We were out running errands one afternoon and, since we were in the neighborhood, decided to give Pistachio a try. I’ve driven by before and have always liked the space- in the summer, the front wall/doors open up to create an open space. We walked in to a fairly quiet dining room. The decor is fun and eclectic- a bit old-fashioned,
but interesting. We were seated at a booth and quickly brought complimentary hummus and bread- the hummus was tasty, nice and
garlicky. It was accompanied by some fluffy chunks of focaccia as well as some toasted thinner pieces of focaccia. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. We ordered the tuna tartare, the house burger, and the Thai salad with chicken. The only thing we would voluntarily eat again is the fries. Let me explain…
Let’s start with the tartare. The tuna had an overwhelmingly fishy taste- yes, I know… it *is* fish. But I think we all also know when fish tastes fishier than fresh fish should taste… It was also overworked and mushy, making for an unpleasant texture. The tuna was mixed
with a good amount of sesame oil, capers and chopped peppers, then placed on top of a cucumber on top of a wonton and topped with a slice of avocado. The avocado was nicely ripened and firm. The cucumber/wonton combo, however, made it difficult to eat. Had it just been one or the other, it would have been fine- but working through the cucumber made the wonton break, making it much clumsier to eat than it should have been. After finishing a few bites, there was a fishy flavor left in my mouth- this could have been the result of the tuna itself or the oil the wonton was fried in, I can’t be sure.
The Thai salad came out next. The salad came with chicken potstickers. These were the driest potstickers I have ever had in my life. They were fried, but ended up chewy without having any crunch. They were also brimming with tarragon. I don’t know why. Why would you put that much tarragon in a potsticker? I’ve had tarragon chicken salad before, so I’m assuming that was the inspiration, but man- these proportions were seriously off… So bad. As for the rest of the salad, it was intensely overdressed in what was billed as a peanut
dressing, but mainly tasted like sesame oil. The chicken was grilled, and had a lot of char- which I usually like, but in this case, it was a bit bitter. We picked out most of the chicken, ate some of the lettuce, and a few bites of the potstickers. Could not possibly eat any more, it was just awful.
Finally, there was the LaFrieda burger. The burger is set up such that you order it and then basically put anything you want on it. However, topping options aren’t listed, so you’re kind of left guessing what is available… We landed on arugula, tomato, cheese, and with a strongly recommended herb aioli on the side. We went to cut it in half to share it, and realized that the top bun was basically solid. It was so stale, we couldn’t even push it down to cut it without dry flakes of it falling off. We thought maybe it was grilled and that caused the dryness, but there was zero indication that this was the case- it was basically a bun-shaped crouton. The meat itself was actually not terrible. An angus chuck and short rib blend, it had nice flavor and a good char, but it was a little on the greasy side. And, not surprisingly, it was overcooked. The herb aioli was ok, but the basil was a bit overpowering to pair with a burger. It was good on the fries, though. Speaking of which…they were actually supposed to be truffle fries (that’s just how they come, according to the menu), and the waitress had even stopped by to ask if that’s what we wanted. I was a bit worried because some places tend to go nuts with the truffle oil. However, that was not the case here. In fact, we didn’t catch even a whiff of truffle…Either way, they were nice and crispy, and we actually considered them the best part of the meal.
The service was pleasant, but not very attentive- we had to look around for our server several times, and she wasn’t particularly knowledgeable about the menu. Finally, there is an issue with their pricing. I’ve seen online menus that vary from in-store menus. It’s frustrating (and T’s pet peeve), but I understand that some places don’t always update their website. However, in this case, the actual *in-store* menu prices didn’t match the check. It balanced out, so we didn’t cause a fuss. But some customers could easily end up upset about this. Specifically, the burger shows on the menu at $16.95, but we were charged $17.95. The tuna tartare shows on the menu as $15.95, but we were charged $14.95. It’s a small thing, but something I shouldn’t have to worry about as a customer- the prices on the menu should match the check.
TL;DR, we will be in no rush to return to Pistachio any time soon.