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Craig LaBan: Zero Bells for Ocean Prime

Photo: HughE Dillon

In a review released a little earlier in the week than usual, Craig LaBan lays an ugly zero bells on Midwestern steakhouse-chain import Ocean Prime.

LaBan recounts a strange beginning to the meal, wherein his party was seated, allowed to settle, and then asked to move to another table with the explanation that the first had been reserved. He declined to comply, a long wait ensued, the food service finally began — and you'd think that would be that. But no:

The lobster bisque was thick and bland, poured tableside atop a doughy fritter of corn goo. The seafood Cobb salad was a plate of greens limp with too much dressing and $20 worth of overcooked lobster and shrimp. The crab cake, filled with tiny lumps of mediocre crab, tasted mostly of tartar sauce. ("Are you sure you don't want to change tables?" they asked again.)

No. And the cooking did not improve.

They asked again! This is hardly the first negative review for the "modern American supper club," but LaBan observes that the place is still packed with people willing to pay a bundle for the mediocrity he encountered. Or this other thing he encountered along with the tuna steak:
The persistent aroma of cheap truffles (canned and oiled) eventually overtook us like cheap cologne until a group of servers arrived with more plates – one of them reeking of cigarette breath, the other a disturbingly pungent body odor.

You know you want to read the whole thing.

· Center City Chain is Tough to Swallow [Inquirer]
· All Craig LaBan Coverage [-EPHI-]

Ocean Prime

124 S. 15th St. Philadelphia PA 19102