No, I was not out nightclubbing at the Pier Lounge, Bar & Grill – but I did meet friends there recently for mid-week Happy Hour.
The Pier Lounge, Bar & Grill is located on J Street in Downtown Sacramento across from the Golden 1 Center. I knew that parking was going to be a challenge. Even worse, I had double-checked and there was an event at the Golden 1 Center. My expectation proved right. Since I was unwilling to pay a $20 flat fee to park in the nearby parking garage I ended up parking some distance away and walking several blocks.
I hate to be late – but I was – 20 minutes late.
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My friend (who had a Groupon for the Pier Lounge, Bar & Grill) was already there sitting at the bar – but at least she had a glass of Bogle Chardonnay to keep her company. I ordered the same and we proceeded to catch up.
The bar is quite large, and a few more people wandered in while we were there. There were some tables nearby – but they were empty. The upstairs room turns into a nightclub on Friday and Saturday nights – but I did not go and check out the space.
We decided to order something to nibble on, and after asking our bartender a few questions we ordered the Gyoza (fried pork pot stickers, ponzu sauce) and Bacon Brussel Sprouts (Brussel sprouts tossed with bacon).
What a disappointment!
The Gyoza was overcooked and tough – but edible after dipping them into the ponzu sauce to soften them up. The menu did not specify – but I am positive they were “deep” fried as opposed to “fried”. After tasting the Bacon Brussel Sprouts we agreed that not only did they taste greasy – they tasted burnt.
It was just moments afterwards when the very nice bartender came by and asked us how we liked our food. I don’t think he was expecting our unfavorable critique – but he did ask.
Another friend arrived and we ordered a second glass of wine. The pour was very generous.
As the five gyoza were very small, and the Brussel Sprouts unappetizing, we decided to try the Bulgogi Fries (garlic fries topped with bulgogi seasoned sliced ribeye, sriracha remoulade, chili oil and green onions). We picked at the dish and agreed that while some folks might find the dish to their liking – we did not.
We really struck out! Maybe the kitchen was just having a bad night – but I don’t expect that I will ever find out if that was the case.
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