After raging 71 Clinton Fresh Food success, I had high hopes for LES outpost Paladar, whose kitchen is (I understand) run by the former chef at Isla. No such luck. While waiting for my dining companion at the bar, I ordered a mojito, which--unless I'm mistaken--had been made with dried (!!) mint flakes, which was very, very unpleasant and likely should have sent me out of the restaurant. Still, I perservered. We had ceviche to start, which was watery and a bit understocked with seafood; I claim no great ceviche-judging chops, but I don't believe that ceviche generally has quite so much vegetative matter or so little tang. My companion had the market fish--mahi mahi over rice with coconut sauce and clams, which looked excellent but was bland rather than delicate. The most successful dish was my entre, a skirt steak with yucca fries; the fries and their sauce were excellent, and the steak was good, but not of the level I've been spoiled to by Pampa and Sur.
I've been to Paladar for brunch, with greater success; the food was fresh, nourishing, and tasty, albeit not special.