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James Beach: Elegant, Casual, Fun - Food decent
James Beach is a combination Restaurant and Night spot. It's a very casual but has a fairly nice quiet and more elegant side too. It's been around since the 80s and is a great place to have a mojito, a steak, a glass of wine and mingle with the others. One side is more elegant and the other features a patio where the party usually is centered. The scene is pretty mingly and fun. A little bit of a schmooze fest, but not Hollywoodish. It's relaxed and fun and a place where folks from the neighborhood come to hang out.
Favorite Dish: New York Steak and french fries are very good. The restaurant however is resting a little bit on it's long past laurels in the early 90s. A lot of the food seems to be prepared fairly thoughtlessly. Still, I'll definitely eat a steak here, if I mean to hang out in the lounge area after and their burger is good and some fish dishes are quite good.
I was extremely disappointed however a few weeks ago (July 2009) when I ate at the restaurant. I ordered the "Calf's Liver" and what I was given was definitely a tough gristly piece of beef liver - nothing like the tender soft foie gras like calf's liver taste. When I asked the manager what the deal was, he disappeared and came back sheepishly only after I caught his eye and motioned. He apologized that they served me beef liver saying "they were not happy with the quality of calf's liver they got, and substituted" but forgot to change the menu. This is total bullsh*t. It was clear that most people simply wouldn't notice and that they were pulling a fast one. In fact the manager even said that 'most people wouldn't know'. How can you not know. It's like the difference between veal and steak. Anyway, it was extremely disappointing though they offered a free dessert...which was a decent gesture, but leaves me suspicious and unsatisfied.
In short...come for the steak or a salad or something, but don't expect fine dining and you won't be disappointed.
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