2501 Mariposa St. @ Hampshire
hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-2:30pm
Mon-Sat 6:30-10pm, Fri-Sat til 11pm
The Slow Club is a rare breed of restaurant. Often, a chef's
skills and efforts are foiled by poor service. In this case,
exceptional service is precluded by the paltry food. I hear
the burgers are some of the best in town, but why would you
wait in line at a nice restaurant to eat a burger?
This restaurant does not take reservations, which makes it a
hit with the, "Oh, let's just go out tonight," crowd. Heading
there after 7pm is risky.
Their large cement room has some inspired decorating that makes
it feel cozy and lush. The long black velvet curtains on the
walls lead to slightly divided seating areas (some raised) and
a bar in the back. It's an overall dark, mysterious, jazzy feel
illuminated by the open kitchen.
Very small and Californian. Five appetizers ($6-$9), including
organic salad, antipasto and flatbread; five entrees ($14-$18)
including blue nose bass with garlic risotto and a lobster cream
& tomato chutney, and grilled tri tip kabob with farro, artichoke
and wild arugula. The menu seems very small and, though slightly
creative, not varied enough.
Our antipasto was pretty good, with fresh broccoli rabe, olives,
tasty crostinis and goat cheese. I ordered the chipotle glazed
chicken breast with cumin dusted potatoes.
It was slathered in barbecue sauce.
Now, I understand that this was probably homemade and perhaps
even award-winning sauce, but to me, it tasted like any barbecue
sauce, which I'm not a fan of. The vegetables had been sauteed
in it I think, and were so tart and infused I could barely keep
from spitting them out. The chicken was better, but again the
sauce overwhlemed it. Blech.
We arrived, stood by the door for five minutes and were passed
by and ignored by the entire staff. I was somewhat surprised
we couldn't even make eye contact with anyone, much less get
a "Hello, someone will be with you in a minute." While wondering
if we were to give our name at the bar or just stand in line
at the door, someone finally assisted us.
After that, the staff was impeccable. The bartender was quick
with excellent wine service while we waited for our table, and
our waitress was friendly, knowledgeable and accurate. The man
who eventually played host to us also seemed to be bussing tables,
but as I rose to use the loo and as I returned, he was there
to pull out my chair and fold my napkin. The chivalry was a
Reservations: Not accepted.
The menu is so small that one strike-out entree leaves me wary
Reviewed : March 2004