In one word – Boring
Location – 1400 W. Randolph (Randolph and Loomis)
Food – I really wanted to love Bill Kim’s BellyQ, but alas, I was bored by my meal. I found that things had too much flavor or not enough. On the menu, things sounded good, but I found everything I ordered to be slightly lacking. We started with the “Addictive Edamame.” It didn’t strike me as different from any other soybeans I’ve had at other Japanese restaurants, with the exception of the dipping sauce which was good but not “addictive.” Then we had the rice puff and spinach salad. This salad also had avocado, pickled papaya and grape tomatoes. I found that it was overly reliant on the dressing, but still a decent taste. Then we had the pancake with goat cheese and rice noodles, which was pretty forgettable and flavorless. The meal ended with the Korean short rib, another forgettable and bland dish. My eating pal who writes Blondes with an Appetite also recently visited BellyQ and a similar unimpressive experience.
Drink – I opted the wine route though the cocktails looked interesting.
Service – At first I found our server to be very attentive. But somewhere in the middle of the meal, he became noticeably absent. The hostess checked on us and then I felt rushed to finish up. At the very end, our server apologized for not being around, but the damage had already been done in my mind.
Scene – They have redone the former One SixtyBlue space to be less formal. The vibe is lively and loud (in an okay way).
Occasion – I think this would be a fun place for a birthday dinner (assuming that there is some food flavor correction) because of the liveliness of the place.
Price – I spent $50 with tax and tip. Moderate buyers remorse.
If you like, try…Embeya