OM for Valentine’s Day: No Like

February 18, 2008

Sig Fig: “I feel like I just lost an article of clothing.”

Me: “What?”

Sig Fig: “I feel like we came in, and they took my pants, charged me a lot of money, and then told us to go away.”

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It has a dumb name, but stay with me.

October 9, 2007

So I’d gotten pretty excited about the prospect of Om some time ago, when I learned they offer a vegan wine dinner once a month and a vegetarian pre fixe once a week. This semester’s class schedule all but rules out the former, so we used the Sig Fig’s class cancellation as an excuse to try out the latter tonight.

I should say up front that I did a little research on the restaurant before I even made our reservation. I don’t always do this, but I had a vague memory of hearing bad things about this place, and I kind of wanted to see what other people had to say. The reviews I found were about half and half–half totally raved, and half couldn’t believe the rotten service and weird decor. This meant that I went into tonight’s dinner totally prepared for an extra dose of Cambridge pretension.

I wasn’t entirely disappointed. We arrived and headed for what looked like the podium–you know, the podium that the hostess stands behind? Yeah, I walked over to that, and stood there for a minute wondering if the three women chatting behind it might, you know, work there. One of them shot me a sidelong glance, but resumed her conversation. Finally someone else asked if she could help me, at which point She Of The Sidelong Glance suddenly expressed an interest in my presence. She mustered the finest fake smile I’ve ever seen and ushered us upstairs.

At this point our service went up in quality by about a thousand percent. I have a feeling we were waited on mostly by the manager, because he was the only dude in a suit–everybody else was in Angsty Waiter Black. He was extremely pleasant, especially when he managed to get us the pre fixe even though it didn’t appear to be A Thing That Was Officially Happening. (He said “We’re not really advertising that right now,” but when we got our receipts they had “Join us every Tuesday for vegetarian pre fixe!” written across the bottom.) I will say that the service bordered on Excessively Attentive, since the guy whose sole job was to remove dishware from the table was all but hovering at the end of each course, and there was a separate guy just to bring the food. Also Mr. Suit re-described everything as it came to us, but that’s sort of the risk you run in fancy restaurants.

The food was totally awesome. Bottom line. We started with a tiny cup of pea soup, compliments of the chef, that was insanely tasty. Not split pea. Extremely fresh, creamy, and a bit of spice. First course was a string bean salad with fresh greens, lemon vinaigrette, and Gorgonzola. The pairing was a sparkling wine, which is never my first choice, and was sort of underwhelming. I really enjoyed the crisp beans and the lemon-ness, though. Our entree was a sweet and spicy tofu with forbidden rice. So. Amazing. Look, I’m not a tofu guy. It’s certainly grown on me in the last, oh, 19 months, but I’ve yet to have a day when I think, “Gee, I could really go for some tofu.” But this? This was amazing. Crispy, spicy, citrus-y, salty… and it went amazingly with the wine, a very nice red blend. (I also have the wine list written down somewhere, which our server happily copied down for us. I can add that in later.) Dessert was an olive oil cake with a little tasty sauce and a tiny scoop of something that tasted much more like cheesecake than ice cream. I actually kind of wish the portions on this had been smaller–two slices of cake was almost a slice too many. But too tasty not to eat all of.

I definitely want to go back for crazy vegan night, and I would also like to try a thing with meat in it, since I like to eat meat things. Oh, and the decor isn’t that weird. But try to avoid going on nights with any kind of special event going on, because they will almost certainly drown out your conversation.