As most of my readers may have noticed, when I try a new restaurant I usually try to highlight the positive aspects of my experience and give a balanced review. However, once in a blue moon I come upon a place that is so utterly distasteful and ungodly awful that I have nothing but venom to spew and my experience on Saturday night at Lake Union's newest "hot spot" (ha!), Citrus, has earned distinct honor of being awarded this special place in my heart and on my blog.
I really don't know what I was expecting from Citrus, but it certainly wasn't the "Calling all Ed Hardy, bedazzled t-shirt wearing, tasteless loser douche bags!" vibe that I got from the moment I walked in the door and was greeted by the air head hostess. As you can tell from the photos above, the decor in Citrus is exactly what the Jersey Shore house in Miami wanted to be . . . all black, horrible neon lights everywhere, rainfall glass panels throughout and tons of TVs (but in no predictable, sports bar-esque arrangement, just lots of improperly placed TVs). The place literally LOOKED like it should reek of hair gel, bronzer, Valtrex and shame. Disgusting.
On to the next thing I hated, the service. I made a reservation over the phone for 6:30 pm and the hostess that I spoke to made it seem like they would be just PACKED for the evening and she was doing me a real favor by 'squeezing' me in. We arrived at the restaurant at 6:35 and the place was virtually empty. I checked in with the hostess and she asked me if I had a reservation.
I looked at her quizzically, looked around the restaurant and said, "Yes, I do, but it doesn't appear that I really need one."
She told me that I definitely did need one because they just had tons, and tons of reservations coming in shortly. Then she proceeds to tell me that she has to check with her manager to find out where exactly to sit us as to not mess up the manager's 'seating chart' (bear in mind that there are literally 35 tables open at this point). So, we wait and wait and wait until the manager comes back from (what I am guessing was) a cigarette break. The hostess asks her where she could possibly seat us (imagine me rolling my eyes) and the manager looks at her weird and says "where ever" . . . we waited 10 minutes for a manager to tell her idiot hostess "where ever". Ugh. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.
At this point, I needed a drink to chill out and promptly ordered what looked like a promising prospect: the lychee fruit martini. When my drink arrived I took one sip and all I could taste was fruity syrup, no alcohol taste what-so-ever. I asked Matt to try it, to see if he could detect anything to indicate that the drink had lost its' virginity, and he couldn't taste any booze either. It was one of the worst drinks I have ever had in my entire life. I would have done better drinking canned pear juice with a splash of vodka. Due to my less than stellar cocktail experience, Matt decides to go with the old standby, bourbon on the rocks. His 'bourbon' came, in a SHOT GLASS which was totally filled with ICE and a splash of booze . . . they charged us $10 for this mess. Where the eff are we? Canada? Oh no, we are in cheap douche bag hell.
On to the food, which after our drinks, I was quite nervous about ordering. So I decided to go with a dish that is virtually impossible to foul up: kobe sliders and fries. My sliders were fine, I ate them all, but I could have walked over to Joey's and ordered sliders that are GREAT for the exact same price. Knowing this, why would I ever come here again?
Matt was a bit more brave than me and ordered the pork ossabucco. Matt's entree arrived and it looked like a Fred Flinstone, greasy, pterodactyl leg (complete with bone and all) on a plate. Seriously, this would have put the giant diner ribs that knock over the Flinstone's foot-powered car to shame! This may have been the best part of the whole experience because it amused me so much. He barely ate half of the plate and was finished, apparently it did not taste as amusing as it looked.
To top everything off the clientele matched the decor quite well. I had to listen to a leather skinned, fake blond, badly dressed valley girl go on and on and on LOUDLY to a guy (undoubtedly it was their second or third date) about how she came from a place where looks were so important (duh honey! everyone comes from that place . . . it's one of the perils of living in America), but it was okay because she was always SUCH a pretty girl. Yeah, after listening to her shout this at her date for 10 minutes my sliders and syrup drink started to rise in my throat and I knew that we needed to leave immediately.
Long story short, Don't. Go. To. Citrus. Ever. Unless maybe you are 21 years old, have a VERY low alcohol tolerance and are dreaming of meeting your ideal gorilla juicehead . . . in that case, Citrus is the perfect place for you.
Oh, and by the way, when we left an HOUR later the restaurant was still totally empty.