My sister and I went to Zambra early last evening (5:00 PM) for some tapas before going to listen to music. The hostess was very pleasant and professional. We asked to sit in the bar area as we wanted a quick in and out. Within seconds of being seated, a server brought water and asked what beverages we would like. We were still deciding on the wine so we asked for a few minutes. No less than fifteen minutes later someone else finally showed up at the table. I was at the point where I wanted to walk out but the menu looked so good that I also wanted to stay.
We ordered several different small plates to share. The food came out in no particular order. After the first item came, another server came over and asked if we wanted to get anything else. We explained that we had already ordered several other items and were waiting on them. There seemed to be no communication between the service staff.
The duck and chicken terrine came straight from the refrigerator and so was fairly cold. Two large slabs were served with two wafer thing pieces of lahvash. The terrine was so cold that it felt hard and the lahvash so thin and fragile that it was impossible to spread the terrine. The flavor was good; the execution was poor. The quail was decent but the accoutrements seemed odd. There was some sort of beet splash on the plate that made it look like a bloody trail. The Pork tongue taco was tasty but a little dry and unassuming. The pork belly enchilada was odd. The enchilada tasted like it was filled with Thanksgiving stuffing and the pork belly, very well cooked, was laid across the top.
All together the food was mediocre. I find it off putting when a restaurant utilizes twelve ingredients in a recipe just because the ingredients are current and topical. Less is more. Simple food can be quite a culinary experience.
Additionally, the restaurant was so dark that one could barely read the menu. The table wobbled and spilled our drinks and the walk to the bathroom was down a tunnel like hallway that seemed to be a half block long. I would never return. There are too many places to try.
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