I really want to like Opus. For the most part I do. The staff -- from the host to the bussers to the kitchen staff -- are exceedingly friendly and accommodating. They helped us prop up the car seat on the booth and were tolerant when things got a little dicey with the baby come 10:00 p.m. The room is shiny and sparkly, and noise level good on a Saturday night.
If only the food were more even. Hand torn pasta with oodles of cheese and grapes was well-received at our table, as was the not earth-shattering but serviceable butter lettuce salad.
Opus got a hold of very fresh burratta to blob on crostini toasts that flanked long romaine leaves. Who doesn't love mounds of soft, gooey expensive cheese?
I was alone in digging the unusual octopus with crisp pork belly and sweet n' sour pickled watermelon. There wasn't anything interesting or flavorful about the crisp eggplant salad; the breading applied to the eggplant slices was bland (probably in a misguided effort to keep the fat and calorie count down), as were the cucumber pieces with yogurt and dill. I felt confused by the overall combo of sensory excitement and food that left my taste buds snoozing.
Peanut butter chocolate cake exploded into messy goodness of the featured ingredients. Other desserts were just plain... bad. I'm surprised to know there's a self-respecting pastry chef out there who serves thick panna cotta that feels more like full fat Greek yogurt than a delicate baked custard. Then my mouth puckered; the burrata might be prime, but Opus isn't scouring the markets in search of fresh berries. The ones we were served were downright sour and were better left tossed aside. (The strawberry shortcake's stuff was a little better.) A tuille with black sesame seeds didn't add anything worthwhile either.
At least we couldn't go wrong with the lovely Moscato D'asti for our last taste of the meal.
And yet Opus, I sincerely root for you.