The Spice Table, Los Angeles (August 2012)

It can be a bit frustrating when it falls to the diner to keep the service team from undermining one’s meal. This, unfortunately, was the case at The Spice Table. Upon placing our order, my brother asked that our table not be flooded with dishes–a request to which our server insisted he would hew, never allowing more than three dishes on the table at one time–the first flight of plates from the kitchen included four, invariably leading to some items being eaten at a less-than-ideal temperature. And despite my brother’s request to have his beers delivered along with the food, two out of three arrived midway through our completion of a set of dishes. Whether those lapses were due to ineptitude or aloofness–given that the outcomes they yield are observationally equivalent, it’s hard to know which was at play–it ultimately reflects poorly on the restaurant.

Food: good
Highlights: curry fried chicken wings, fried cauliflower, and spiced cognac soft serve
Service: poor
Pr(return): low

Curry fried chicken wings

Lamb belly satay with cumin, galangal and turmeric

Fried cauliflower with fish sauce

Spareribs with caramel sauce and fried shallots

Grilled pig’s tail with lettuce, herbs and fish sauce

Grilled bone marrow with prawn sambal

Cereal head-on prawns

Kon loh mee: egg noodles, choy sum, ground pork and pork belly char siu

Spiced cognac softserve

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