Monday, January 28, 2008

One restaurant, two reviewers

On Friday, I reviewed Ama Ama Oyster Bar and Grill in West Seattle, a restaurant I liked in spite of a few glitches.

I was kinda bummed that Jonathan Kauffman beat me to the punch a week earlier in the Seattle Weekly. I'm a big fan of JK, and typically read his reviews. But didn't read his Ama Ama piece until I had written mine. After I sent that review off to my editor, I took a look.

I don't think we were that far apart in our assessment, except that he had one of those nightmarish service experiences that can spoil an evening. It absolutely drives home the changeable nature of any restaurant. That's the tricky business of writing about restaurants. I can go and have a fabulous/terrible meal and it can be entirely different for another person the next day.

That's why the Seattle P-I pays for its critics to go three times, to gauge consistency. At one restaurant, that was enough to establish me as a regular. After my third time in, a server said: "See you next week?"

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