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St. Paul--Loto--Unbelievably bad

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St. Paul--Loto--Unbelievably bad

Clifford | Feb 7, 2006 08:27 AM

This place was so bad I gave serious thought to the possibility that I might be on Candid Camera during my dining experience.

Went on a Saturday night (group of 4), and to start off, they were clearly understaffed. Our waitress was pleasant, but irretrievably swamped. We were in the building for 55 minutes before our first order of drinks hit our table, and we hadn't ordered food yet. Little did we know that this was probably a good thing.

The menu is a ridiculous mess of unexplained specialties, misnomers, and flat-out lies. The "Loto Tulips" were listed under appetizers, but with no explanation at all. (They are actually jerk season chicken drumsticks, and were the only semi-edible thing we ordered all night.) The lamb shank, the menu said, was "served on a bed of potato fondue with three cheese blend." Near as I can tell, you can't make a "bed" out of fondue, much less set a lamb shank on top of it. Turns out, it was simply mashed potatoes. The "artisan cheese plate" was just sad. A couple of strawberries, some Keebler crackers (I'm not kidding here), and what appeared to be Kraft Colby, Monterey Jack, and maybe cheddar (the hideous orange stuff). The "panini" was a ham and cheese sandwich that was grilled (read: charred) to the point of inedibility. The pizza was equally inedible, but they took the extra step of serving it to us cold. This was especially baffling because none of the items we ordered arrived simultaneously. You would think this would be so that they could get the items to us while they were still warm, but apparently not.

Even as a cocktail bar, my martini came underchilled and with no olives, and they DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO MAKE A MANHATTAN. Had to come to the table and ask me. On a Saturday night.

If you're thinking about dining at this place, I have a better suggestion:

1. Wait until you're really hungry.

2. Then wait another hour and a half.

3. Pop a microwave pizza into the nuker, burn the crap out of it, take a bite and then throw it away.

4. Take a $50 dollar bill and flush it down the toilet.

5. Hit yourself in the head with a ballpeen hammer and go to bed.

Trust me, this is much better than dinner at Loto.

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