Restaurants & Bars

A Tale of Two Salads--Park Kitchen vs. Veritable Quandary

mczlaw | Sep 15, 200501:00 AM    

The flank steak salad at Park Kitchen cannot be taken off the menu. It is too popular. The staff will try to steer you around it at lunch because everyone who has had it wants it by default. Numerous thin slices of medium rare flank steak with mizuna (the flavorful green not to be confused with another Japanese import, Mizuno, makers of fine sporting equipment), flat leaf parsley, sherried red onions and a smattering of mild blue cheese rounding out the plate. Simple, filling and delicious. The big size at $11 is a meal and a great value. At about half that price, the smaller version goes well with a soup or entree.

Had lunch today at Veritable Quandary which is convenient to where I bank and I needed money. They (VQ, not the bank) offered a flank steak salad with mizuna, cucumber shavings, citrus vinaigrette and finely chopped ancho chiles, so (thinking fondly of PK) I thought I'd try it. It was rather stingy with the meat and overall didn't hit entree size, in my estimation, though it was sold as one at $14. I liked the salad. It had more elements than the PK version with the chiles hit, plus some avocado and queso fresco. But the cheese was boring, and, while the tangerine segments thrown in were all right, the whole lime segments were a bit puckery. So, even though it had more stuff in it, by contrast to the PK flank steak salad, I frankly felt a little ripped off.

So, in the specialized niche of flank steak salads, it's Park Kitchen in a walk.

Link: http://www.mizuno.co.jp/

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