Tree room, Alen Lin, 9/14/07
Once again, we have a first-look throw down between critics Jonathan Gold and S. Irene Virbila. With Bastide both weigh in on everything from the service to the now-more-than-French wine list to the Thai corn soup with king crab and tapioca balls (so far, the crowd favorite). Points to Gold for writing "squidge":
J. GOLD: "As in the last incarnation of Bastide, the food wobbles on the edge between familiarity and utter weirdness, things like a shot glass of clear, salsa-flavored tomato water, a sliver of tortilla chip, an espresso spoon of lobster, a squidge of guacamole and a scoop of salty lime sorbet in a shot of tequila — a deconstructed Baja lobster taco." [LA Weekly]
MISS IRENE: "Manzke's tasting menu so far is a delight. The array of dishes changes slightly almost every night. Dinner here might begin with a deconstructed taco to be eaten from right to left: a crystal clear salsa "shooter" that tastes of tomato and chiles next to a sliver of fried tortilla followed by a tiny bite of lobster and dab of guacamole on a spoon and then a scoop of lime sorbet drenched in tequila." [LAT]
We're surprised that those god-awful chairs weren't mentioned (Miss Irene complains a bit at the end), because if there's anything doesn't encourage a three-hour meal, it's those atrocities. But Gold sounds like he pretty much tumbled out of there at the end, so maybe he didn't notice. Bastide may only be two-weeks young, but Miss Irene has been spotted more than once, according to staff (yes, they always know). Both critics reserve official judgment, but opinions veer toward the positive if not outright giddy.
· Eater Inside: Basted, a Photo Essay [~ELA~]