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LesThePress | Mar 21, 200510:24 AM     1

Went to Paul's Sat. night with great expectations. I remember the Sherman Oaks location, where the food was good but the atmosphere terrible (small, crowded, noisy, uncomfortable chairs, tables very close together, etc.).

I had been to Red's before and hoped the deocor hadn't changed since I liked the atmosphere (but not the food!).

Had 7:30pm resers, and fortunately, the decor had not changed. We arrived a little early so we checked in and went to the bar for a couple of Martini's. Very good and not overly priced. Nice live music off to the side, not intrusive at all.

We were seated at our table in good time, but it was 7 minutes of siting at the table with our unopened bottle of wine ('78 Ducru). Not a good sign.

Waiter did come over, opened the wine, gave us menus and took our drink orders (soft drinks now), and after several minutes (I didn't time it), he came back to take our orders (without our drinks). The drinks arrived shortly after ordering.

I had the Caesar salad, which we very good. Nice flavor, good size. Enjoyed it a lot. Spouse had the house salad with inaigrette dressing was very bland and had no flavor, and was much smaller than my Caesar.

I had the rack of lamb, she had the Pork tenderloin. Several pieces of the thinnest lamb chops I've ever seen. One piece was thicker (double). Ordered medium rare and my first thought was: overcooked! However, it was cooked just right. The only problem, no flavor, none at all. Didn't taste like lamb (lamb has such a distinctive taste). No spice, no flavor. Quite amazing and disappointing).

The pork did have some flavor, nothing exceptional, but at least it did taste okay.

Desert, flourless chocolate cake w/Ice cream, was disappointing. Small piece more like a mouse or pudding than cake (too much egg I presume).

The bill, for 2 salads, 2 entree's, 1 mojito, 1 coke, $2.00 corkage, desert and 1 coffee l $75.00.

All in all I've had worse meals for much more $. I would go again, but will not order the lamb or house salad or flourless choc cake.

If they only had above average food it would be a regular for me.

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