Based on at least one positive review on Chowhound and a few from Citysearch, a fellow 'hound and I went to try Ole in Studio City last night. I arrived a few minutes earlier than my dining companion to see parents with tiny little kids both entering and leaving the premises. (Not a good sign for a "hip" tapas restaurant on a Saturday night after 7pm, in my opinion.) We entered and were promptly seated, the restaurant was not even half-full at this point. The clientele that was there was certainly not "hip" or "pibs" as was mentioned in previous Chowhound post- unless there's something about 50+ year olds wearing jeans and t-shirts that I don't know about. The decor was almost chain-like, not cozy and welcoming as a leisurely tapas joint should be, and as the room filled, the noise levels climbed sky-high.
On to the food, we decided on picking 4 tapas plates and a pitcher of Sangria (they weren't able to accomodate white wine sangria, so we reluctantly opted for red). Since we had heard that the portions were plentiful, we figured it would be best to go with tapas rather than entree-sized portions since that's what they specialized in. Boy were we wrong!
We were started with the "Ceviche de Ole" (White fish ceviche w/avocado mash) and the "Verde Sido Ensalada" (Haricot vert salad w/figs & walnuts). The ceviche was not bad although they put a slice of marinated (?) pear underneath the ceviche and avocado which added a very bizarre sweetness that was really not welcomed. The plate was also lined with julienned figs and red peppers. Again, the figs totally did not go with the fish. This actually turned out to be the best dish we ordered. The haricot vert salad was sooooo plain. I did like the combination of the figs and walnuts with the green beans but it needed seasoning. It was barely dressed in anything and there wasn't even any salt or pepper shakers on the table to season it up ourselves.
The next course took at least 25 to 30 minutes to come out. Supposedly they were having problems with their kitchen printer. We accepted it and just chalked it up to it being a new restaurant. Finally we got our next course, "Queso de Cabra Frito con Miel" (fried goat cheese with honey). We were expecting something completely different and were beyond disappointed when they brought out a platter and 4 golfball sized lightly fried (not battered/breaded) scoops of goat cheese and this little bit of onion relish in the center. We wanted to fill up and not leave starving but to eat 2 golfball sized portions of rich goat cheese each? C'mon! That's ridiculous. The cheese was so salty that the onion had to be used just to cut the taste. It was far too rich and not very satisfying at all.
So we had 1 more course to go and we were still hoping for some sort of salvation from this disasterous meal. At least 30 minutes later, if not longer, our last course arrived. "Camaron con Ajo" (shrimp with garlic sauce). 6 shrimp with no garlic sauce to be found on the plate. Both of us eat a shrimp and get a look of utter disgust on our faces. The shrimp were ROTTEN. Mushy, absolutely horrible shrimp. That was it. I am not the type to go sending things back to the kitchen but there's always a first. I flagged down a waiter (ours couldn't be found through most of the evening) and told him this dish was unedible. We told them we would not like to replace it with anything and would like the check. Thankfully they did not charge us for the shrimp and we still ended up spending $50+ total for the worst meal of my entire life.
I didn't even mention all of the bad service related things here, but trust me, this place is not going to last very long. I most certainly DO NOT recommend wasting anytime here when there's tons of other good places to eat in the same neighborhood. Sorry for being so harsh but I would hate for anyone else to have to go through the sort of evening that we experienced.
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