Craig LaBan has an off-kilter set of experiences at Michael O’Halloran’s Kong in Northern Liberties.
There were a handful of modest successes: a bright arugula salad tossed with crisply fried squid, some pretty dumplings filled with lamb and pickled eggplant, a mound of crispy rock shrimp in wasabi mayo with sweet-and-spicy walnuts, and a plate of deep-fried asparagus, though these also came with yet more of that gooey sesame-hoisin as a dip.
At the time, I wasn’t necessarily pondering how many bells. For Kong, I was thinking about a gong.
Some of those initially clumsy flavors had been smoothed out enough by my second visit to taste a glimmer of hope. By then, it seems, O’Halloran had taken over the nightly kitchen reins at Kong himself and sent his chef de cuisine back to Bistro 7.
One Bell – Hit or Miss