Worst Dishes 2010

The saddest part of the worst dishes of 2010 is that 2 restaurants we have gone to almost since the beginning are no longer on our list. Both Drago and Takao have been “important” restaurants to us, but I can no longer recommend them and in fact have no intention of returning. Pizzeria Mozza made the list because of all the hype that for us is just not there. My next restaurant is from another chef – Chef Voltaggio – who has garnered a great deal of attention. I have only had one meal with Chef Voltaggio so this could be an unfair indictment, but my major feeling at the time was the lack of editing of what is served and that the main protein was sometimes being executed poorly in favor of the bells and whistles of the accompaniments. Stefan’s on Montana is a joke – poor food executed badly. Finally, I have been in search of fried clams with the bellies – Blue Plate used to do it well – no longer.

Actually, the list of worst dishes is very short so I consider myself lucky and very fortunate.

Pizzeria Mozza

Arancine alla bolognese – tiny balls of nothing, My husband ate half of one ball and I took a bite of the other half of the ball.

Fried Squash blossoms with ricotta – our server said this was a favorite antipasti at Mozza. Why?  Tiny fried blossoms with a teaspoon of ricotta stuffed inside is not a wonderful stuffed squash blossom. We each ate a half of a blossom.

Langham with Chef Voltaggio

Skate wing, scrambled cauliflower, chives, brown butter powder and sauce, caper powder – so much effort seemed to be put into the accoutrements that the main protein i.e. the skate was executed poorly – dry and basically inedible.

Takao

Green Tea noodle wrapped with flounder, soba soup – this was just not good, a mess with gluey green noodle “stuffing”

Stefan’s on Montana – no pics

Clam Chowder – the clam chowder was thick but was a weird color – sort of brown, definitely not white which it should have been. My husband thought that it had been overcooked and was “scorched.”

Caesar Salad was a joke – mostly consisting of torn up Romaine, a light sprinkling of parmesan, a light dousing of Caesar salad dressing and a couple of white anchovies on top.

Egg white benedict – the olive oil tomato hollandaise was tasteless, the egg white rubbery with 3 small slices of avocado and some stringy spinach on a cold English muffin.

Drago

Spaghetti, cured tuna (bottarga), oil, garlic, lemon zest.  The bottarga dish was awful…this is a dish that has had a special, distinctive taste since the restaurant opened.  Last night it tasted like pasta in badly made dishwater…all of the unique character of the bottarga was missing. Jason, the new manager, came over to ask how everything was and my husband said he couldn’t eat one bite of the bottarga. Jason sought to explain this change to us by saying, “We knew you probably would order this and knew you would be disappointed.  We can’t get the original bottarga and this one has to have lemon zest added to try and replicate the original bottarga.  Sorry about that.”

Sweet corn ricotta pillows, white truffles, parmesan cheese – the white truffles made this a $36.00 entree. The white truffles were tasteless and basically non-existent.

Blue Plate Oysterette

Fried Whole Belly Clams – greasy and not even close to what they used to do.

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6 Responses to “Worst Dishes 2010”


  1. 1 PDQ December 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

    “We knew you probably would order this and knew you would be disappointed.”

    1) Then why bother serving it?
    2) So do they know you’re a restaurant critic? I thought anonymity was the objective in your business.

  2. 2 foleydog December 22, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Mozza (pizzeria) has been that bad since the beginning. I’ve tried, and tried to like that place (once going two days in a row). Saving my money for the old standards these days – though from the looks of your other dishes – that’s not safe either.

  3. 3 lizziee December 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    PDQ – I am not a restaurant critic. I just love good food and wine and Refined Palate is a hobby. I pay for every meal, do not attend any freebie media food events, do not accept any advertisements and receive no pay whatsoever from Refined Palate. This is strictly a labor of love.

  4. 4 michael elias December 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Amazingly, the Pizza at Mozza pizza is second rate. The acclaimed crust is greasy, and if you don’t gobble it up immediately the thick toppings end up cold. The waiters have a smug attitude (the aren’t you lucky to be here) and after a smoked meat platter arrived I had to wait 20 minutes for some toasted bread. I prefer Wood Fire in Westwood.

  5. 5 Dave December 22, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    While Battali’s pizza is bad, his restaurant next door is much worse. Kudo’s to the cheese bar but I had a veal dish which was inedible, and I can eat almost anything. After 3.5 hours, we left. Terrible


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