From the first paragraph of the latest look at lunch in the LAW, you can tell that Ms. Rodell thinks Industriel, downtown, is trying way too hard. Everything -- the decor, the misspelling of the name ("Industriel ?rb?n f?rm kw??zin"), and the language that describes the menu ("the style of cuisine served up by your grandmother in her farmhouse in Provence, France, with one little twist: Your grandmother has sleeve tattoos") -- raises eyebrows.
Industriel has taken the entire concept of farm cooking and industrial chic to an extreme so outlandish, it comes across as a parody of itself ... At lunch, a single sardine fillet comes draped across a bed of undressed watercress. It is highly pickled in palm vinegar and lemon, and the grayish flesh becomes weirdly mushy as a result. It has neither the oily funk of a good cured sardine nor the sweet white flesh of fresh sardine. It's only $3, and barely two bites of food, but it's sad to see a dish which does nothing to lift up the reputation of such a misunderstood fish.
While Rodell tries to end on a hopeful note, it's clear that she's not all that excited to return to Industriel any time soon. [LAW]