This review is a difficult one for me to write because in March of this year I reviewed the “Newport Avenue Yacht Club Restaurant” – virtually the same restaurant as Oscars – same owner, same address – and gave them an outstanding review. Shortly after I reviewed it – 10 days after they had opened – I was informed that it was no longer the Newport Avenue Club but was now called Oscars.
I have a new foreign language student living with me – Riccardo – and he mentioned to me that he had a delicious smoked fish taco at Oscars and wondered if I had ever eaten there. I should mention that he is only 19 and is unable to go to places like South Beach because of the age requirements. He told me the taco was one of the best he had ever had and I should try it.
So, I called my neighbor Jim and asked him if he would like to go with me to try out Oscars, particularly since he had been my partner when I went to OB Fishers. I knew he would accept and we went last Thursday, at 6:45pm.
My immediate response was that it hadn’t changed much since it was Newport Avenue Yacht Club. It looked a little more run-down; the menu board was the same black slate with writing on it but the offerings were a little more extensive. I did not see any fried fish or French fries on the menu, something I commented on in my original review.
Since Ricky had suggested we try the smoked fish taco, Jim and I ordered one and shared it. It was prepared with shredded cabbage and slices of avocado and cost $3.75. We each ordered the “Especial Taco plate – served with shrimp, spicy fish and scallops – and it cost $4.75. In all honesty, the “Spicy” was a little too much spice for me; the shrimp were delicious, and if there were scallops I did not taste them. Jim ordered a side of beans ($1.50) that he said were good, but I noticed that he added a goodly amount of salt to them.
Andrea, the order taker, was delightful, and knew the menu well. What she didn’t know was why John, the owner, changed the name of the restaurant and altered the menu slightly.
It is interesting to note that he still does not have a beer and wine license and I heard a customer tell a member of his party that he was going to go down the street to bring back a beer. I ordered a strawberry Jarritos – $2.25 and Jim had water. They do not offer ice tea.
The food was good; served quickly and well presented. BUT….throughout the entire meal we were fighting off flies – mainly fruit flies. They were everywhere; on my cup; on the food; on the table. Fruit flies are relatively easy to get rid of – a little apple cider vinegar, mixed with a dollop of liquid dish detergent, and a little bit of water. I don’t know if the flies were all over because we were seated next to the trash container – which I didn’t notice until we finished our meal and looked for a place to put our trash. (All the foods were served in paper or Styrofoam cups.)
Jim pointed out to me that the cleanest place in the restaurant was the bathroom. The dining room looked like they didn’t expect anyone to eat inside; benches were on top of benches; we had to move things around in order to sit comfortably. (It was breezy and we elected not to eat outside.) While there, there were two single men that came in and one family of 3. They all ate outside in the patio but one remarked that he wished people didn’t stand in front of the restaurant and smoke.
I asked Andrea if John was there to talk to but she said he was ill and had taken the night off. It was nice to see that she and her mother – Amalia – were working together.
So … would I go back? I don’t think so. In spite of the food being good, the lack of cleanliness bothered me. I kept wondering what the kitchen must look like if there were so many flies in the main room. (The kitchen is hidden behind a wall and one cannot look in while ordering and/or eating. ) The fact that the bathroom was so clean tells me that the restaurant can look the same way, but it needs a little more tender care.