NO.1 Issued Date 2012.Oct.18
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Napa Nosh: Mexican Fare on Dagu Lu

2012-10-17 10:25:34 GMT2012-10-17 18:25:34(Beijing Time)  City Weekend

When we first heard of a new spot on Dagu Lu serving fish tacos, we were excited. Few places offer it in town; fewer do it well. But while Napa Nosh’s fish tacos do deliver, the rest of the experience falls flat.

Set in a generic loft-type space split into two floors, there’s little memorable about the décor. Upstairs is slightly loungier; the kitchen and a more standard seating area sits below. The restaurant pushes itself as a pan-Californian eatery, and its surprisingly short menu reflects this with the aforementioned fish tacos from down south and a couple of pastas that are more typical of the north.

We started with some chips and salsa as part of our lunch sets (RMB45-60). The salsa is proudly “homemade on premises,” and unfortunately that shows through. It’s all roughly chopped and gives the impression that it’s only been quickly assembled. The salmon clam chowder, a potentially winning combination, was unfortunately not. “All I can taste is celery,” our dining partner remarked with a smirk.

The Mexi-Cali options fared better. The simple beef quesadillas have an appropriately spicy bite, and the soft fish tacos feature bright and fresh tilapia that pairs well with the loose sprigs of cilantro laid within. Our other soft taco, the shrimp and bacon option, felt clunky in comparison—the corn and overly crisp bacon bogged down what should be a relatively light dish.

Service is friendly and, at the price, there are things to like. But six weeks in, Napa is already planning a revamp of its menu, and we can’t say they’re wrong for doing so.

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