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Basque Cultural Center - SKIP IT

Overall rating: 3 (out of 10). Despite a few positive comments from Chowhounders, I don't think this place is worth your time. The food could easily have come from a high school cafeteria, the service was slow and inattentive, and the decor reminded me of an Old Country Buffet.

Food rating 3 (out of 10). I ordered the nightly special of New York Strip and Seafood Crepe for $20.95 and my spouse ordered the Duck Leg Confit for $19.95. The meal started with a bottomless bowl of butternut squash soup which was tasty, but lumpy and a bit watered down. The seafood crepe arrived next (before the salads) and was drowned in a heavy cream sauce. Salmon was the only filling I could see, or taste in the crepe. Chopped salads arrived and were drowned in a heavy creamy tarragon dressing resembling mayonnaise. Next up were the duck and steak entrees. The duck was greasy and rubbery and the New York Strip looked and tasted like a Hungry Man dinner. Both entrees had the same mix of overcooked bland vegetables.

Service rating (4 out of 10): service was generally slow and took nearly 10 minutes before we could find a waiter to take our order. Refills on drinks were a struggle.

Decor (2 out of 10): Old Country Buffet.

Cafe Kati - Solid as Ever 1/07

The service was quite good - we talked with the chef, who told us they had a server meltdown ealrier this year, but they seem to have put it back together.

Cafe Kati - Solid as Ever 1/07

It's been a few years since we've been, but we went last night and had another solid meal. The food was delicious and the service excellent.

Overall: 8/10
Food: 8/10
Service: 9/10
Decor: 7/10
Value: 8/10

We started with a the mango spring rolls and butternut squash soup before moving on to the black bass in a miso glaze and the "brick" chicken (although they don't call it that). Before staring with the appetizers, we devoured the herbed scones served with a side of butter and honey.

The portions were generous and everything was cooked quite well. The spring rolls were quite fresh and the soup had a nice kick of curry in it. The bass was carmelized nicely and I was pleasantly surprised that the brick chicken so tender and juicy.

Maui Dining

As with many touristy places, Maui is mediocre when it comes to dining. We found a couple of decent, but overpriced places.

David Paul - overall 8/10. The portions were decent, the food was overpriced, and the service was junior varsity. The lobster ravioli was excellent and was the highlight of the meal. The rack of lamb had 4 nice chops and were cooked well. The pork chop was overdone and chewy (I asked for medium, but it came out well-done). Appetizes averaged $17, entrees $40, and desserts $15.

Banyan Tree - overall 7/10. The portions, food, and service were decent, but the food was overpriced. The kampachi (hamachi) was very fresh and the fillet mignon was cooked and seasoned perfectly. The crab cake appetizers were forgettable as was the "signature" pineapple cake. The 3 course prix-fix was $100 and the kampachi was $40.

Enjoy the island, but keep your dining expectations in check.

Dec 27, 2006
sf foodie in Hawaii

Carmel dining - Passion Fish and Forge in the Forest

Had a wonderful dinner last night at Passion Fish in Pacific Grove.

Passion Fish - 8/10 overall

Food highlights - the seafood was fresh and the portions were generous. The grilled Halibut was a touch overcooked, but had a delicious cilantro cream sauce. The grilled striped bass was slightly undercooked and was served over a bed of rosemary rice.

Service - the restaurant was very accomodating when changing our reservation and the service was quite knowledgeable and friendly.

Value - nowhere in Carmel or in the Bay Area will you find such tasty and healthy portions of fresh fish at reasonable prices (~19) per dish.

Forge in the Forest - 5/10 overall

Mediocre and overpriced outdoor dining spot with friendly service and cramped and uneven flooring. The highlight was bucket of clams and mussels for ~$13. The Cobb salad was better than most, but the $11? Black Angus burger and the panko crusted sand dabs were forgettable.

One interesting note regarding pricing - the restaurant has a doggie menu (literally for dogs) that includes a $4 hot dog and $5 1/4 pound hamburger...

Sep 03, 2006
sf foodie in California