Last night I went to Olica for the first time (50th & Lex.). The chef is from Alsace-Lorraine, but the only Alsatian-influenced items on the menu were the "Alsatian pizza" and the eaux de vie. The food was basically Continental with Asian influences, but I think I would've been more interested in the native cuisine of the chef.
The food was very well-presented; I felt like the appetizers and desserts outshone the mains. We started with a spicy tuna tartare glistening with a copious amount of sesame oil (a special), and a salmon tartare mixed with American sturgeon caviar and moistened with quail egg (someone else mentioned that they didn't like the texture, but I liked the richness the egg added).
Seared sea bass was faintly smoky with sumac, but arrived on a tasteless pile of green beans and bean sprouts (advertised as "wok-seared vegetables").
A monkfish dish "with masala" was heartier, an intriguing presentation of fried bread with fish in the middle.
There were complimentary banana vanilla rum milkshakes with no discernible alcohol (they basically tasted like Gerber's, but so do many banana desserts). We then polished off a warm molten chocolate cake with homemade walnut ice cream substituting for the pistachio (they also make green apple ice cream, among other flavors). They also have a dessert of 6 mini creme brulees in different flavors like chocolate. I always like molten chocolate cake with gooey hot fudge streaming out!
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