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“Not all it was cracked up to be.”
Review of Shimo - CLOSED

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Shimo
Price range: $30 - $50
Cuisines: Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Matherson
Reviewed March 7, 2012

Food selection was limited and not coherent to what the restaurant wanted to be. Okay.

Thank John C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (6)
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3 - 6 of 6 reviews

Reviewed November 9, 2011

Confused, over-hyped, and expensive, if Shimo is the future of "modern steak," there will be an upsurge in vegetarianism.

Just off the square in Healdsburg, Douglas Keane of Cyrus tries to fuse pan-Asian influences with American beef. Regrettably, he fails miserably.

The décor of the dining room is only the first of Shimo's incongruities. An otherwise elegant room decorated in muted tones of brown and black is ruined by too bright lighting and rough hewn wooden tables without linens.

The menu continues the odd tenor of the establishment. Ranging from ramen or soba ($7.95) to a plethora of lackluster Asian side dishes ($4-$15) to New York strip steak ($55 per person for two people minimum), it lacks a central focus. The many small plates are billed as a combination of Japanese "comfort foods," but rather borrow flavors from all over Asia. (Doug, get a clue; kimchee is not Japanese.) The alleged star of the restaurant, steak, is relegated to a minor role on the menu, which offers only two true steak selections. Moreover, each steak option is only prepared for two or more people, so diners have to agree or sacrifice the chance for "the ultimate steak experience."

The overly pungent house-cured kimchee ($4) is so powerful as to overwhelm the flavor of anything eaten subsequently. Too much ginger overshadows the delicate big eye tuna, watermelon, and cucumber salad ($13). The combination of shitake, maitake, and crimini mushrooms ($10) was passable, but nothing special. Requested and served medium-rare, the six-ounce, grass fed filet mignon ($28) was delicious, but small.

With only nine pedestrian entries, the overpriced wine list is also a disappointment. Doug was either too busy creating the strange menu or too lazy to leverage the fact that his establishment is located in the middle of one of the world's premier wine growing regions to stock some truly great wines.

Service was friendly, if a little inexperienced. Water glasses went empty and wine took forever to be delivered to the table.

At Shimo, Keane's purported goal is to provide an "affordable, yet unique experience." Unfortunately, with its disjointed menu, high prices, and lack of focus, he disappoints on all fronts.

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Thank CJ G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2011

Our server, Adrienne, was very attentive to our entire table. Filet Mignon was cooked to perfection and went well with Sweet Corn dish and paired well with Alyssa Jane Pinot Noir.

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Thank ZONI480
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2011

Shimo (formerly Shimo Modern Steak) is the latest creation from two-star Michelin chef Doug Keane. Keane is the chef/co-owner of the top end and elegant Cyrus and the lower priced local burger emporium, the Healdsburg Bar & Grill. Keane's first iteration of Shimo turned out to be a disaster when the locals loved the free $195 steaks at the soft opening, but couldn't afford to go back when paying full freight. To be fair, there were several lower priced beef choices, but the combination of steaks, sides, and an overpriced wine list was not for Wednesday night casual dining. So now we have a try at the other end of the price spectrum (sort of) with a $7.95 bowl of noodles. Included in the price is, you guess it, a bowl of noodles (either ramen or soba) with your choice of four broths, a few sliced canned bamboo shoots, two thin sheets of nori (pressed seaweed), and a sprinkling of green onions. You can, however, add some protein, ranging from $2.50 for five pieces of tofu, three chunks of fatty pork belly for $4.50, on up to some Wagyu beef for $20 per oz. Vegetable options are also available. Service was friendly and an interesting touch was that a couple of the young chefs served the bowls in their white cooking jackets, one of whose sleeves were nicely rolled up to show off his tattooed artwork which completely covering his lower arms. This would probably be OK in a waterfront dive in some port city, but not the most appetizing sight for lunch in trendy downtown Healdsburg. Also interesting was that the chefs put their thumbs in the large bowls as they served them, no doubt testing to see that the broth temperature was just right. As to the quality of the four broths, all we could say was the kitchen was in desperate need of a good Japanese grandmother to show them how it was done. When the check came, we agreed that there was no real reason to go back to this version of Shimo. Instead, like the Rocky movies, wait for Episode Three.

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2  Thank Pendolino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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