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Restaurants & Bars 5

SF – No MO Bar (Mandarin Oriental)

rworange | May 29, 200809:30 PM

When I worked in the Financial District for a few years near the Mandarin Oriental (90’s thru early 2000’s) there were things that were consistent about the Mandarin Oriental during that time

- the service was outstanding
- Silks restaurant was great no matter who the chef was
- The bar was always mediocre … really, really, mediocre

So, having an appointment this week across from the hotel .. too late for Sentinel …too late for lunch at Silks … hadn’t eaten yet and it was 3pm … the meeting was the sort which would be good fortified with a drink … I gave the MO Bar another chance.

Big mistake … big, big $50 mistake.

Wonderful bartender. Wonderful service. Mediocre drinks, Mediocre food. Nothing changed.

Given the prices … let’s call it what it was … the food and drinks sucked. They should take a star away from that hotel just because of the bar.

I really, really needed to eat so I got the Assorted Dim Sum Served with an Asian Dipping Sauce. I’m not even going to bother to try to remember the names for some of the dim sum items

For $14 … FOURTEEN DOLLARS … I got one mini steamed pork bun, two dumplings with crab, two dumplings with shrimp, two dumplings with pork with a dipping sauce that amounted to little more than soy sauce. I’m telling you right now … don’t anyone give me a hassle about the prices at Yank Sing for a while … because this amounted to nothing more than two bucks worth of dim sum that was no better than what I’d get at any bakery on Grant Ave. It was served in a bamboo steamer.

One would think the cocktails would take away the pain … one would be wrong.

Asian Garden
Charby Green Tea vodka, fresh lime, Thai Basil, petals

OK, the petals were the attraction to me … nothing more than a few marigold petals. The drink had no flavor at all.

Ginger Snap
Ginger infused vodka, candied ginger, twist vanilla and cinnamon stoli

Cloying and awful. The ginger was hard. Suddenly no flavor had an appeal.

Bar snacks consisted of salted almonds, some sort of pesto olives that are tastier from the Whole Foods olive bar and capers on steroids.

Glancing over at the bar, the most mundane alcohol was displayed … Stoli should tell you something. Hangar One? … nowhere in sight. .

I was going for vodka because I didn't want to walk in on the meeting with eau de booze breath.

For a hotel in this class there is no excuse. If the lounge at the Four Seasons is five stars ... MO bar is one star ... that only for the great staff. To add insult to injury ... the MO Bar is more expensive than the bar at the Four Seasons.

222 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA

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