Bauer Is Less Than Pleased With Hutong

Some snap peas with bacon and chilis that we loved.
Some snap peas with bacon and chilis that we loved.Photo: Grub Street

Though we don’t agree with him on this, Michael Bauer is disappointed that the owners of Betelnut decided to jettison the cheesy Shanghai-via-Spielberg decor in favor of the Hutong makeover. (It is, admittedly, an incomplete makeover, but a welcome one.) He’s not that big a fan of the new, street-food-inspired, slightly cheaper menu either, saying it’s “still good” but not as varied as before, and “subtle flavors don’t find a place on the new menu.” He says the oxtail hot pot is “peasant food at its finest,” and mentions liking “every dish individually,” but he finds all the added spice and intensity lends to “a certain sameness” in the dishes. We found the cocktail list refreshingly less Tiki-ish and sweet than Betelnut’s, but Bauer’s unimpressed. All told, it’s a two-star review, and Hutong may not take Betelnut’s perennial slot on the Top 100. [Chron, Earlier]