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Restaurants & Bars 2

Another long rant...this one about Eastside West

nooodles | Apr 10, 200510:28 PM

What a waste of an afternoon that couldn't have been more gorgeous.

A friend and I headed to Eastside West on Fillmore/Greenwich, hoping to grab a seat in in the sun in their back patio area. I called ahead and was told that there would be no wait for a party of two.

When we got there, there was only a table inside. Which would have been fine--it's not like I made a reservation. What really rubbed me the wrong way was the host's brusque manner, and the way he brushed off sitting outside as an impossibility. He mumbled something about how he had four people waiting for outside tables ahead of us, but the restaurant itself was half empty and I didn't see anyone standing around waiting. I personally think he just didn't want to give us a seat, but whatever.

Then came the waitstaff. There were two waitresses waiting on about 10 tables, and it seemed like it was too much for them to handle. We found ourselves constantly looking around for them, and often they would walk by so quickly that we couldn't flag them down on their way to and from the kitchen. Good waitresses scan the tables as they walk slowly, no?

The drinks were uniformly terrible. My friend had a raspberry mimosa. He had to ask for extra raspberry liquer, but it still tasted like flat champagne mixed with Minute Maid orange juice. It wasn't even red, and we were told that the raspberry liquer they use is yellow. Anyone know what that might be? The waitress couldn't offer a brand name. I postulated that this mystery liquer was tasteless as well.

I ordered the Blood Orange Lemonade, and had high hopes because it was supposed to have blood orange liquer, Meyer lemon vodka, and a variety of fresh juices. A glass chock full of ice came to the table, and it tasted like watered down orange juice with Popov vodka. It also wasn't red! Where was the fresh blood orange? If Eastside West is going to continue serving yellow drinks that should be red, I say they invest in some food coloring.

Food: we both ordered crabcakes with saffron Hollandaise and home fries. We both wish we hadn't. The order took about 20 minutes (I remind you that the restaurant was half empty), and was barely hot when it reached our table. The portion of home fries was meager, oily, and too soft in the middle. The eggs atop the crabcakes were undercooked and bland.

The crabcakes themselves were a travesty beyond description. They were tiny. Maybe the size of one and a half golf balls. They were over fried. The crust was a little oily. The kicker was the filling, which was a lot of bread crumbs mixed with some obviously frozen crab. I kid you not, this crab tasted like freezer burn. It also had a stringly texture indicative of crab that's been ripped into tiny shreds and frozen.

Disappointing doensn't even begin to describe this meal. Has this always been the case at Eastside West? The more I think about it, the more angry I get. I'll definitely never dine there again. The meal did remind me the importance of good company, however, because we were able to laugh/cry our way through this terrible meal.

After this terrible experience, I do feel the need to put in a good word for the Washington Square Bar and Grill, which people avoid for fear that it's too touristy. It doesn't have an adventurous menu, but at least the service is charming and the brunch is solid. I left the Washbag with a smile on my face, wishing I had room for the handful of home fries that on my plate. I had good memories of dreamy golden egg yolks and a fizzy mimosa, and the desire to go back and try more of their menu.

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