Before it closed, I gathered a group of friends to go see Chinglish. If you don’t know what that is, it’s okay – it was a Broadway play written by David Henry Hwang that closed at the end of January. (I briefly mentioned going to see one of his other plays, Yellowface, here.) Of course, you can’t go to the theater on an empty stomach, so I picked Toloache for its proximity to the theater – plus I’d heard good things. Unfortunately, despite having a reservation, there was some sort of mix up that wasn’t explained to me, as the host and hostess kept trying to seat us at a nonexistent table for 6 in the middle of the upper level. Eventually, it appeared that they’d asked? forced? another table to move, and we took our table… but I was really panicking as the time was super close to curtain time. Luckily, when I anxiously impressed upon our server that we had tickets for an 8pm show, she seemed to understand and though the food still took a while to come out, we made it to the show on time. (As for the show itself, it was only OK – the acting was fine, the writing was fine, but there didn’t seem to be a point to it… and the name was misleading, as no one actually spoke Chinglish – that contemporary blending of Chinese and English that my friends and I engage in with our families and certain friends – and probably should have been named Engrish instead, as that was more the focus. Anyway…)
(Quick aside: coincidentally, TT visited their sister restaurant and had almost the exact opposite reaction. Read about his visit to Yerba Buena here.)
We started off with an order of guacamole, medium hot, which had fruit in it. It was interesting but I didn’t eat too much of this as I sat there freaking out about the timing. It seemed like a pretty small portion for the price, though.
What’s theater without a little alcohol? I ordered a cocktail whose name escapes me, but I believe it was sparkling wine with St. Germain. These went down super easy – which isn’t always a good thing, ha.
DLS started with the hamachi ceviche, which was yellowtail, Meyer lemon, cucumber, salsa, crispy avocado. I declined to try any but he said it was really good.
For his main course, he chose the pollo Toloache – marinated chicken breast a la plancha, crispy Mexican cheese cheeses-pinto bean dumpling, corn pico de gallo, which he also said was very good. I only tried the pico de gallo and really liked that though.
I must not have been very hungry because I only ordered a jicama salad- jicama, avocado, mixed greens, orange, radish, almonds, tamarind vinaigrette – which I found super disappointing. I was hoping for more jicama and avocado, but found little of each (the white strands in the photo are the jicama). It was tasty but not quite what I’d expected when I ordered it, considering the name and the description.
Unfortunately, my friends (whose dishes I did not photograph) were disappointed by their dishes, saying they were expensive for the amount of food served (one of my friends literally had so little food on her plate, we thought it was an appetizer but nope, just the tacos). The food was mostly okay or tasty, but not worth the prices charged. A little disappointing after I’d heard such good things about the place!
Yvo says: I was pretty disappointed – I especially hate organizing a group of people and picking the restaurant that then turns out to be not that great. Maybe we ordered the wrong items? While looking at the menu to get the dish descriptions for this post right, I noticed that I obviously was in a haze as I see menu items that I would totally order had I noticed them – perhaps a return visit is in order; their lunch prix fixe perhaps?