Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dine About Town 2007, Part Three: One Market

Hell hath no fury like Passionate Eater scorned.

And today,
Passionate Eater was scorned.

I "
Dined About Town" for lunch at One Market this afternoon with a group of four friends. One of my friends and I ordered skate wing for the main dish, and as our plates were placed on the table, my friend and I jokingly remarked at how sparse the food on the plate was. It was just a solitary fillet of skate, and nothing else.

Well, after our time together and a few snapshots of our meal, I eventually went home and began to type up a blog post on our lunch.

As I was downloading the pictures, I realized that unfortunately, I forgot the exact titles of the dessert we had on the Dine About Town menu. First, I tried to find the title of the dessert on the official One Market site, but after scouring the site, I came up empty-handed. Next, I decided to try
Yelp (because sometimes Yelp raters will list menu names of what they ate) and I was sure to find a post or two with someone who ordered off the Dine About Town Menu. Although I usually don't look at Yelp "after" I eat at a place (I usually look before), I was glad that I consulted Yelp, for it proved to be a useful resourse.

You can only imagine my surprise when I read a
Yelp review, posted on the same day that I ate at One Market that stated, "I had the Dine About Town 2007 lunch . . . skatewing [sic] with mashed potato and spinach . . ."

WTF?! Steam shot out from my ears and
Passionate Eater's "pissed off factor" was off the charts.

You people at One Market are un-friggin'-believable! You gave one person the same entree but with extra mashed potatoes and spinach and gave me and my friend nothing?

Worst of all, the Yelp review was posted exactly on the same day I had eaten at One Market.

I was so infuriated, that I immediately signed up for a Yelp account and posted my very first entry:
I wish they had negative stars, or a bit*h slap option on Yelp for times like this.

I ate off the Dine About Town lunch menu with several of my friends, and we all thought the food was mediocre. Like Michelle H (in an earlier review), I too ordered the sunchoke veloute, the skate wing, and the butter pear tart. First, the soup was a few tablespoons of creamy liquid with these horrifying bites of coagulated bacon fat, the skate wing was dry, overcooked, and coated with an allegedly high-end sauce that tasted like Wendy's honey mustard dipping sauce. Worst of all, is that the skate (which my friend and I ordered) came naked on the plate, without the spinach and mashed potatoes that came with Michelle H's meal. C'mon now, you guys think you could get away with giving some patrons less? Funny too, because my friend and I thought it was weird that the main dish was literally just a piece of fish with nothing else. We all walked away hungry and dissatisfied. Also, I should note that we were probably the only ones that ordered off of the DAT menu, and it showed--they served us last, and we were probably the last stragglers out during the lunch hour. All of the other high-profile financial district power people were served first.

Way too expensive for crappy and discriminatory service.

Reading the other Yelp reviews (for "One Market" in addition to those for "One Market Restaurant"), I realize that I am not alone. As Ben Folds Five sang in the Song for the Dumped, "Give me my money back, you bit*h."
Harsh words, but now you know that there ain't no restaurant that wants to piss off Passionate Eater! Hey, you don't give me and my friend mashed potatoes and spinach, then I don't give you love. It is as simple as that.

Now that I am in the "sharing" mood, I might as well let my words flow from my furious lips. You wanna know more? My absolute worst Dine About Town experience--no wait, make that the worst dining experience ever was at
Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine Restaurant in San Francisco. If there is any restaurant in this world that I absolutely despise, "that" would be the one. Even if you gave me a free meal, I would rather have flaming molotov cocktail and a plastic bag full of dog turds thrown in studio my than ever set foot into "that" place again.

I ate at Roy's for Dine About Town in January 2004, and I returned there again in January 2005 to use a $100 gift certificate the beau ordered from American Express. (The first time was "meh." The second time was "hell on earth.") As luck would have it, the beau didn't the gift certificate in time for our reservation, which happened to fall on the last day of Dine About Town.

For our second time at Roy's, we made early dinner reservations for around 6:30pm because I needed to get home early. (I had an important engagement the following morning and at that time, I lived in Berkeley, not San Francisco.)

We didn't get seated until around 8:09pm. For a reservation at 6:30. Not kidding.

No sorries. No acknowledgement. Not even a stinking glass of water.

