Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Restaurant Chu

We went to Restaurant Chu on a Monday night, and the place was deserted. The fact that nobody else was eating there contributed to the general feeling of loneliness and existential angst that you experience when you walk into Restaurant Chu. The decor is dark; black floor, black tables, black ceiling, and several black walls. It's a little like eating dinner on the Death Star, but without the friendly service.

They start you off with a complementary cup of potato curry soup. Which is actually quite warm and inviting, despite being served in an endless expanse of darkness.

We got spring rolls because we always get spring rolls. The unusual presentation led us to hope for something special, but they tasted pretty similar to the spring rolls at much less expensive Chinese restaurants. Too much cabbage, not enough flavor.

They were served with a sweet and sour lemon sauce. We both tried it and ended up dipping them into soy sauce instead. Neither of us are big fans of sweet-and-sour sauce, but this one was at least unique in that it tasted very lemony.

Chili oil, rice vinegar, and soy sauce: the Holy Trinity of Chinese condiments. Chu scores points for having these on the table; and in such lovely (if not entirely practical) bottles.

Steve got the "Chu Mojito." It's basically a mojito with a little bit of ginger. Mmmmmmmmojitos!

Mongolian beef. Not very interesting. The meat itself was good and tender. But the sauce was total snoresville. Briana thought it was too salty, and Steve thought it wasn't salty enough. Either way, we both wished we'd ordered something else.

Szechuan Dry Fried Chicken. This was great. It's a lot like the Szechuan Dry Fried Prawns at Shen Hua (or Kirin on Solano). Briana was worried this would be too sweet, but it totally wasn't. The sauce is an awesome spicy, gingery situation, and the chicken is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Good stuff.



Restaurant Chu is fully operational.

OK, so the food at Restaurant Chu is hit-or-miss, and it's pretty expensive. We suppose you're paying for the ambiance, so if you've ever wondered what it would be like to have dinner inside of a black hole, maybe it's worth it to find out.

The service was also unfriendly. Not rude, just cold and indifferent. Chu, we give you 2.5 Sabuys:

Next stop: Hudson Bay Cafe!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Burrito Shop

The East Bay Express wanted to interview us for the Insider's Guide to the Bay Area and we thought, how better to inform the interviewer about our blog than to take him on a review with us. Fortunately for his pocketbook, but unfortunately for his palette, we took him to the Burrito Shop. As natives of the East Bay it was a wonder that neither of us had ever been here. But now it makes sense. It was just what we figured. It is not a hidden treasure of Mexican flavors. Nope. The food is about what you would expect from the creative minds that named their burrito shop "The Burrito Shop."

Steve and Luke (our interviewer) got burritos. Steve got pollo asado, and Luke got carnitas. You can't tell which burrito this is from this photo, just like we couldn't tell which burrito was which by eating them. The burritos were bland is what we're saying.

Briana had this tostada.
nicely grilled dark meat (chicken)

the shell was just a giant stale corn chip
not spicy... at all

The Burrito Shop has a salsa bar with three types of salsa: mild, milder, and water. Luke pointed out the one labeled "mild" was actually the one closest to having some sort of flavor. What we're trying to tell you is that the salsa is also bland.

The Burrito Shop gets our lowest rating yet: 1 Sabuy:

Luke Tsai, however, gets 5 Sabuys. Thanks for the interview, and for joining us for our worst review yet!

Good to know. Maybe people wouldn't take so much salsa if they could taste it.

The Burrito Shop staff were really nice. Sorry we gave you such a bad review!

Next stop: Restaurant Chu!