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11 of the Best Bad Restaurant Reviews Ever

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11 of the Best Bad Restaurant Reviews Ever
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Love them or hate them, critics are paid to entertain us, and we love it when they really go in on a restaurant, dismantling pretention, rip-off prices and shoddy service. They can help make or break a restaurant, and can be both uncomfortably vitriolic and convulsively hilarious.

Here then, are some of the best one-liners from 11 of the best bad restaurant reviews ever, from the food world’s most respected critics, plus political writer Tina Nguyen, writers who have elevated the withering put-down to an art form.


11 of the Best Bad Restaurant Reviews Ever


1. Pete Wells on Per Se, New York for The New York Times, 2015

I don’t know what could have saved limp, dispiriting yam dumplings, but it definitely wasn’t a lukewarm matsutake mushroom bouillon as murky and appealing as bong water.


2. Tina Nguyen on Trump Grill, New York for Vanity Fair, 2016

Krystal T/Creative Commons

Renowned butcher Pat LaFrieda once dared me to eat an eyeball that he himself popped out of the skull of a roasted pig. That eyeball tasted better than the Trump Grill’s (Grille’s) Gold Label Burger.


3. Jay Rayner on Buddha Bar, London for The Observer, 2008

There will be casualties in the restaurant trade as a result of the current economic turmoil; I sincerely hope London’s Buddha Bar is one of them.


4. Giles Coren (The Times) on Balthazar , London, via Twitter, 2013

The greatest mass delusion since Nazism…truly the worst kitchen to open in London since the arrival of McDonald’s.


5. Pete Wells on Kappo Masa, New York for The New York Times, 2015

Every once in a while, something genuinely remarkable would arrive, as if from another kitchen.


6. Jonathan Gold on Olive Garden, Los Angeles for LA Weekly , 2011

Mike Mozart/Creative Commons

I wondered how much straight Galliano would deliver me to a merciful death. 


7. Jay Rayner on Leon de Bruxelles, London for The Observer, 2013

The meat inside the shells is small and shrivelled and dry; each shell contains what looks like the retracted scrotum of a hairless cat.


8. Ryan Sutton on Tavern on the Green, New York for Eater, 2014

Mac 'n' cheese is real prison slop ... $32 on what is surely one the worst things anyone can eat outside of Rikers.


9. Joshua David Stein on Montana’s Trail House, New York for the Observer, 2014

Its rottenness is both inherent and cosmetic; it is culinarily insipid and morally insidious.


10. AA Gill on L’Ami Louis, Paris for Vanity Fair, 2011


It’s undeniable that L’Ami Louis really is special and apart. It has earned an epic accolade. It is, all things considered, entre nous, the worst restaurant in the world.


11. Pete Wells on Guy's American Kitchen & Bar, New York for The New York Times, 2012

Hey [Guy], did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste? The watermelon margarita? Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?



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