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“Unique place, good food and service”
Review of XS

Ranked #1,097 of 2,064 Restaurants in Baltimore
Price range: $1 - $30
Cuisines: Sushi, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night
Neighborhood: Mount Vernon
Reviewed February 23, 2014

We went as a family of three to XS before a show at the Lyric. Arriving around 6pm on a Saturday night, there were plenty of seats available on the upper levels. Luckily, I had read-up on XS and knew to just walk on in and seat ourselves. I can see how someone expecting a traditional host/hostess would be confused arriving at the door, seeing what appears to be a dessert counter and bar, with no host or signage about what to do, though. A simple sign would help. The menu is extensive: all day breakfast (omelettes, waffles, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes), sandwiches (panini, burgers), pan-Asian and sushi. Pretty unique!

The restaurant is laid out on four levels, each open to the one above and below. I can see that once the DJ gets going on the 4th level in later hours it might get noisy. For us, between 6 - 8pm, it was fine and at a conversational tone. Not sure when the DJ shows, but it is after 8pm at least on a Saturday.

We arrived on the 4th level - cozy and calm - picked a seat and were immediately attended to by our server, Zoey. She was friendly, attentive and prompt throughout. A second server also checked a few minutes later to make sure we had our drink order taken. I read a lot about inconsistent service; it seems to me that may have taken some steps to correct that. These two servers handled the 10 or so tables on Level 4 and did it well.

We ordered apps - steamed pork and wasabi dumplings, and spring rolls. The dumplings were delicious, but had cooled a bit traveling up several flights of stairs. Still good. The spring rolls, according to my wife, were delicious, among the best she ever had. For a main course, I ordered chef's choice sashimi and a dragon role. The dragon roll was excellent, though a little less spicy than I am used to. The sushi was very good, appeared fresh. The preparation was not as perfect as I would expect in NY or SF, but still just fine. My wife got several rolls and tamago. All was very good and prepared well. Our tween daughter loved the tamago. Our daughter got a Belgian waffle with vanilla mousse. Sadly, it took quite a while for it to come out - our sushi was delivered probably 12 - 15 minutes prior to the waffle. I'm guessing they had to make some fresh mousse. That said, our server apologized, and kept us informed every few minutes, so there was no service issue, just a kitchen hold-up. When it came, it was prepared perfectly and was a generous size. So, a minor issue in the end. We didn't stay for dessert. but there appeared to be a number of good options.

The check was delivered promptly on request, and settled quickly. Prices were surprisingly reasonable. All-in-all, a very good experience with only one kitchen-caused minor issue. 3.5 - 4 stars.

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Thank BobinBaltimore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 - 22 of 74 reviews

Reviewed January 19, 2014

I stopped in here for breakfast one morning when I was staying nearby and I wish I had kept on going. Its bad. As a previous reviewer called it, they are a jack of all trades and certainly a master of none from what I could see. I was sat on what I guess you would call the mezzanine level which gave me a view down into the kitchen and what I saw during my brief stay was enough to put me off going back. There was a tub of cooked bacon just sat out at room temperature. When I say tub this thing must have had at least 100 slices of cooked bacon in it. Luckily despite having already ordered prior to seeing this I hadnt ordered anything with bacon. I had the Belgian waffle with strawberry, blueberry and banana. It was pretty naff and tasteless. From what I could see they were using the same batter mix for the Belgian waffle and the New York griddle cakes. I did not realise there was such an overlap in the recipes! Everything I could see going on in the kitchen was extremely offputting with a lack of care all round. Do not go here.

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Thank nezza28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

XS is the quintessential jack-of-all-trades establishment. It offers a lot of variety, but don't expect top notched specialties. Nevertheless, having a little bit of everything can certainly attract customers for different cravings.

To expand upon the "little bit of everything" aspect, here are a few things you can get.
* Coffee, tea, and smoothies
* Gelato
* Baked goods (think tiramisu and baklava, and, of course, cookies)
* Sandwiches
* Breakfast/brunch foods
* Sushi
* Alcoholic beverages (there's often a DJ upstairs and it can sometimes turn into a semi-clubbing-ish atmosphere)

Thank Tunaidi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013

My boyfriend and I came here for dinner one night and weren't very impressed. The place seems like it's confused about what it's trying to be... a cafe, a bar, a night club, a restaurant? The menu had all sorts of things from sushi (what we originally came for) to sandwiches to breakfast. The service was friendly and the sushi average. Probably won't go back again.

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1  Thank IAmTSha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2013

The last time we visited I rather liked it and the specialty sushi. This time we both had the smoked salmon platter and it left a lot to be desired - the smoked salmon seemed not fresh and the bagels seemed to have the same problem. The high point were the french fries which were nice and crispy. The drinks were good too.

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1  Thank thasler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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