Thursday, June 2, 2011

Oscar's Cerveteca

Remember how much I loved Venice Beach Wines?  Well, my dining experience at Oscar's Cerveteca, which was opened by the same people of Venice Beach Wines success, was not like that.  And it makes me so sad to say that because I really had my hopes up.  I wanted so badly for Oscar's to be my favorite neighborhood wine bar's equally-awesome beer counterpart.  Plus, Urban Daddy raved about it.  So I expected at least a smartly hipster vibe, affordable but sophisticated bar snacks, and a great selection of booze, and at most, my new favorite place ever.

Turns out Oscar's right now offers only the hipster vibe (kind of), although to be fair, the booze selection cannot yet be criticized since they haven't gotten their liquor license.  (But can we talk about that?  I mean, why would they open at all without it?  And it just seems unfair that they didn't publicize the fact that they hadn't gotten their license yet.  No one likes to sit down to order after waiting for half an hour, only to realize they're limited to beverages of the virgin variety on a Friday night.)

Anyway, I ordered the fish tacos, and to be blunt, they sucked.  They were bland.  No spice, no salt, no lime.  And the fish only came fried.  Why, Oscar's?  Why would you not at least offer a girl a lime and some form of chipotle-flavored condiment for her fish tacos?  It was so bad that it was inexplicable.  Brian got the Southern Burger -- piemento cheese and a fried green tomato.  It's hard to screw up a burger, but what Oscar's did was not really a screw-up, it was just...bland.  Again.  The tomato was skimpy and soggy, the bread was plain, the meat was ordinary.  The potatoes were tater-tots, and at least the frozen ones have salt.  Over it.

At first I thought maybe it was just me, or just that night.  I mean, the place has 5 stars on Yelp.  But then I asked another friend who had gone there what she thought of it, and she said exactly the same thing.  So I think I'm right and Yelp is wrong (this wouldn't be the first time, I must say).  I still feel kind of bad for saying it because of my love for Venice Beach Wines, but I wouldn't want you to go there and then blame me for not telling you, so here it is.

Sorry Oscar's, but you've disappointed me; I'll be next door, hanging out with your sister.


Anonymous said...

wow, I couldn't disagree more! I LOVED the fish tacos and the home made sauces were some of the best I have ever had. We have very different palettes, I read an earlier blog you are a huge fan of the Tasting Kitchen. That's the place on Abbot Kinney that charges $13 for their cheapest glass of wine and $85 for a steak, I think the food is ok but so incredibly over priced, makes you think it must be good or why would people pay that much? I love Oscar's its's a true neighborhood joint with great food reasonably priced! Thanks for catering to neighbor's Oscar, please don't change a thing!!

Ashley said...

Different strokes for different folks! I do not claim to be an expert; I just write what I really think. I do hope you like reading along with me and agreeing or disagreeing! And the Tasting Kitchen was priced at a special occasion level for me, but I don't remember there being an $85 steak, or anything else that was outrageously priced. Maybe I'm just used to it, coming from SF where a $13 glass of wine at one of the best restaurants in town is a good deal haha!

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds like Oscar himself might be reading this blog. If so, I totally agree with you Ashley! I went there not too long ago and the people were great but the food was definitely a let down. I hope they take this criticism to improve their menu instead of slam other spots.

PS At least I could pay for a glass of wine at the Tasting Kitchen.

Anonymous said...

Oscar here. I didn't write the above and I appreciate your support at VBW. We opened Cervetca early because I was told by the city that I would have my beer/wine in May. That didn't happen and I made the decision to stay open so that I could keep our 22 staff employed. We have been aproved by the city for our beer and wine and are now told that we will definitely have it on Monday. I will keep you posted. Please come back and try the food again. Our special tonight is the Copper River Salmon with corn on the cob and a side dish.
PS I love the Tasting Kitchen

Ashley said...

Hey Oscar! Thanks for stopping by! I love VBW and I will be back there for sure. I'm sorry about your liquor license -- I guess I should have known that it was because of city delays, and it makes sense that you would want to keep your staff employed. I'm glad that you'll have it on Monday, and I'll come back for another try after that :)