lamb dishes that were dry - though flavorful. The lentil sides and pickles and chutney were the stars of the show.

Rasa - In bloomsbury - a seafood Indian rest. Had a delightful Tilapia curry and tasted some of my co-workers' dosas. SOOOO good. Great service and a nice quiet restaurant for once. Recommended.

Busuba - down the street from Soho Spice - trendy little thai place. Good table set up and really dug on the dark wood of the tables and walls. Great people watching - mediocre Thai food. The flavor had potential to be there (deceiving dish descriptions), but had it just been turned up a bit - I would have been back in Thai Town in Hollywood CA but with a trendier setting. Good people watching.

Bush and Fields Cafe - Bloomsbury off of New Oxford - this little cafe serves up your basic cafe fare, including english breakfast and jacket potatoes. Their lunch specials are pretty good - and there's a variety. Also pasta with a variety of sauces. All-in-all a large variety of items to choose from. Funny and quirky wait staff - they are soooo nice, make it a good neighborhoody type of place. My only complaint - it gets CRAMPED during lunch.

Belgo Centraal (Earlham St) - Good selection of biere. Fries would be an insult to any self-respecting Belgian. Steak came drenched in a sauce - mussels (moules frites) were the highlight, though the broth left a lot to be desired.

Pret a Manger - A good lunch place I wish they could replicate in LA.

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