Sunday, February 7, 2010

Restraurant Review: hmmmm

We had been dying to try out the restaurant, Citrus, in the Hotel Valencia downtown. As we left the restaurant last night, the jury was still out on how I felt about the experience as it was a lot like a roller coaster ride of up and downs. About thirty minutes after our departure from Citrus, the final minus came in. Let me start from the beginning...

Hotel Valencia is in a good location, down the street from the Majestic Theater, and they offer complementary valet-- yay the first plus. The entry way is less than impressive and the smell of an old hotel fills the air--minus. I thought I'd let that slide because B didn't seem to notice a smell and the entry floor wasn't even the main floor. We walk past the bar/lounge which seemed lively (plus), but when we get to the small restaurant the hostess asks if we have a reservation. We say no and she says, "well let me go ask the manager if we will be able to accomodate you." "Umm lady, there are eight people in your restaurant, do you really need to ask permission to seat us?" Minus. The woman finally comes back and miraculously shows us to our table. The decor was really pretty--plus. I am not crazy over the color red, but I liked the tall vases with calla lillies and the romantic atmosphere. Not sure if this is a plus or a minus, but as B said you could hear a pin drop in that place. Minus because there was no music to help set the mood, but at least it was quiet enough to hear each other--plus.

So we are seated and get complementary bottled water--plus. We also got fresh warm bread with butter--plus, plus. Our waiter Michael (Hispanic Dana Carvey) was very nice and helpful in describing the dishes. I ordered Riesling and B got a Shiraz and waiter Michael filled these bad boys up to the brim-plus. We enjoyed the bread and wine, but it took a while for Michael to come and get our dinner order. From the reviews I read online people seemed to enjoy that the waiters were not all up in their business so as not to rush their dining experience, but I was just feeling flat-out ignored at times-minus.

Eventually I ordered the broken arrow antelope with blackberry goat cheese sweet roll and sauce poivrade for my first course and eggplant mousakka for the second. B (okay his name is really Ben and calling him B is getting weird, he says he doesn't mind) ordered the crab cake with toasted pumpkin seed, avocado and mesclan salad and the
crisp rack of karabuta pork with seared cheddar grits and glazed mango. We twiddled our thumbs for an hour before we ever saw our food--minus, minus, minus.

When the food finally came it seemed like everything was worth it. The textures and flavors were amazing. We actually filled up on our first courses--plus. I mean we sure should have filled up, that single crab cake cost SIXTEEN dollars-major minus. The second set of dishes came out and we couldn't even make a dent in them. Ben's pork was cooked to perfection, juicy with a crisp sweet outside, and I joked that pig was a sinful, dirty meat. It was my first time to eat antelope, but I was sure loving it, plus.

We took the rest of the main courses to-go and finished the dinner off with the cinnamon croissant bread pudding and two decaf coffees. Dessert was a big plus and we were feeling pretty content. I visited the bathroom and thought it was better decorated than the rest of the hotel, which was minimalist in a bad way. The best part of the bathrooms, beside the terry cloth hand towels and bowl-sink things was that there were mirrors in every stall! Plus! You could stare at your hair and outfit for as long as you want and no one would notice! Uh, or so I thought. On my second trip to the bathroom I really got into my secret-stall poses. As I walked out of the stall this girl was mad muggin' me and at first I thought she was non-verbally acusing me of the foul odor lingering in the area, but then I noticed the opaque glass pannel on the stall door. Although you cannot completely see in, that girl was most definitely aware of my private runway, probably from the shadows coming through the door. oops.

The nice guys at valet held on to our leftovers and told us the next place we wanted to hit up was within walking distance and we could leave our car at their hotel--plus. We briskly found our way to the Riverwalk's best kept secret, Delores del Rio. This place is only about as large as a post office waiting area and it looks like from the interior that it was never supposed to be an indoor space. This place is so quirky--there isn't really a normal menu and you have to walk through the kitchen to get to the bathroom. There were two guys playing live music and after a couple of songs they actually got taken over by a group of Toddler's in Tiaras contestants (there had to be some kind of convention going on because I saw lots of little cheerleaders) who sang acoustic versions of I Gotta Feelin' and Boom Boom Pow. When I have been to this place in the past there was cajun music and belly dancing.

Ben and I each get a glass of Chianti after the friendly manager guy jokes with us about Ben being a "soulja" who he would gladly accompany to Iraq and that behind every good man was a good woman--me. We didn't really get it, but he was just so nice and giggly we went with it. Just when we are really enjoying ourselves, being all romantic and vibbing the music, I feel a tight pressure/ache in my lower abdomen. I attribute it to all that I just ate and maybe a little feminine troubles. I look over at Ben and he is looking a little more pale than usual. His eyes start to water and he bolts for the bathroom.

Turns out Citrus rears its ugly head for a final minus. A la Charlotte and Harry and their "f-ing fromage" the rest of the night was spent taking turns in the bathroom, with Ben bearing most of the burden. It had to have been the dirty and sinful pork because I only had a taste. Looks like we will not be eating our leftovers nor will we be paying an arm and a leg for food poisoning ever again.

P.S. I totally saw the lastest Millionaire on Millionaire MatchMaker on the Riverwalk!


M said...

You weren't kidding about the ups and downs here...yikes...sorry bout the food poisoning! How miserable!

tom laster said...

Poisoned!? That's terrible!
Match-maker!? That's incredible!

Now THAT is an up and down!