I literally woke up from deep slumber right now, even after taking copious amounts of sleeping pills. I guess once I must write, its come hell or high water.
Do you remember that Counting Crows song with the same moniker? Shalalalalalalaaaah…. uhuhhh. Anyway, it was really catchy in the 90′s. They even had a movie with Richard Gere in it. Mr. Jones, the restaurant, is like the song, catchy with that ever present panache that draws your eyes to its exteriors.
Like a 50s diner turned al fresco dining spot, the outdoor setting is made even more adorable with the smattering of palm trees and its little bar which houses the yummy desserts they carry. PIES! Who does pies anymore? Anyway the outdoor section is so cute, I usually prefer to stay there whenever possible. During lunchtime though, FAIL! It’s a bit hot, and even their misters can’t keep up with my cold-hearted blood.
The interiors however, turn 180. Still diner-ish, with its exposed kitchen and open shelves of accoutrement (even the cash register), it gets a little spruced up by diagonal leather and glass wall panels, and a sophisticated lighting scheme. Very chic meets diner sleek.
It’s so nostalgic and on point, the visionary must be a true travel freak in order to conceptualize this kitschy take on the old school American dining establishment. Sorry Johnny Rockets, you lose. So-called visionary is none other than Sau Del Rosario, creative director for such gems as Chelsea and M Cafe. He’s worked everywhere, fromWestin to Edsa Shang, to New World, and off to Europe where he trained side by side with Jacques Divellec of LeDivellec fame. For mere mortals, Monsieur Divellec is a 2 Michelin Star chef. That’s the ultimate sign of achievement once you’re recognized by this peer. Anyway back to Chef Sau, whose travels also let him to come up with thesefantabulous, borderline insane concepts that, when executed, just work wonders!
I’m talking about the food here. Here’s what I’ve had so far… which is a lot, so don’t be alarmed. I am warning you ahead of time…
Their Frozen Margarita is absolutely refreshing. And being the indomitable alcoholic that I am, I appreciated the extra large tumbler in lieu of those froufy martini glasses. This, my lightweights, is how it should be done.
The Pink Lemonade. WOW. Succinct and straight up the best I’ve had. You can literally see the lemon part (which clearly isn’t much) sinking low to the pinky stuff. Once mixed together… Ahhhh refreshment galore!
Oh, but the highlight of the menu, in keeping true to form to the Diner aesthetic, are their milkshakes. MILKSHAKES! Hello! Conjuring up childhood memories, this one takes the cake for me! From the original Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry to the creative Cherry Almond Crunch, Butterfingers Cup and Blueberry Granola Slim Shake, there’s absolutely something for anyone. I tried the Classic Chocolate Malt which I swear, almost brought me back to childhood when McDonald’s used to serve out those thick shake, which were later discontinued and now back on the menu.
Next comes the food:
Now, you all know I love soup, and I couldn’t resist when the menu read Old Fashioned Grilled Cheese & Alphabet Tomato Soup. Alphabet noodles! First off, the roasted tomato and herb soup is light compared to the soups I’ve had lately. But it’s just like the old school tomato soups found in diners, so checkmate on that one. Then it’s even topped with Creme Fraiche to give it some creamy factor. But the motherload of it all is the triple deckergrilled cheese sammy on sourdough bread, which is, as American tradition, the “dunking factor”. Yes, you dip it in the soup, the cheese melts a little and the bread gets soggy, but it’s oh so delicious once it hits your stomach! I wished the sandwich was a little more generous though…
Then they served A Bowl O’ Chili. And let me tell you, that bowl looked more like a helmet that a regular soup bowl. It was GINORMOUS. Sirloin chunks with some cumin and black beans are made dangerous with the addition of Monterey & Jack cheeses and sour cream. There’s chips on the side with Jalapenos and Salsa Fresca to make it more enticing. MUST TRY THIS.
Then come their so-called Big Plates, which I’m sure are for sharing, but when you’re with me, I build an invisible fence that says ‘order your own, bitches’:
Aahh… the proverbial Fish N’ Chips. Looked just like the ones I had in Dublin and London pubs. It’s beer battered and served with Fries. The usual Tartar, Cocktail Sauce and Malt vinegar appears next to some homemade coleslaw. Now, I’m starting to like coleslaw, probably because I promised myself I’d ingest more greens this 2010, but I really did enjoy their coleslaw. Something worth trying when craving for deep fried yummy fish!
This is the Reuben’s Diner Classic. Now, I won’t lie. It doesn’t compare to the Reuben’s I’ve had in the past, but this is actually a twist from the Classic. It still has the slow braised corned beef brisket, though not as generous as I’m used to (see below), Russian dressing, Chardonnay-soaked Sauerkraut + melted Gruyere and Emmenthalcheese on rye that absolutely spells original. But there’s some apple relish in the middle that gives it a surprising crunch and an interesting kick to it. I liked it, but not as much as this: