When Jim founded the Chowhound concept, it was based upon going where no Zagat guide had gone before.
In the spirit of Jim's goal, we visited the Red Dot Cafe in the International District (515 Maynard Avenue.)A rather recently opened new restaurant.
We fully intended to go to HO HO Seafood for crab.
HO HO was completely void of any diners and across the street the Red Dot was packed. (90% of the crowd were young hip Asians dressed in obligatory black.) Not familiar with the Red Dot, we went in.
Decor: If you have seen Bladerunner, you have the feel for the Red Dot. Polished stainless steel walls with reflected blue light. And the chairs, only diamond and ceramic are harder surfaces than the chairs at the Red Dot.
MENU: What a weird concept. There are two distinctly different menus. An Asian style of about 12 pages and then another menu very much like a Red Robin's. This menu featured Rib Eye Steaks, Cassaroles, Spaghetti, Pan Fried Chicken, etc.
We noticed EVERYONE was eating roast beef, steaks and pasta.The French Fries were obviously direct for Ore Ida. We orderd from the Asian menu.
Our waitress returned 10 minutes later and informed us that NONE of the items we had ordered were available at the time. She suggested we only order items that had a number. (Like #243: Beef intestines) I ordered #241 instead.
We saw one couple served a classic Asian hot pot. When we asked our waitress about what hot pots they offered, she said they didn't serve any. (None were listed on the 12 page menu, although the one passing by looked very good.)
Our food arrived in miniscule portions almost completely cold. I viewed the .075 grams of meat on my dish and was jealous of my date's .095 portion.
In the meantime, we watched the diners next to us receive two of the best looking steaks I have seen in years. ($10.50 on the menu.) They cut them with their forks.
By now the ceramic chairs had taken their desired effect along with having to request refills on water and tea every single time our glasses were empty.
I left happy in the knowledge that my cholestoral count was safe for one more day but wondering if I should return and order one of those great looking $10.50 steaks.
How you catagorize this place is beyond me. I just remember in Bladerunner how difficult it was to tell the Replicants from the real people. In some respects, the Red Dot would fit in just fine with either crowd.