The Other Critics

Bauer Downgrades Le Colonial Big Time; Roth Enjoys Dim Sum at Hong Kong Lounge II

Le Colonial
Le Colonial

Mr. Bauer already downgraded Le Colonial once, in 2007, giving it two stars and noting that the ambiance outshined the food, which wasn’t what it used to be when it debuted in the late nineties. At this point the fourteen-year-old Vietnamese-inspired restaurant in a former Trader Vic’s has seen better days, and in an update review in today’s paper Bauer pans the place completely, saying that new chef Brian Beach is doing “food that’s become infused with a tourist mentality.” He still loves the “exotic aura” about the place that “transports you to a different era and a different culture,” but the food couldn’t be more disappointing. He notes some “gummy” crab rolls and a mushy mess of banana-leaf-wrapped sea bass with noodles. Service is decent, so between that and the atmosphere the place ekes out one and a half stars — but (ouch) just half a star for the food. [Chron]

Over at the Weekly, Anna Roth takes a gang out for dim sum at Hong Kong Lounge II (3300 Geary), the eight-month-old sister restaurant to Hong Kong Lounge in the Outer Richmond. It’s less frenzied than cart-style dim sum spots, with paper menus on which you check off your choices, and she’s a fan of the “perfectly steamed eggplant, stuffed with shrimp and dressed in a sweet, viscous sauce,” the pan-fried chive-and-shrimp dumplings, and the big, meaty siu mai. But she says you can skip the salt-and-pepper calamari, and she kind of misses the bustling energy of most dim sum places. [SF Weekly]

Bauer Downgrades Le Colonial Big Time; Roth Enjoys Dim Sum at Hong Kong Lounge