Cafe Society

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I somehow found my way back to Lamonica's for lunch: meatloaf ($8.95) that was dry, reheated and wearing a mushroom sauce made from canned fungi; and center-cut pork chops ($9.95) that had been grilled to death, then embalmed in a "garlic onion" jus that was nothing but jus. The herbed mashed potatoes siding the chops were more herb than potato; perhaps someone had accidentally dropped a salad in the spuds. And the vegetables were so shriveled they could have been left over from the previous day.

When so many things go wrong at a restaurant, it's hard to see the forest for the trees. Lamonica's would do well to scale back its extensive menu, up the budget for ingredients, and concentrate on doing fewer things well -- or at least doing them acceptably. The executive chef, Marc Leslie, is a 29-year restaurant veteran (most recently at McCormick's and Cucina! Cucina!); he seems capable of better things. And the competent servers would certainly appreciate being able to serve better things.

Lamonica's isn't out of the woods yet.

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Kyle Wagner
Contact: Kyle Wagner

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