Some readers have no patience for a nuanced critique, such asthis week’s Young & Hungry review of “boutique steak house” Lost Society. For their benefit, I’ve compiled a list of what to order and what not to order based on my experience at the restaurant.
Of the appetizers….
Order This: Tuna tartare, $12
Not That: Crispy pork belly, $8
Why: Chef Joseph Evans‘ recent seafood substitution for his previous steak variety might have been my favorite dish of all my visits. The bright tasting fish comes seasoned in a zesty sauce incorporating Korean chili paste and is served atop slices of pickled watermelon rind. Meanwhile, the top layer of the pork belly was tough to cut, much less chew, and threatened to undo years of dental work with its unfortunate stick-to-your-teeth properties. Evans tells me he is still perfecting the recipe.
Of the steaks….
Order This: Bone-in rib eye, $29
Not That: Bone-in strip, $32
Why: This one boils down to a tale of two sauces. Evans tops his strip (pictured above) with substantial gobs of blue cheese, which far overpowered the flavor of the meat when I tried it. The rib eye, meanwhile, is dressed with a comparatively lighter blend of mascarpone, Gruyère, and crème fraîche, with bits of chanterelle mushrooms. Notably, the rib eye is also Evans’ favorite. One added note: the price of the rib eye strangely increased by a whole buck somewhere between the time the original menu was written and the time I received my bill.
Of the entrees….
Order This: Blackened shrimp with wild-rice risotto, $12
Not That: Roasted grouper with succotash and smoked bacon, $16
Why: The shrimps are plump and spicy, seasoned with the chef’s own blend of cayenne, chili powder, chipotle powder, ancho powder, onions, garlic, and thyme, among other ingredients. And I like the way the creamy risotto mellows each bite. The grouper, meanwhile, came off a bit too mild, despite the added benefit of bacon, which would otherwise tend to strike a soft spot of mine.
Of the sides….
Order This: Pan roasted wild mushrooms,$5
Not That: Zucchini ribbons, $5
Why: The ‘shrooms are sautéed in garlic, shallots, and oil and then finished with a few pats of the very same bone-marrow-infused butter that Evans adds to his filet and T-bone steaks. My friends and I barely touched the breaded zucchini strips, which smacked of too much salt.
Of the desserts….
Order This: Nutella S’mores, $5
Not That: Bread pudding with bourbon sauce, $5
Why: This one is the hardest call by far. The bread pudding was actually quite good. In fact, I had it twice. I give the nod to the s’mores simply on account of the creativity involved. Evans whips up a Nutella mousse then freezes it. The stuff sort of tastes like ice cream when it arrives. The chilly mousse is encased in a baked graham cracker crust and topped with homemade marshmallow fluff, which Evans then torches to add a sort of campfire smokiness. A nice finishing touch, indeed.
Photo by Chris Shott