by Jason H. on
(This review is for the music venue alone. I have never eaten the food or even sat in the restaurant. If that ever happens, an update will follow.) I came here to see one of my favorite groups of all time....The Pancho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band. I've seen them play probably 20 times and it's always a blast. This guys are hot. Like, burn the paint off the walls and make screaming high school girls throw their bras and chonies at the stage hot, if you know what I mean. Anyway, the show was stupendous, but this review isn't about the band. Tickets were relatively easy to purchase through the website, though they were definitely not cheap. I shuddered at the $30ish cost (after BS fees) of each ticket. Yes, the theater is pretty big and nice. No, the experience is not worth that kind of coin. I think that the cost of tickets here makes jazz a luxury that many people simply cannot afford. Hell, I probably can't afford tickets and drinks here either, but that's besides the point. This is unfortunate, because there are some truly great bands that play here. I could not believe how short the set was. Just as Pancho and the fellas were starting to get pumped and people were actually dancing, the waitress drops off our check. To be honest, I thought there was a shift change and her replacement was on her way. Nope. Joke's on me. I had two beers and actually had to pound most of the last one as we were rushed out. This and this alone will probably prevent me from coming back here. The service was good. Our waitress wasn't exactly friendly, but in her defense, she was effing swamped. Fair enough. Ideally though, there should be about twice as many servers. I looked around for homegirl a couple times to order another round. Judgment = great music, but I feel like I got jipped
by Gretchen W. on
Tao is a great place to come, once in a while, for a special occasion. It's energetic atmosphere and over-the-top decor make for a fun night, but not somewhere you'd just come to for dinner on a random evening. Tao has now been around for a while and is certainly not as trendy or cool as it once was. However, it remains a favorite of many, and yes, does also get many a tourist. I'm ok with it being a little touristy, since it's for special occasion only. The bar scene is very big at Tao and they have a pretty large cocktail cocktail menu including wine, beer, and sake. The menu is pretty large and broken into dishes from the sea, sky, and land. It has a strong Chinese tone, but also includes dishes that are Thai, Korean, and Vietnamese. Some favorites from my dinner are as follows. Both the Bamboo Steamed Vegetable Dumplings with Crunchy Cucumbers and the Pan Fried Chicken Gyoza were delicious. For entrees, the Peking Duck (for 2) and Soy Ginger Glazed Salmon with Udon Noodles and Spinach were the best of the table. We came for a birthday and had called in advance regarding a special dessert. They do a dessert platter that was FANTASTIC! A little of almost everything on the dessert menu. A delicious mousse-stuffed giant fortune cookie was my favorite, (including slighty dirty fortune,) but there was something for everything. Another notable dessert was the ice cream filled mochi ball. We were still talking about the dessert as we walked down the street. It really stole the show. I would definitely come back for another fun birthday dinner. The food is good and the restaurant is quite a sight. it has a clubby type of atmosphere, which tends not to be my favorite, but works for Tao. Overall, a really fun time.
by Edna Prokes on
Spacious, relaxing, stiff and moderately priced drinks, plus smooth beats. I also liked the fact that there were three separate bars in this place. Hell, there may have even been more than that, since I didn't get to the way way back of the place, or upstairs. Point is, they are dedicated to getting you your booze. I don't know nothin' bout no old bruno's, but I'm down with this one. UPDATE 1/21: Hmm, ok, so the first time I hit this place up it still newly re-opened and hadn't started to draw much of a crowd, so now that the secret is out, what originally appeared to be a decent drinking establishment has turned out to be just another night club. I find that unfortunate, because I hate nightclubs, preferring bars or lounges, and only if you can actually hold a real conversation in the joint. The unbelievably loud music destroys any real ambiance this place could have, and the endless crowds on saturday night mean that you can never really get comfortable. If this place kept only the back rooms as the noise factories and left the front room to normal volume music, it might be tolerable, and it might attract a more mellow crowd, and then I could try enjoying it again.