Worst Dishes of 2009

We have been very lucky as the list of worst dishes is not that long. To be listed as the worst, the dish had to be executed poorly. This was not a matter of personal preference, but rather a very, badly prepared dish.

Sonny Mcleans – Santa Monica

Fried Clams – these don’t look horrible but take a look up close

This was all breading – the clam is on the far right – smaller than one joint of your little finger

Real Fried Clams with the bellies – Neptune’s Oyster – Boston

The Lobster – Santa Monica

Lobster Roll – Where oh where is the lobster? This should have been called a Mayo Roll.

A Real Lobster Roll – Neptune’s Oyster – Boston

Santa Monica Seafood

New England Clam Chowder – absolutely horrid and inedible – tasted like tin. This should never have been served and if a cook tasted it, I have questions about the tasting ability of the cook. I was going to buy a quart to bring home – I wouldn’t have bought one teaspoonful. My husband complained and they did take this off the bill.

Craft Bar – Century City

Calamari and White Anchovy  – the white anchovy was a tapenade and basically added little or no flavor. The calamari was tough, chewy and basically inedible.

La Cachette – Santa Monica

Lightly creamed lobster and blue crab bisque – completely tasteless – one taste only. To the restaurant’s credit, this was taken off the bill.

Ariadne- Boston

Tuna Sashimi with avocado, passion fruit, peanuts, miso & pea sprouts

This was an $18 slightly larger course of 5 small slices of tuna that you needed a magnifying glass to find. It was topped with a huge “salad” of grated daikon, carrots and other assorted “stuff.” I kept thinking there must be more tuna under all the stuff on top. No such luck. Why the peanuts is a mystery to me. I would say that the food cost for this dish was approximately 10% if that. Absolutely dreadful.

Bistro Jeanty – Yountville

Deep-fried smelts with spicy aioli – For some reason the coating kept falling off – not even close to the wonderful smelts they used to do

Smelts at Jeanty done right.

Enoteca Drago – Beverly Hills

Breakfast  Pizza – Onion, Mushrooms, Bacon & Eggs – I am imagining a runny yolk. Do you see that pitiful hard one yolk? Where oh where are the caramelized onions? To the restaurant’s credit, they remade the pizza.

The pizza redone – quite a difference.

XIV – West Hollywood

White Asparagus, Risotto, Porcini, Chervil, Castelmagno Cheese – This was awful – undercooked risotto – think tiny hard bits of rice.

Yang Chow – Chinatown

Steamed dumplings – horrible

Tavern – Brentwood

No photo

Fried Oyster and Bacon Brochette with Tabasco Aioli – I was imagining lovely fried oysters that would take me back to New Orleans. No such luck. This version was a lump of 3 oysters on a skewer that tasted as bad as it looked; heavy breaded greasy mushy oysters, bordering on “bad” oysters with barely cooked bacon – a mess.

I edited in a photo of Galatoire’s oysters en brochette:

Galatoire – New Orleans – perfect

Xi’an – Beverly Hills

No Photo

Crispy Onion Pancakes – soggy pancakes that were tasteless – one bite only.

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5 Responses to “Worst Dishes of 2009”


  1. 1 SinoSoul January 20, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Majority of the dishes listed involved seafood, 50% of that fried. I personally thought Tavern’s oyster + bacon skewers were fantastic every single time (that’s 3 times) I’ve ordered ’em. It’s deep fried bacon, not sure how well done it must be? Otherwise, I prefer my fishes steamed, stewed, stir fried, braised, or raw (but never in a “salad” involving greens).

  2. 2 lizziee January 20, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Sinosoul – I love all seafood – what happens, though, it is easier to mess up deep fried seafood in the hands of an unskilled chef. I edited into the above post a photo of Galatoire’s (New Orleans) oysters en brochette – absolutely perfect. Also, if you look at my favorite dishes of 2009 – the seafood is rarely deep-fried.

  3. 3 David Haskell January 20, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Tavern was one of the worst meals ever. Whether it was fried, steamed, sauted etc…the worst meal of 2009

  4. 4 catherine lowe January 21, 2010 at 3:51 am

    I think i’ll go for the soup and pizza. Mmmm look tasty!

  5. 5 sam January 31, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Seems like the majority of the worst dishes were in the Westside. Not surprising, actually. I’m glad you included mentions of alternatives or whether they tried to rectify the situation.


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