OM: A Review

The very estimable Patricia Yeo, who ran the kitchen @ AZ, off 5th, and then opened Sapa, and then opened Ginger Park, is now at OM, in Harvard Square. Her cooking is stellar and while it is very odd to find her in Harvard Square, her troubles that landed her there are our good fortune as diners.

The place itself has its ups and downs.  On the up side is the racial diversity of the crowd, the subdued lighting, and the views of the little park.  On the down side is the blaring Techno and interior design that make the rooms look as if you’re in a club rather than a restaurant.

Physicality aside, the service is first-rate.

Good service, good crowd.

The food the night I was in was delicious:  “Chop-chop” salad, Korean style marinaded beef with lettuce leaves to wrap them and homemade kimchee, a whole fried ocean perch, and pho with tea smoked duck.  This is food with deep flavors, beautifully plated, and subtle.  The palate wakes up and stays conscious. Borderline umami, folks.

On the down side: Very little variation in textures and what is up with the house’s take-out box on each table of “truffled” potato chips and popcorn?  Are we at the movies?

Anyhow, great food comes at a price, but the value is there and let’s all rush in where angels fear to tread.

I love Yeo’s food, have since I first went to AZ and reported on her for Robb Report and on public radio, am thrilled she’s close by, and expect to see other local restaurant chefs try to cook at her level.  With the exceptions of The Monday Club Bar, Tamarind Bay, Shabu-Ya, Tory Row, Legal Seafood, & Harvest, what a great alternative OM is to bars like Russell House Tavern that serve dinner in the Square.   And  Yeo?   Better than all the rest!

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