Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh of Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi | Ask Your Questions Now ›

Coffee & Tea

Los Angeles Area

First time at Sapp Coffee Shop.... what went wrong?


Coffee & Tea 12

First time at Sapp Coffee Shop.... what went wrong?

Mr. Taster | Jul 11, 2005 01:57 AM

After hearing so many good things about Sapp Coffee Shop, my girlfriend and I decided to pop 'round for lunch.

I was surprised to find that the much heralded "boat noodles" were merely a standard, machine made sticky noodle bird's nest contraption at the bottom of a bowl of intensely beef liver flavored soup. Please understand that I like beef liver... but the broth was so rich and so intensely, funkily liver-y that after about 5 spoonfuls I was through, leaving my girlfriend to polish off the remainder. Now I'm a huge noodle fan, and I suppose my expectations for the "boat noodles" were irrationally high. I imagines something unique, little chewy curved boat-shaped noodles whose texture I could chew and savor, and the sticky mass at the bottom of my bowl was not what I expected. I admit this is an unreasonable criticism, and it is not the fault of Sapp that their food was not up to my imaginary expectations :-) Why are they called "boat noodles" anyway?

My girlfriend ordered the Yen Ta Fo, which was a blindingly borscht-colored pink soup, with a unique flavor... a little sour, a little (too) sweet, especially to finish an entire bowl. Again I had 2 spoonfuls and felt that I had eaten enough.

My last bastion of hope was the BBQ chicken. At about $5 this was a decent value, as a generous plate of chicken arrived in front of us-- a drumstick, a wing, and several hacked-up breast pieces. The chicken smelled great and the grill marks on the chicken foreshadowed much deliciousness. Unfortunately the chicken was too dry, and although the flavor was alright (not extraordinary), I found myself having to repeatedly dip the chicken into the sweet condiment on the table in order to maintain the moisture level of my mouth.

So I ask you, fellow hounds.... (and I know that this place is one of Rabo's favorites, so I'd love to hear your take on this)... what went wrong? I find that the Chowhound consensus rarely guides me off the tried and true path of deliciousness, so perhaps you could provide some insight into my less than houndly experience here. Were my expectations too unreasonable, did I order the wrong items, or were they simply having a bad day?


Mr. Taster

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound