My fiance and I celebrated my birthday at the USC on Friday. For years I've heard RAVE reviews about this place -- but we were quite disappointed. The food was fine, but not spectacular, and it seemed to focus on things that were once cutting-edge, but aren't any longer -- i.e. wasabi infused mashed potatoes. I'm sure the USC invented wasabi infused mashed potatoes ten years ago, and that they were copied the world over but... the food just didn't feel fresh, innovative or new anymore. My fiance had a tough ol' piece of beef (smoked steak). To top it off the service was so s-l-o-o-ooo-w... we couldn't get a reservation until 9 and by the time we finished eating and waiting, we had to skip dessert -- we were too tired!
On the other hand, we had a transcendental dinner at 71 Clinton Fresh Food -- still fantastic without Wylie Dufresne, even on a Sunday, even on Easter Sunday. What do you Chowhounds think? Is the reign of the USC over?