F&F: Betel

April 7th, 2010 by Dick Johnson

PX This presents THE F&F REVIEW

Hey, sorry we couldn’t make it to "Friends&Family," we were out of town/ had to work/ not invited. We’re really glad we finally managed to come by, though— it’s so nice to see you!
What’s that? You would still like us to take the time to fill out the F&F survey, because you’d love to take advantage of all our vast experience, knowledge, insight, and expertise as long as we’re already here? Because you invited 75 people to F&F, and afterward all you got was 41 "Congrats[es]!" 22 "Awesome[s]!" 3 "Ciao[s]!" and 9 "Best of lucks[s]!" ?
Of course, we’d be honored. Oh ha, yesss, we’ll be honest— brutally honest even, ha ha! After all, that’s what friends & family are for!
No no please, don’t send anything more, we’re stuffed, we can’t breathe, you’ll have to roll us out of here, ha ha ha… !



What was your first impression?
It’s pretty.

Please rate the Bar:
Nice, spacious, clean. Comfortable enough. And the bartenders are amiable and knowledgeable.

Please rate the drinks/ cocktails/ wine:
Decent list overall, especially for a Vietnamese restaurant. Creative, with a healthy array of fresh-ingredient cocktails. Expensive, but not extravagantly I suppose, considering the generous volume.

Please rate the Dining Room:
Appealing, but rather cramped in the "modular" area. Seemingly geared more toward imbibing than dining. Fine, but personally, I would have done it differently.

Please rate the BOH:
Not bad. Ambitious, but contrived. Also expensive, despite the "large portion, family style" explanation. Overall: presentation OK, but execution slightly off.

How was the staff?
Good. Quite knowledgeable and adept, if not particularly amicable. Perfectly proficient. Conscientious, actually.

What did you eat?/ How was the food?
West coast oysters : Skip it. Especially at $3.80 a piece.
Bo La Lot : Nice presentation but a bit too salty. Beautifully fresh Boston lettuce, but the "sausages" were trite. And small.
Chicken and Crab Salad : Again, easier on the eyes than the palate. For all that rigmarole going on, it lacks distinction in the flavors. Just way too wet and heavy on the plate.
Braised Beef : Fine flavor (slightly sweet), but lacking in succulence. Hardly worth the hefty $32 price tag.
Ice Cream & Sorbet : Refreshing. The sesame ice cream is pretty delicious.

What did you like?
The location. And the space— I saw it in its prior incarnation, and this is a vast improvement.

What did you dislike?
The contrivedness.

What was your last impression?

Would you come back?
For a drink, maybe.

Thank you, and hope to see you soon!
Thank you, and best of luck.


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