All reader reviews by L'Americaine

Cafe Laville

On a summer's night this place is magical for its view atop the Regent's Canal. The service is good enough but the food is pseudo and overpriced. Fearful of the rule that great view=bad food, I ordered defensively and selected a simple tomato-basil sauced spaghetti. Alas, the past was overcooked and the sauce was one notch above airplane fare. Now I see why we were the only people sitting at tables and ordering full meals. Considering the quality of the fare, the bill was a shocker. Too bad, because it's a lovely place to be.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Overall rating 5 stars
Food 3 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 1

Churchill Arms

This is NOT Thai food. This is sticky sweet, all-taste-the-same, dumbed-down pseudo "Oriental" grub that is ample and cheap. Real Thai food is a subtle balance of salty (fish sauce), sharp (lime), spicy (chiles) and sweet (tamarind). This rough grub forsakes the first three flavors. It over-relies on cheap non-Thai ingredients -- like the yellow onions that dominated all three of the indistinguishable stir fries we tried. The staff is Thai but -- a first in my experience -- they were abrupt and ungracious. One grudgingly replaced a "clean" plate that had rice stuck to it. Go elsewhere.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Overall rating 2 stars
Food 1 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 1

Al Sultan

This is the ONLY case at this website where the ratings are in total disagreement with my opinion. We dine out often, and Al Sultan is our very favorite restaurant. The staff go out of their way to make us feel at home. The white tablecloths, Arab music and international clientele make for exotic ambience. And the food is first rate. We go to many Lebanese restaurants -- from upscale and very good Fahredine to ethnic Edgware Road -- and Al Sultan's food is at the top of our list. It serves late and you can always get a table, even on Saturday night. I strongly recommend you give Al Sultan a try and expect a pleasant experience.

Sunday, June 24, 2007
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 9 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 8

Song Que

To please a pho fan, I took him here and scored a success. Our entire party had some version of the 20+ phos on offer. The beef broth was fresh and fragrant, with a hint of star anise, and the condiments of fresh Vietnamese mint, bean sprouts and lime added sparkle to the taste. We also tried the banh xio -- a crisp eggy pancake filled with minced pork, shrimp and beansprouts. These are one way I measure a Vietnamese restaurant and by this measure, Song Que did quite well. On a Monday at 9PM had no trouble getting a table, and the service was friendly. I'd definitely go back.

Sunday, June 24, 2007
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 8

Meson Los Barriles (Goswell Rd)

We needed a restaurant close to the Barbicon Centre, so we gave this a try and were not disapppointed. We got good food and wine for good value. I must confess, tapas aren't my favorite food -- too often it's something overcooked under a non-descript tomato sauce, lying beneath too much melted cheese. Nonetheless, this is a friendly, somewhat noisy place with a house red that goes down easily. Would definitely go back.

Sunday, June 24, 2007
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 7 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 8

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