Worst of all, when we asked the hostess around 7:30pm when she anticipated us getting seated (for the third time), she said in a bitchiest tone (most likely her natural voice), "Look. If you think that you are going to get seated any faster by repeatedly asking, then you are oh-so-wrong."

I should have left then. But like a friggin' stupid-@$$, I stayed.

Then, the steady stream of crappy events kept on crapping all over us.

Since my three companions that evening wanted to try the three seafood Dine About Town options, for variety, I decided to try the fourth, least appealing selection: some sort of braised brisket.

Again, as luck would have it, my dish was the worst of the evening. I should have taken a cue from everyone around me, because no one at the surrounding tables was ordering the brisket. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way with my tastebuds (and my gag reflex), because the brisket was dry like jerky dried in the Sahara desert and over-the-top salty. Even my friend (who douses every thing he eats with a combo of super-sodium intense fish sauce, oyster sauce, shrimp paste, and soy sauce) said it was like sticking his tongue inside a salt shaker.

Well, I could keep on going and going, but since it is late, I am going to stop. I am going to say one more thing. I am done with Dine About Town (for now) and am definitely done with places like One Market and Roy's.

Oh, and the pictures of what we ate at One Market below? I enhanced them (before I read the Yelp review), so they honestly didn't look this good in real life.

Yea, the sunchoke veloute (with black trumpet mushrooms, hazelnuts, applewood-smoked bacon) was creamy, but so what?

This is the farmer's market salad with seasonal greens and vegetables. (By the way, you could get a gargantuan tub of this from Costco for under $4. Here, at One Market, it costs over $8.)

This is the skate wing with cheap mustard grain and honey sauce I was telling you about.

At least the pear brown butter tart with berry puree and vanilla ice cream was "okay."


  1. Dang. You have every right to be pissed. The server marked you guys for dupes, I think, when he served you that dish. He must have known that it was missing the sides. Man, was he wrong! Kudos to you PE! I excused that ahi was missing from my ahi poke, (because I was in a good mood and it was $1.95), but I wouldn't have excused what happened to you and your friend. Also that story about Roy's is exactly why I'll never step foot in that place. Thanks again for the reminder.

  2. " they honestly didn't look this good in real life."

    Ouch! I hope they've learned now not to make PE angry. Good work on doing this sleuthing though, and finding about the missing side dishes. Sort of ridiculous, the whole point of DAT is to encourage people to eat out, so you'd think these places would really try to show themselves off during DAT and get themselves some new repeat customers, rather than pissing people off.

    I've never been to either One Market or Roy's, but thanks for your warning on both. There are too many good places out there to go to mediocrities (or worse) like these. Sorry to hear you had to put up with this nonsense -- especially that "oh-so-bitchy" (pardon the French) hostess at Roys.

    Still, best wishes for some better experiences for the rest of 2007 :-)

  3. Aw, PE. I never wanted to rain on your enthusiasm for DAT, so I kept my mouth shut until now.
    I don't care for the program at all, for at least two reasons: 1) the restaurant is going to try to fob off something inexpensive. 2) the servers hate the fact that you're only spending $20, and even a 20% tip on $20 is not going to make their day, so they take it out on you.

  4. Hey, PE! Re: your comment on shortexact-- that's great you called the manager, though I wish he had a more useful and/or apologetic response than simply stating what you basically already knew. Hopefully you'll hear back from them soon.

    And, about Antarctic cuisine... if you find a place, just let me know and I'm down! Though we might have more luck trying something from another continent :-)


  5. oh it all sounds so horrific!! both experiences. i'm sorry. i'd be LIVID if i got a friggin skate wing and nothing else. and i can't believe you waited that long at the other place. i think i would've left.

  6. I had a decent experience my first and only time at One Market. No dine-about-town deal, though, so it was expensive. I think I agree, though, the desserts are the best thing there. Though my sea bream with fava beans was actually tasty (just not filling).

    The best dessert is their lemon tart brulee.

    I'm not overly convinced that I'd go there again, though... except maybe to duck in for an expensive dessert treat.

  7. Oh buddy, that would piss me off like no other. I hope you get some sort of retribution from the restaurant.

  8. It's time to call the Better Business Bureau! Ok, email them.


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