I went to Tides one fine Sunday recently - actually it wasn't so fine. The sky was overcast, the wind was blowing and things looked bleak. My clone and I got down there around 6 and popped in, worried about being able to get a table. No problem since there were only two other people in the whole place.
If you haven't been to Tides, the obsessive compulsive ceiling with a swirling, swooping, intricate, inverted sculpture made of bamboo skewers is as breath-taking as Notre Dame's rose window in an arts and crafts kind of way. There are only a few tables, two booths and everything feels woodsy, and constructed by hand. It was all so little and cute I kept expecting our meal to be served by tiny Japanese toys.
The menu was limited, but that's the way I like it. Oysters were fine, still attached to their shells which was nice, and the hand grated horseradish was as light and airy as foam. The calamari was good but didn't rock my world or anything and since my clone is a clone and feels everything I feel, they agreed. For main courses we ordered the lobster roll and soft shell crab.
There's something triumphant about eating soft shell crab. I spend so much of my time living in fear of crabs severing one of my toes while I'm at the beach that biting through their shells and gulping down their tiny legs sends a message to the crab community, in my opinion. I would like to do this in front of other crabs so they can scuttle off and tell their friends to back off when they see my feet coming. At Tides, the soft shell crab was great. You get two of them, deep fried and mashed flat and there's not much to say about them. When something's good it's good.
The lobster roll was fun, and I liked that you cut it up with a knife and fork because I'm a sissy and hate biting into a lobster roll and having the lobster squirt out the back. The roll it came in was fried a little and everything goes better with grease. The big disappointment were the sweet potato fries. I got the feeling that the kitchen hadn't realized that you have to fry fries twice. These had only been fried once and as a result they were limp, oily and soft.
I'd love to go back, but I'm a little worried it won't be around for long. My clone and I lingered from around 6 until 7:30 or so and in all that time there were only three other diners. The kitchen staff were all playing cards and doing the crossword puzzle when we left. I hope they got a rush twenty minutes later. Or maybe it was actually full of ninjas while I was there but I couldn't see them.
And don't miss the bathroom. What a sink!