Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Zuni tunes

Title-writing skills continue to deteriorate here at California Eating...

Last night we went back to Zuni Cafe to celebrate the arrival of G, a real food lover and former Boston compatriot. Some places, like Zuni and Chez Panisse, make me feel like a pilgrim worshiping at the sacred sites. California looms so large in your consciousness when you're living on the east coast and studying American food, and I still feel a little thrill when I try the signature dishes.

One classic, the house-cured anchovies, was everything I'd hoped it would be. Anchovies walk that fine line between the sublime and the foul, but these were fantastic. No oily-fishy residue here. Just a rich briny wallop in a tiny little tender package.

The roast chicken was also perfect, but the bread salad underneath was soggy with oil. It went way beyond unctuousness to something closer to greasy. Eh, it was probably just an off night.

I do have one other criticism, though, which remains constant with every visit: Could the staff please act just a little happy to have you there? They may as well introduce themselves with, "My name is Jeffrey, I'll be your waiter tonight, and I couldn't give two shits about it."

But I'll be back, because it's just that good...

5 comments:

oakland heidi said...

That's too bad you had bad service. I had exceptional service on my last visit there... and I'm picky about that sort of thing. He was very friendly, great wine advice, attentive, and amazingly genuine.

But maybe I've just been lucky!

Their cocktails are also wonderful.. its never a shame to arrive a little early and soak in the atmosphere...

Mona said...

Oh boy, different nights had different service. That's always interesting. Ha, but Amy I love your last phrase about they might as well be wearing signs that say "don't give a shit..." Funny! I have to say I agree with you on that sometimes...good to know the food outweighed the service though.

Miss M said...

I too have had the misfortune of the greasy bread salad with the equally greasy chicken. No fun...

Salbert said...

About the chicken, I know a good BBQ chicken recipe, have you ever heard of calamondin lemons? They are small, round orange lemons. I put the recipe on my blog a while back. It's in the archives.

karrie said...

Oh my...Zuni. I used to walk by there on the way home and stare at the people inside. The vision reminded me of a Banana Republic ad. Never been, though! Maybe when I move back out west...