Citrus Bar & Grill

This Restaurant is Permanently Closed

A recent road trip to Citrus reminded me why we don’t ever go to the Upper West Side to eat. Of course there are better restaurants up here than Citrus, but it’s a perfect representation of everything that’s wrong with restaurants in this area.

Citrus has been a neighborhood staple for years now; the place is overflowing with people 24/7. The space is huge, loud, and as cheesy as it gets. Fluorescent lights illuminate the walls while the room comes fully equipped with a stone waterfall and enough plants to pass for a Rainforest Cafe. There is nothing NYC about this place; you might as well be eating in Texas. While the food isn’t terrible, their Latin-meets-Asian menu is just too far-fetched. If they tried this downtown, the restaurant wouldn’t last more than a year. Do you really want chips and salsa before your sushi? No you don’t. Also, if I’m paying $15 for a margarita, I expect that drink to be labor intensive, not just some tequila tossed in with a pre-made mixture.

Food Rundown

Spiced Edamame

We never send things back, but this was awful. We took one bite of this edamame and that was all we needed. Look, I get this whole fusion business, but it’s completely unnecessary to mess with edamame. Steam the beans and toss them in salt. It’s that easy. The “three peppercorn and ancho chile” seasoning was downright disgusting.

Taco Trio Tasting

This taco trio consists of one skirt steak, one chicken with mango chipotle sauce, and one pork with pineapple red pepper-scallion salsa. The skirt steak itself was good, otherwise all the other meats we found boring and dry. Props on their mango chipotle sauce though. That’s some good stuff.

Citrus Roll

The focus is on quantity over quality in the Citrus sushi department. This roll of Alaskan king crab, tobiko, cucumber and avocado is massive, but uninspired.

Spicy Tuna Roll

Another huge roll. The tuna is definitely fresh. It just lacks excitement. The radish sprouts and cucumber dress up the roll up all pretty; it’s just that this roll left us full and empty at the same time.

Angel Hair

Angel hair pasta in pink plum tomato sauce with Monterey Jack cheese, turkey meat balls and chicken chorizo sausage. My dining companion loved it. She rambled on about drunken college nights and turkey meatballs back when she lived down the block. I had one bite and that was plenty. Next please.

Lemon Black Pepper Linguine

I get it. The uptown crowd eats way earlier than the downtown crowd. Still, 9pm is way too early to be out of every popular entree. First, I wanted the skirt steak, which I’ve heard is great, but they wer sold out. Next up, I thought I would play it safe and try the salmon. No dice, they just sold the last one. Ouch! Ok, on to the specials. I gave the linguine a whirl with wild shrimp, sea scallops, julienne veggies in a New Mexico chili sauce. It didn’t look like much when it arrived; multicolor pasta dressed with a dark orange, unappetizing looking sauce. Fortunately, this was the best thing I tasted all night. The scallops were surprisingly great and contrasted very well with the spicy chili sauce.

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