Dinner at Design District Urban Tavern

My friend R was celebrating her Birthday last Saturday here.  I’m not huge on pubs, taverns and the likes, but this evening is not about me – so I was just there simply to catch up and have a great time.  R and her bf J originally decided on Avec Bistro but she had hell of a time trying to process with her reservation.  Unwilling to put up with their limiting and demanding rules she said screw it and hence… Design District was chosen.

We had very early reservations and as we were a large party, we occupied a large bench with added tables at the end near the back of the restaurant.  I’ve never been here before but based on other user reviews, the menu is posted all around.  I don’t have a  problem with this – they are saving trees and the blackboards are easiest for them to update the menu.  However, it’s only easy to walk around when the restaurant is not crowded.  I don’t know how other patrons would feel if I had to stand behind them to peer at the menu.

Since I have next to nothing of an alcohol tolerance level, I didn’t have any drinks and just focused on the food.  We had one server “assigned” to our table and the ordering process took a while, but it was smooth.  Here’s what I ordered tonight:

Design - Lamb Ribs

Ewe-nique Farms Lamb & Fat Pig Short Ribs – $11.75

As my friend K said, how can anything cooked in fat not be delicious? Indeed this was some amazing rack of lamb ribs.  The meat was fall off the bone tender, and the sauce had a hint of sweetness to it.  I can’t tell you what it was – it wasn’t spicy, and it wasn’t barbeque sauce.  I really liked this and could’ve easily ate another plate.

Design - Pickled Strawberry 2

Organic Pickled Strawberries with Triple Cream Brie – $10.50

This was not my order, but I was determined to take a picture of what pickled strawberries might possibly be.  A few of us was very intrigued when we saw this item on the blackboard, and I’m glad someone decided to order it.  Served with brie and crispy sesame crackers.

Design - Pickled Strawberry 3

I guess the word pickled doesn’t necessary mean sour… I was expecting something like pickles but I didn’t realize there was something called sweet pickled (like relish). The strawberries still tasted like strawberries and the syrup it was bathing in tasted like jam.

Design - Pickled Strawberry 4

The person who ordered it was gracious to let me try some! It was good, but I don’t think there was anything special about it.  The brie was ultra creamy though!

Design - Design Burger 2

District Burger – $11.75 (comes with choice of fries, salad or soup); Yam-Fries substitution $3.00

Since my lamb ribs were so delicious, I had high expectations for this burger.  I even clicked “liked” on Urbanspoon after my tasty appy… unfortunately, this has caused me to clear my vote.  J and I both ordered this, and we noticed the burger patty was quite charred.  It wasn’t inedible by any means so I didn’t think to send it back to the kitchen, but someone else did.  Also I don’t know if there was too much sauce but the burger bun started breaking apart after half way so it got messy eating it.  And then… the yam fries.  They looked crispy, yet they were strangely mushy, soggy… limpy.  They also looked very dark but was not burnt.  I’ve never not enjoyed yam fries in my life and this is the first time.  I did like the lemon parsley aioli that accompanied it though.

So do I like this restaurant? Honestly, I really liked the lamb ribs but definitely didn’t like the burger.  I didn’t have dessert as the choices that night didn’t interest me, but I was pretty stuffed after all that food anyway.  The service wasn’t bad and of course since we were a large group, an 18% gratuity was added.  I am not in a rush to go back but I wouldn’t avoid it either.

Design District Urban Tavern on Urbanspoon

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