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Om in Harvard Sq Disappoints

SuzieCK | Jan 10, 201112:12 PM

We were excited to have a Groupon coupon for $50 worth of food and bev at Om where we'd never been before. Walked in to lovely waterfallish wall, and then, blam, amid the Indian murals and carvings, three wide screen tvs set to all sports all the time. No matter, we were directed to the upstairs dining where calm reigned supreme. Lovely, if very low lighting (for middle-aged eyes), and a very lovely waitstaff. Decided upon 2 appetizers - the grilled octopus and the tuna tartare. First, we were given a small espresso cup amuse bouche billed as miso-sweet potato soup. We tasted only miso and it was quite salty. The octopus was especially tender but much too salty. The tuna - sublime, with a little crunch of panko and perhaps some almonds, sitting on cucumber in a lovely long rectangular presentation. Nice hint of chili oil made it a real winner. Then for dinner I had just the Kobe beef dumplings. They were cold, mostly flavorless, with a sauce that looked and tasted mostly like canned beef gravy, and a few solo mushrooms on the top. The dish lacked zing or even a lovely, homey quality and was a one-note bore. My dining partner ordered the vegetarian Thai soup and was given a lovely big bowl that, sadly, had to be returned. Expecting multiple notes of sweet, salty, sour, hot, etc., she got only soy sauce flavor with no depth and again, too salty. She reluctantly sent it back and was offered another choice and opted for a second batch of the tuna tartare. Having not overeaten, we opted for the chili-brownie with salted caramel (chewy, a nice hit of heat, but a little grainy), and the Meyer-lemon compote over a nice, light creme. The compote was really as dense as a marmalade, if not more chewy. Good if you like that sort of thing. Not so good if you're expecting a compote. The staff was, as I said, very accommodating, kind and patient, and we're not usually folks who complain or send things back. But we had been so excited and the online menu was so tempting, that the disappoint in our meal was, I think, heightened. The chef needs to taste his food. Less salt. More depth of flavor and layers of flavor and he'll have a winner. Just not yet.

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OM Restaurant and Lounge
92 Winthrop St., Cambridge, MA 02138

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