Sunday, April 13, 2008


My culinary partner in crime was visiting from NYC this weekend and one restaurant on our 'tour' was Moto's sister restaurant, Otom. Ex-sous chef at Moto, Daryl Nash, offers more affordable dishes but with very little influence from his molecular gastronomy experience from his famous neighbor.

Overall, the food is forgettable. And we were bummed about it.

We were off to a good start; we loved our server, my citron on the rocks with a splash of soda with lemon dangerously hit the spot and the staff was very attentive and on-point. Our server pushed the salmon civiche with citrus bubbles, chili, cucumber and wonton chips and the butter poached shrimp, black beans & chili with puffed rice & jalapeno noodle. We went for the shrimp and Simone ordered the soup of the day which was a smoked vegetable. Sounds good, right? Wrong.

Things came to a halt after I got my shrimp. They weren't clean. They made the incision to devain them but didn't actually devain them. Whoops. I immediately pointed this out to our server who was so-so-so apologetic but I had lost my appetite by then. I just told them I would wait for my entree, try Simone's soup and keep to my tasty cocktail. The soup was not a puree which we kind of expected/wished. Rather it was a hearty soup with lots of beans and the 'smokey' flavor in the title on the menu hardly came through.

The star of the night was Simone's vegetarian entree; roasted butternut squash & hon-shemedji mushrooms with seared tofu and freeze-dried peas. The peas added a whole new dimension to the dish and the dish itself was delicious. My order of the short rib ravioli with shallot & sage goat cheese & candied sweet potato and brown butter fell short but was still good.

Dessert was inventive, playful and fun. Cheers to the pastry chef. They also comped them to make nice for the shrimp dish. Overall, Simone and I had a blast. Good company will never ruin a dinner. But would we go back? Don't think so.

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