May 30, 2010

Out & About: Urban Solace

Many things have happened in the past few months for me, including graduating from law school. I recently started studying for the California Bar, so I will be a hot mess from now until the end of July. In any case, I need study breaks to keep me sane. So, Mr. Tall and I try to go out to dinner (or the movies) once a week, and I signed up on Yelp to write occasional reviews of  our culinary adventures. 

I just wrote my first review on Yelp about Mr. Tall and I's recent visit to Urban Solace (US). Mr. Tall and I use Yelp very often, but I have never written a review on their until now. So, I've posted it here--sorry, no pictures though!

Mr. Tall and I went to US the other Friday night for dinner. We tried to make a reservation that afternoon for a 7:00pm dinner, but the only time slots remaining were at 5:45pm or 9:00pm. The restaurant suggested that we just walk in, and they would likely seat us in the patio area which is not subject to reservations.

We arrived at around 7:00pm and were seated in the patio after about 15-20 minutes. I ordered a Plantation Ice Tea (ice tea and pineapple juice), and Mr. Tall ordered an Arnie Palmer (ice tea and lemonade). Both were refreshing for a summer day and good alternatives to their cocktails.

We shared an order of Sweet Potato Fries with Maytag Blue Cheese-Buttermilk Dressing as our starter. US uses a different type of sweet potato for their fries, not the yam variety you would find at most grocery stores. I'm not sure what kind of sweet potato it is though; it has more of a yellow flesh, as opposed to the orange color we're familiar with. Although the fries were fresh, they were a bit mushy and not quite crispy--presumably from either not being cooked at the right temperature, or not being cooked long enough. They tasted fine, but it could have been a lot better in comparison to sweet potato fries I have had elsewhere.

Mr. Tall ordered the "Not Your Momma's Meatloaf" Ground Lamb, Figs, Pine Nuts, Feta Cheese with Fig Jus, which he enjoyed but it wasn't anything to write home about. I tried a couple of bites, and I thought it was pretty moist but the texture could have been better.

I ordered the Bacon Wrapped Sustainable Idaho Trout, stuffed with Spinach and Mushroom, and served with Lemon Butter and Roasted Potato. I was not a fan of this dish at all. First, the bacon was not cooked very well and not at a high enough temperature to create a good crust for the fish. Bacon almost always makes everything better, but, in this case, it just made a chewy, unappealing crust. To make matters worse, the skin of the fish was left on underneath the bacon. Ultimately, the dish ended up with the trout's slimy skin, barely cooked, stuck on the bacon. Not a pretty sight and not a tasty combination.

The best thing about our dinner at US was the dessert: Salted Caramel Pot de Crème, topped with Dark Chocolate Cap and Cocoa Nib Crust. The combination of the sweet and salty caramel was irresistible, and the dark chocolate perfectly complimented the smooth custard. I may be slightly biased because I adore anything with caramel and sea salt/fleur de sel. Regardless, the Pot de Crème was so delicious that it redeemed the shortcomings of the fries and the entrées.

Overall, the ambiance and service was good. I have been to US for dinner a few times prior to this and once for lunch. So, I have come to the conclusion that, in terms of the food, US is a better place for lunch, or their Bluegrass Brunch may be worth a try.



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