Thanks to the post on gastro pubs and looking some up things on various web sites, the best meal I had was at the Anglesea Arms around Hammersmith. It was weird cuz we got there at 7 to find out they didn't serve food til 7:30, not sure of the logic behind that. But it was worth the wait. My friend started with a mushroom risotto which was a little soupy but tasty. She had lamb w/ potato slices and nice thin green beans. I had a wonderful pheasant with roti potato (like hash browns over here) and a nice cabbage w/ bacon dish. Her chocolate pudding cake was amazing, came with nutmeg ice cream I think. Unfortunately, my apple tarte tartin was almost like eating canned apples (if there is such a thing), unexciting crust, not what I had pictured. Entrees were about £10, apps. £5 and 6, desserts £5.
Our fancy dinner was at Isola by Knightsbridge. The upstairs is a fun bar done in red with an interesting drink menu (I had a blackberry martini). Don't think you can get food up there. At first it was very quiet in the spacious downstairs dining room for our 8PM reservation (not needed) but it picked up. I'd felt a little funky on the flight over so I just had chicken which was nice, my friend had halibut I think. She told me I *had* to mention the wonderful Italian cheesecake she had for dessert. It looked like two little scoops of ice cream but was a nice light cheesecake. My tiramisu was good, pretty expensive at about £7 tho (entrees were £15-20). We had two nice servers who started out fun but got to be annoying. Just bring me the food and cut out the stand up comedy act please.
Went to the Medicine Bar by Highbury & Islington then got some Belgian ale, frites and croquettes at the Bierodrome. They say their frites are double fried and altho not quite as good as Belgium, they were pretty tasty. And a bargain at £1.50. Beers were decent and well priced too. Saw the Ohio band New Bomb Turks down the street at the Garage and we all had a fun time.
Pre-theater meal (Mrs. Warren's Profession) at Bank/Aldwych wasn't great. Why do they have that painting of a seaside resort on the wall? I opted for the 2 course prix fixe which was a bargain at about £12. Had some meaty fish which tasted good but was quite overcooked. My friends had fish & chips (£12.50) that looked like they came out of a frozen package. A perfectly shaped square of batter that didn't look natural at all. The fish itself was fine but it seemed wrong. I had a choice of a choc. dessert or a pear/poppy seed tarte. Got the latter on the waitress's rec but again, not what I expected. Total poppy seeds with a couple slices of pear on the side. I ate it.
Wandered down Brick Lane and got a samosa at a tiny spot. Okay fish & chips by Camden Town. Okay Thai in Greenwich (what a cute little area). The last meal was at Renezia (I think that's the spelling) in Shepherd's Bush. It was very reasonably priced anyway but we both got the budget meal which was garlic bread, salad (very iceburgy with tasteless dressing) and any pasta for £5. Now there's a bargain. I got a great penne w/ eggplant, spinach and mozzarella dish and more tiramisu for dessert (£2.75). Served any time, can't beat that. There's an interesting Polish restaurant next door that looks like it's worth a try.
It's weird cuz you look at the prices of many things in London and it says something like £14.99, and we'd be spending $14.99 for the same thing in the States. At least 3/4 of the time. One good thing about living here I guess.