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The Early Report

Sunday 18 April 2010

Food is a big deal to me in case that was not totally obvious. Food in Ashland is even more important, because that’s where I do most of my eating out. Here are the early comments since the last update:

Kobe: They were firing on all cylinders last night, with a strong Saturday showing after 8PM. And they’ve added a great new item, Hazelnut Crusted Shrimp, which is head and shoulders above any other shrimp-and-nut dish I’ve had. Coarsely crushed hazelnuts are used as a breading on butterflied shrimp, then deep-fried. There’s just a little chili pepper in the mix to add some bite; works great as an appetizer or a finishing course. Service excellent as usual.

Red Hibiscus: We tried this because it hasn’t been reviewed in Yelp yet, and a “First to Review” is highly prized. But I don’t want to give a low initial review; it seems cruel. And I find that I couldn’t really give it more than a 2 (out of 5). Service was exceptionally strong and friendly; everything was kept filled and items were served and removed promptly. But the beef teriyaki wasn’t flanken-cut (a.k.a. Korean style) ribs, as is most common, and the pork adobo tasted as though all the fat had been drained out of it, although without making it too dry. And the pork was just bland. It seems like they’re going for (almost) white tablecloth service, when the food wasn’t up to regular teenage-boy-portion Hawaiian food.

Martolli’s: Martolli’s was a life-saver during the film festival. Slices were hot and plentiful. Yesterday (Saturday) around 1PM they were packed, which is a good omen.

Motif: Is Motif still open as a restaurant? Whenever we went by–lunch, dinner, early, late–they looked dark and closed. We did not go back very late (e.g., after 11PM), so maybe the club business is doing well. Anyone who has information, please drop me a line.

Blue: New Greek restaurant in what looks like Il Giardino’s old spot on Granite Street. We haven’t been yet, as they were just soft-opening last week, but look forward to trying them on a return trip. Appears to be waited table service, not gyros and baskets of calamari.

No new tenant in Harper’s yet. All the other usual haunts (Larks, Pangea, Agave, Thai Pepper, Happy Falafel) still in business with no major changes.

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