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Llama San

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The good news first: We walked in at 7:45 on a Saturday night and were seated at the bar immediately, caveat that they needed the seats back by 9:30.  Not a problem. Thank you Thanksgiving weekend.

 

The rest: The meal was a solid "eh". I wouldn't go back, especially for how difficult it seems to be to get into on non-holiday weekends, but I wasn't angry afterwards.  We ate:

 

Scallop Ceviche: Really enjoyed this, it was the highlight of the meal. Slightly-too-big chunks of scallops in a creamy/sweet/sour sauce, and it worked.

Rice noodles with Mushrooms and Seaweed: This was fine? A little heat and a little sour, but didn't strike me as particularly new, I've had similar dishes. The spicy sauce was reminiscent of a spicy tuna roll.

Duck nigiri: This was horrible. I genuinely can't believe all of the glowing press that I've been reading about this. Something about the aged duck and the banana (maybe it was aged too?) combined to make it taste like dirty a gym sock smells. I had trouble getting it down.  I like aged meat, I like gamey meat, I like funky meat, but this was bad. The rice was mushy and the nigiri fell apart when picked up. Just bad.

Fried Iberico pork with pesto udon: This was good. The "pesto" was completely smooth and more herb-forward than olive-oil-forward, but sprinkled with parmesan cheese nonetheless. An odd combination of flavors, but I liked it.

 

Two ($16, fine) cocktails, one ($12, not very good) beer, and the above was $200 after tip and tax. The service was middling, the bartender serving us was clearly brand new (maybe brand new at being a bartender -- one of the waitresses had to explain to him how to crack ice with a bar spoon), but he was perfectly nice.  

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I forgot to mention that we also had dessert.  It was a bruleed banana with banana bread and miso ice cream.  It was delicious, but holy shit it was tiny.  I *might* have been satisfied if I'd eaten it by myself, but sharing it with another person was brutal.  It was a quarter of a small banana (a banana cut in half, then cut in half lengthwise, then that quarter bruleed (i.e., they need one banana to make four of these)), a small slice of banana bread, and a small scoop of ice cream.  

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Have you actually BEEN there?

Yes.

 

I mean, admittedly I loathe Hudson Yards, and wish this were in my neighborhood. But there really is nothing else quite like it at this point.

 

I get it if you don't like the fact that it's not actually a restaurant and it came in as the top restaurant of 2019. But let's fact it - the guy is reviewing taco trucks, hot dog stands, and various other food-related ephemera  in this day and age, and if they are restaurants, so is this.

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Have you actually BEEN there?

Yes.

 

I mean, admittedly I loathe Hudson Yards, and wish this were in my neighborhood. But there really is nothing else quite like it at this point.

 

I get it if you don't like the fact that it's not actually a restaurant and it came in as the top restaurant of 2019. But let's fact it - the guy is reviewing taco trucks, hot dog stands, and various other food-related ephemera  in this day and age, and if they are restaurants, so is this.

 

Restaurant or not, it was a madhouse when I went, and the dinner I had at Leña was...fine?

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