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I was Uptown and decided to detour on the way home to 9th Avenue and stopped by Buddakan. They were closing, so I wandered over to Tao Downtown restaurant (the nightclub is around the corner).
The interior is impressive; designed by the Rockwell Group. Even though it was a cold Tuesday night in January, the dining room was full, with many tables of ten or so.
I sat at the bar and ordered a couple of items. I know. The reviews have been horrible, but I can think for myself. I like to be a contrarian.
I ordered a “Crispy Shrimp and Scallop Roll” for $13 and the chicken skewers for $18. They arrived on long rectangular plates with chopsticks.
The food was stunningly bad; downright disgusting. The “Crispy Shrimp and Scallop Roll” was fried and cut at an angle. The white filling was smooth and homogenous, like a stick of butter cut. The flavor had just a hint of seafood. Imagine the worst thing from a frozen food section of a grocery store, and that is what this was.
The chicken skewers were sugary and made worse by a mystery dipping sauce. I am burping up bad flavors now, hours after eating, as I write this.
The bar staff were utterly untrained in hospitality. Mind you, this was not the actual nightclub, so they should have known to serve water, clear plates, etc., but they did not.
Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss, the main owners behind this abominable creation, have outdone themselves. They have managed to sucker 20-somethings on cheap dates into buying overpriced fast food. They are talented.
By the way, 16th Street is not “Downtown”. It is the Meatpacking District. Thank god they are not truly Downtown.
(Note: I did not have my camera on me, sadly, so I had to find photos from their website)