Tuesday, June 29, 2004

platanos

last thursday my family and i had dinner at platanos to celebrate my mom's birthday. i have mixed feelings about the restaurant. immediately upon arrival, we were taken aback by the rude hostess (older asian-looking woman, who is probablly actually latino). she kind of looked us up and down with almost a sneer. when we told her we had a reservation, she made this expression as if she highly doubted it. when she actually checked the books, she seated us right away. i honestly don't know what she had against us. we were polite, dressed nicely, and we didn't smell. i highly suspect she's just a bitch. anyway, our ill feelings were quickly dispelled when we met our waitress. she seemed genuinely friendly and helpful.

as usual, we shared several starters. i only hope i can recall them all. my favorite by far was the gallo pinto, or rice and beans. it was so flavorful, and with the addition of an herbed sour cream, and sauteed plantains, it was to die for. the plantains were especially wonderful, which surprises me to say because i've never before liked plantains. these were nicely caramelized on the outside, and creamy within, and not starchy at all. the ceviche, and the guacamole were also very good, as well as the tuna and scallop salad. unfortunately, i can't remember anything about them other than the fact that i liked them. the only appetizer i didn't care for was the smoked salmon which was way too salty.

i can only report on my own entree as i didn't taste anyone else's. i had gambas en mole verde (or something like that). it was ok. the shrimp (or gambas) were a little overcooked. the sauce which had chunks of nopales (cactus) and tomatillos was a bit too tangy. both of those ingredients have their own sourness, and i guess when cooked together, it's a little too much.

the desserts, too, were a mixed bag. my favorite one was the chocolate chile cake. rich, moist, probably almost flourless chocolate cake with a lot of heat that sneaks up on you. it was served with a cooling espresso creme anglaise. in fact, the heats hits you so late, that when i made the comment to mr. dexygus that it was hot, he had just taken his bite, and he had time to tell me that i was a wimp. a moment later a small, "oh" came from his lips, followed by a drink of water. the pastel de tres leches was a hit with table. it was good rendition, though i'm not really a fan of this particular cake. much too sweet. the coconut flan and the orange creme brulee were passable. the guava cheescake was pretty bad. the cheesecake itself tasted like it was a no-bake version and had a gelatinous texture (probably because it was set with gelatin, duh). and the guava topping just tasted like reduced kern's guava nectar, also set with gelatin.

i probably will not go back, unless maybe it's for a quick gallo pinto lunch. for peruvian food, i prefer fresca in west portal. i haven't tried the fillmore location yet, though i hear good things about it.

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