One of the less spectular meals I had this break was at Luna Park, and that is euphemizing things. I guess it could be considered either the worst, or pretty close to that (worst was probably Le Soleil). It's a popular place on 18th and Valencia, always with a crowd outside the door. It is beyond me why this place has any customers, because with all the good choices nearby, why would anyone come here? The place is teeming with masochists I guess.
We were a party of seven and were seated in one of the booths next to the corridor leading to the back dining area. The booth was quite dingy, something you would find in a shady bar in the Midwest. I was not very fond of the decor (janky chic??). Our server was a girl in her twenties who was quite inattentive. She came to get our orders and bring our dishes, but we never saw much more of her.
Grilled Artichoke with Lemon Aioli
For an appetizer we got Warm Goat Cheese Fondue with Grilled Bread and Sliced Apples (unpictured) and the grilled artichoke. I didn't get to taste the cheese fondue. The artichoke was simply bad. It was so salty and sour--I assume it was marinated for a week in some really poor tasting vinegar? It totally overpowered the taste of the artichoke that I couldn't even taste it. The lemon aioli was totally useless since the artichoke was so overseasoned. What a waste of artichoke!
Braised Beef Cheeks with Porcini Mushrooms and Pearl Onions served on Creamy Polenta
I ended up choosing beef cheeks over mahi mahi. Our server described it as "simmered for 4 hours" and "so tender it melts in your mouth". Who can resist such a description? Ok well, imagine my surprise when it arrived like this--a clay pot of...goop? I couldn't see what I was eating the entire night because it was so dark, and even the food didn't reveal to me as what I was eating either!
My first bite was only the sauce, which was extremely salty. It had hardly any beef flavor, and I tasted more celery, carrots, and peppers than mushrooms or onions. Anyway, under the thick mess was the beef, which I suspect was not even beef cheek but more like beef brisket. It was soft and tender, but certainly not melt in my mouth. It was not even that beefy! It just tasted like a salty but flavorless pot roast. The polenta was simply mush--pretty tasteless and bland, and the texture was in competition with the beef "stew."
Fontina Stuffed Ravioli with Mushrooms, Spinach and Truffle Oil
I got to sample a bite of this, and it was drowning in salt. I also didn't taste any truffle oil. I didn't even opt for dessert since the apps and entrees were so bad.
The only thing that saved this meal was the company i was with. Luna Park is abyssmal! Apparently, the former chef left so it used to be good at some point. But why do people still frequent this place? Way overrated and undeserving of a second chance.