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Karen Salkin Out to Lunch

Restaurant Reviews and Commentary from Karen Salkin
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This week, Karen reviews UGO Patina Catering and "Beehive"

Karen Goes Ugh At UGO

I had passed this sweet-looking little storefront establishment recently and decided to have lunch there soon. So, when Mr. X and I needed a quick meal this week, Ugo is where we went.

The experience seemed like it would be easy enough. The walls are painted pretty cobalt blue and white and there are beautiful paintings of Italy in the restroom, with the same color scheme. But that’s where the delightfulness ends. Granted, we ordered only two dishes, and the warm bread for the table was fine. Mr. X ordered salmon, which he eats practically every day, so he’s an expert on it, and said it was not bad, which isn’t exactly a glowing review. And for a lunch portion, in a far from fancy restaurant, it was pretty pricey. (That’s my opinion; Mr. X never cares about that stuff.)

But the real disappointment was my simple pasta dish. It was a special that was written on a portable board. The waitress had to stand there holding it, which made me uncomfortable to begin with. I don’t want to inconvenience someone while I read and make-up my mind. It was billed as linguini with chicken in a light tomato sauce with asparagus, tomatoes, and garlic. Chopped tomatoes and garlic are usually listed as “checca” on a menu, and it’s rarely less than heavenly.

But when my plate showed-up at the table, it was as bland looking as it was tasting! There was actually basically no flavor whatsoever. I noticed I was eyeing Mr. X’s chopped tomatoes and then realized mine were missing!

I politely asked if there were supposed to be tomatoes in mine, and the waitress had to go read the specials board for awhile before she agreed. So, I held off eating until they arrived. After a few minutes, I asked her if they were almost ready. She didn’t even know what I was talking about! When I told her, she asked, “Oh, did you want some?”

Still politely, I said, “Of course. Can they please grill some chopped tomatoes with garlic?” I was incredulous that I had to tell them how to make their own recipe! And, no fooling, she brought over a plate of chopped tomatoes, COLD!

I had to ask for them to be at least warm, the way they would have been served if my pasta had been made right to begin with. (And to match my by now tepid linguini.) And, we were the only customers in the place, at that time. During this, only one other couple came in, and while I was waiting for my tomatoes, for the third time, the other couple got two plates of the pasta…with tomatoes!!! Unbelievable.

The waitress finally brought mine, which were basically tomato paste by then. Mr. X had long since inhaled his lunch, in his customary style, so I just took mine to go. I tried to doctor it up at home, but to no avail. It was still pretty bad.

The most amazing thing about the whole experience is that, with so few customers, one would think they would want to ensure the return of the ones they do have. They weren’t apologetic, nor did they try any conciliatory gestures, such as taking it off the bill or sending a complimentary dessert. They weren’t mean or nasty or anything; just kind-of clueless. The experience left almost as bad a taste in my mouth as the linguini!

10915 W. Pico Blvd. 310-474-4482


Patina Catering

photo by Valeria Sherlock

I have written about Patina’s catering before and not in a complimentary fashion. This week, I actually enjoyed some of their food. Frette, a fine linen boutique right here in Beverly Hills, hosted an event benefiting a very worthy charity, Lollipop Theater Network. The group brings newly-released movies to children’s hospitals, which I think is great. Although, with the state of cinema being as depressing as it is, I feel that maybe they should stick with releases from the 50s!

Anyway, the event was easy and lovely. I saw a guy walking around in classy, yet comfortable-looking pajamas, and thought, “Why didn’t I think of that?! I guess you can wear anything to a BH function nowadays.” Then I found out that he was a model for the store’s ready-to-wear line. He actually just may have been the best-dressed person at the event.

So, back to the food (which is pretty much my party motto.) Patina did simple, yet elegant, passed hors d’oeuvres, my favorite being crudités in individual mini-vases. The potables were wine, sparkling water, and everyone’s favorite, bellinis, which is champagne and peach puree for you bourgeoisie out there. I have a feeling they weren’t that potent because I saw people imbibing three and four of them. At least I hope they weren’t that potent, in those cases.

Happily for me, the wait staff was all male. Our favorite was Cam, who set out from the get-go to change my mind about Patina. If all their future events will be as well done as the Frette one, he just might succeed.

Patina Catering
Frette 459 N. Rodeo Dr. 310-273-8540
Lollipop Theater Network

And lastly, Happy New Year to all my readers who celebrate it at this time of year. Shana Tovah!

Missed one of Karen Salkin's previous restaurant reviews?
Out To Lunch Nov. 28-
Karen reviews Tesoro Trattoria
Out To Lunch Oct. 27-
Karen reviews Deli Boys
Out To Lunch Oct. 27-
Karen reviews Chakra
Out To Lunch Oct. 16-
Karen reviews Cinespace
Out To Lunch Oct. 6-
Karen reviews Aphrodisiac
Out To Lunch Sept. 26-
Karen reviews Ugo and Patina Catering
Out To Lunch Sept. 14-
Karen's Food Court Guide
Out To Lunch Aug 29-
Locanda Del Lago review
Out To Lunch Aug 17-
Karen reviews CUBE on La Brea
Out To Lunch Aug 9-
Karen unveils her quick breakfast, lunch and Chinese menu favorites and visits Nathan's
Out To Lunch July 31-
Karen does a NY restaurant run-through extending from Manhattan and Brooklyn
Out To Lunch July 20-
Karen talks about The Greatest Show On Earth
Out To Lunch July 13-
Karen's Dark Secret
(okay, one of them) and reviews
Osteria Latinia
Out To Lunch July 6-
Library Tea Asia de Cub
Out To Lunch June 29-
Upstairs at Vitello’s,
Jurlique Day Spa,
"Back On Broadway"
Out To Lunch June 20-
Organic To Go, Cafe 50's
Out To Lunch June 13-
Karen reviews Mr. Chow's
Out To Lunch June 6-
Karen reviews Amici
Missed one of Karen Salkin's entertainment and theater reviews?
Karen reviews Champions On Ice
Karen comments on Andre Agassi
Karen reviews the annual Emmy Suites
Karen reviews "Curtains" and Burton Morris
Karen reviews "Water and Power" and "Hayfever"
Karen reviews "Much Adoobie About Nothing"
Karen reviews "So You Think You Can Dance?" and "Beehive"
Karen reviews "Doubt?" and "Fat Of The Land "
Karen reviews "Sweet Charity" and the "Marvelous Wonderettes"
Karen reviews "Nightingale" and "Souvenir"
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