OK.... as a local, a foodie and a chef by profession I am giving five stars. I have put off reviewing this place for years because I JUST WASN'T SURE how I truly felt..... But last night's meal was the third in a row for SURPRISINGLY DIFFERENT AND INTERESTING AND FLAVORFUL FOOD that I have found anywhere in SC.
I ordered the seared scallops with the house made squid ink pasta. I am Italian. I ordered it for the noodles, let's just be honest. Same reason I ordered the red chili risotto on my last visit. That, was great. THIS... I won't lie... I cried a little. These noodles could not have been made or cooked more perfectly. The sauce, very light... a viscous broth of shitakes and leeks. The pasta... JET BLACK. Beautiful. Chewy. Thick. No eggy or fishy taste AT ALL. Perfection. And I do not claim to be any expert, but I do have a $15k culinary education and have eaten noodles in all parts of Italy and do get paid daily for my skills and knowledge. These guys or girls, whomever is in that kitchen... can make pasta! (So, slightly biased...yeah, I'll admit it.)
It was Friday night in February. Surprisingly packed inside. We had resos and specified one of the only three booths in the place. (I like to relax, lay back, chill. I despise tables/chairs if there is ANY OTHER OPTION.) They were surprisingly accommodating with the booth even though we were only a party of two. There were quite a few BIG groups while we were there. Like, eight plus people all around us. And, to be honest, none of which were even remotely kind, courteous or patient with the wait staff. (grrrr...)
Our server, though clearly working at the top end of his patience level, was thorough, precise and honest about everything we inquired about and ordered. (I truly appreciate an honest waitperson. If I ask you "Is this good?" I expect you to treat me like a buddy and tell me the truth. I would... you should too. And I do, in turn, tip you accordingly.) He rocked-I do not. (I didn't get your name, d'oh. SORRY!)
Yep, it was loud. It was crowded (with *clears throat* a lot of id-E-ots, spring break type id-E-ots, and tourist... bless their impatient rude little hearts.) No, it is not cheap. It is not "authentic" Mexican (thank god). Yes, I do believe you have to KNOW what to order. (I have tasted other dining companions' meals in the past and not been impressed.)
-Order the Lobster Quesadilla. Yes, it's twenty bucks.... wait for it.
-If there is ANY house made pasta on the menu... JUST.ORDER.IT
-TIP YOUR SERVER WELL. This is a very touristy location. Us locals very much appreciate good food and it is almost impossible to get at any of the "regular" tourist joints. Tourists are notoriously bad tippers, they just are. These people are working their behinds off to make your tired, sunburnt, Prius driving behind happy. TIP APPROPRIATELY.