Alen Lin, 10/1/07
With so many choices at Hidden in Santa Monica---four kitchens, four cuisines---S. Irene Virbila finds little to love. Pizzas, sushi, tapas, noodles, it "reads like a high-end food court." Tell-tale signs that the critic would never be pleased: Didn't get the table she wanted, complicated multi-page menu, unprofessional servers, low quality ingredients, "it" bags and celebrity name-dropping of starlets she doesn't know. This is text book, people.
That night, even though we're seated in the quieter (relatively) dining room, the sound level ratchets ever higher until we can no longer hear each other over the din. What can it be like outside? We find out as we leave: deafening. Hidden may be hot, but for how long? It may be all right for a drink, but the confusing concept, lame cooking and general ineptness make Hidden a no-go zone for anybody who cares about food.It's difficult to decipher which cuisine tops the others, but she seems to like the Vietnamese menu the best (Michael Bao consulted). Although it gets those Main Street crowds, this restaurant is clearly not geared towards the Miss Irene demo. Hidden gets a big zilch. Translation: "satisfactory." Today the "S." stands for "shunned." [LAT]
ELSEWHERE: Susan LaTempa does time at Café Bella Roma; NY-style pizza showdown: Joe's vs. Vito's; sampling The Point in Culver City; and Pototmato on a holiday in Santa Barbara finds one of our favorites of all time, the Santa Barbara Shellfish Co. and Cold Spring Tavern.