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No sens-e eating at Sens


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No sens-e eating at Sens

Scott M | Oct 9, 2007 03:51 PM

Had dinner at the newly opened Sens at 4 Embarcadero and was extremely disappointed by the meal. The space is nice and the views of the embarcadero are pleasant. However, the food was one bomb after another.

Started with the fried olives with are large green olives stuffed with organic veal and almonds. This dish was highly recommended by the server as an absolute must. It was an absolute miss. The breading was reminiscent of frozen fried zucchini sticks that you would find at a bars happy hour offering. The flavors were bland, all I could taste was the breading. Next was the squid stuffed with bulgar wheat, spinach, pine nuts and raisins. This dish was three small squid smothered in a chunky tomato sauce. Overall it was "meh", fine but nothing special. I have had much better squid dishes elsewhere.

Next the lamb riblets which were also highly recommended by the server. What came was a platter of roughly six small lamb ribs that were 80 percent fat. The ribs were lukewarm to cold, and unevenly cooked. Nothing is as unappetizing as eating cool/cold chunks of fat when it is kind of waxy in your mouth. That dish was nothing short of a disaster. In hindsight I should have sent this dish back.

Finally was the grilled lamb chops. Two thin lamb chops with a small portion of harrisa braised lamb breast. Again very uneven temperatures. The braised breast was on the lukewarm/cold side while the chops were properly heated. There was also a fair amount of fat on this dish I would estimate 30 percent of the dish was fat. With a price tag of $32, I expected a lot better.

The restaurant was a little too dark for me, it was difficult to see if dishes were cooked to the proper temperature (rare, medium rare, medium, etc). The music they were playing was a little too frantic, upbeat/fast paced. It would be better suited to lunch time than dinner service.

Service was friendly, although it did take a long time between courses. Unfortunately, the server's recommendations were not on target.

Considering the restaurant is just across the courtyard from the Hyatt, I think their main draw will be from tourists and those staying at the Hyatt. The restaurant really had that hotel restaurant feel.

Maybe with time, they will find their groove. However, there are just too many dining options for me to go back.

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