Top Chef

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Sunset Lounge? Isn't That a Don Henley Song?

Radhika and Fabio start seating their guests. I feel like in previous seasons, they have spent a lot more time on the d├ęcor of the restaurants, and getting the diners' opinions, but I guess that doesn't factor into the elimination so they kind of skipped that part. Hosea interviews that Restaurant Wars is the best competition of the season because they get to really showcase themselves as chefs in a natural setting without weird product placement or manufactured twists. He doesn't say that last part but you know he's thinking it. Radhika seems to be spending more time staring at something at the hostess podium than interacting with her guests.

Sahana has some trouble with their servers. Radhika barks out some orders on her way out of the kitchen and Jamie complains that the servers don't get it. She pulls a plate back and wipes it down while yelling at the server for messing it up. Jamie interviews that Radhika should have spent more time training the servers, but she may not have known how. So maybe she shouldn't have been front-of-house then. Jamie bitches that the orders are all screwed up. Sahana doesn't seem to have an expediter in the kitchen. Radhika kind of stands there and stares at the orders but doesn't really do anything, plus she needs to get back out front.

The judges (Colicchio, Padma, Toby Young, and Stephen Starr) show up at Sahana first. Radhika has the server take out the bread appetizer, which is whole-wheat naan bread with garlic oil. Colicchio asks if it's French toast. Padma and Starr like it, but they also admit that they're hungry, which might be skewing their perceptions. There is some confusion in the kitchen while plating the judges' meals, but they do get out to the table. Radhika explains that they're serving a curried carrot soup with smoked paprika oil and raita. There is also a chickpea cake with seared scallop, masala tomato sauce, and arugula salad. Colicchio and Starr both love the soup. They also enjoy the chickpea cake. A random diner loved the scallops.

The next course is served: white lentil tabouli, seared snapper, tomato water and pea shoots. I don't know that I would get excited about something called tomato water. There has to be a better name for that element. The other entree is cinnamon and saffron braised lamb shank with Israeli couscous. The judges agree that the lamb is prepared well, but Toby Young thinks the couscous tastes like dishwater. Colicchio say the snapper is just okay, and Starr objects to the tomato water. See? It probably tastes like it sounds. It sounds like when you go to put ketchup on your burger and you forget to shake the bottle so just the watery stuff comes out first? That's tomato water to me. But I'm no Top Chef. A random diner agrees that the snapper was good but there was too much liquid on the plate.

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Top Chef

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