Still happy. Salmon taradito hits the table. Three bites of sashimi-style salmon topped with preserved lemon, cucumber, and jicama. Another minute passes, then it’s gone. Not jumping out of my chair but still happy nonetheless.
Next, the shrimp ceviche (or so they say) arrived. You say shrimp ceviche, I saw brown mush. The first thing I think is “man, that’s ugly.” It was presented in a simple drinking glass, which need I remind you is transparent? Pardon my doo-doo talk but it looked like exactly that… A cupful ‘o’ doo-doo. I didn’t take a picture for that exact reason. I thought no matter how good it tastes, no one needs to see that. F for presentation, moving on… Enter shrimp ceviche in mouth. ”What… what is that flavor ? What am I tasting??” After reluctantly chewing and thinking a little while longer, it came to me. A1 steak sauce? Yea, A1 steak sauce. I actually like A1, don’t get me wrong. But in a shrimp ceviche described on the menu as shrimp, market peppers, avocado, and spicy tomato jus, I wanted nothing to do with it. I was expecting a lovely, acidic ceviche lightly dressed in a tomato-scented broth with big slices of avocado and peppers. I felt like a dear friend stabbed me in the back. Province betrayed me. It literally tasted as if some shrimp and a bottle of A1 were thrown in a hole in the center of the earth, stomped on by sasquatch, then scooped into a clear, unfortunate serving dish and presented to my table. I’m still not convinced that’s not exactly what happened. It was simply terrible. I don’t understand how that would ever leave a kitchen or how a guest could leave happy after receiving it. After I tried it and realized it tasted as ugly as it looked, I had to document it. Here ya go. Imagine a clear glass filled with this slop…
Well, sasquatch shit on my parade. I was no longer happy. No amount of Eric Bordelet could wipe the heavy steak sauce flavor off of my tongue. I did give it a shot, though (cue empty glass). Perhaps my grilled octopus would raise my spirits. You know me, I love my grilled octo. Wrong again. Sad day for Kara. My grilled octopus with preserved lemons, rice beans, smoked olive aioli and chorizo had none of the exciting components described above. No grill marks or texture. No bright lemon flavor. Undercooked beans. M.I.A. smoked olive aioli. And okay, sure, the plate did actually have chorizo on it, but it was also disappointing. At this point I was too far down for anything to soften the fall. Glass still empty, literally and figuratively.
To top it off, two glasses of Eric Bordelet were on the bill. And the shrimp ceviche that I loved so dearly was on the bill not once but twice. No, thanks. Once was enough.
My return to the blog world feels bittersweet. I am super happy to feel a fire and have ammunition, but part of me feels sad for saying such “not nice” things. My intentions are in no way malicious, just honest after an unpleasant dining experience. A wise man that I consider a mentor told me that if I paid full price with my own money, I’m entitled to my opinion. So there ya have it.
Moral of the story? It’s a shame we reunite under these circumstances, but my buds are back, baby! Don’t mess with my mojo.