- 1000 Ocean Ave., Asbury Park, NJ, 07712
- Overall User Rating:
- (202 ratings)
- Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Sunday and Monday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday
- Official Web Site:
What's your ideal summer beachfront meal? Some would say it's the traditional sausage, peppers and onions, while for others it's one of the many possible configurations of fried dough. Some folks would opt for the classic hot dog or cheeseburger option.
But, what if the world of fine dining attempted to find its place on the boardwalk? Would it bring a touch of class to the beach, or would such an establishment feel out of place? Would the flip-flops and tank tops crowd accept the high prices typically associated with fine dining? Such are the questions faced by Langosta Lounge, a chic eatery located on the Asbury Park boardwalk.
Now, I'd like to give you a rundown of what the inside of the Langosta Lounge looked like, but when myself and a dining companion decided to hit up the restaurant on a recent breezy Friday evening, the wait for an indoor table was approximately an hour and a half, whereas seating on the boardwalk itself was almost immediately available.
One of the first things that struck me about Langosta was its wide variety of international beers, and for our part, my table wound up ordering a pair of tasy brews that aren't exactly easy to find in Jersey: Hitachino, a Belgian white-style Japanese beer, and Lucky Buddha, a downright refreshing Australian lager. So far, so good.
Things began to get tricky, however, when it came to the appetizer, edamame. Now, all that's typically required for a successful serving of edamame is boiled soy beans and a respectable amount of kosher salt. But as served at Langosta, this simple and unassuming dish suffers from simply too many embellishments. To me, topping edamame with both Hawaiian sea salt and lime doesn't seem sophisticated -- it only makes the dish taste like someone was trying too hard in the kitchen, and the end result is distracting and muddled.
Next, it was eventually time for the main course. Now, I understand that we were there at dinner time on a Friday night in July and yes, the menu does respectfully state that "everything is made to order ... (and) time is needed to create and nourish," but the wait time for the entrees did feel excessive.
Fortunately, the wait was made easier by a couple of servings of bread with olive oil. While I appreciated the fact that the olive oil was accompanied by some tasty tomato paste and a whole clove of garlic, the dish would have been improved if the bread had actually been freshly-baked.
When the main courses did arrive, they were actually pretty fulfilling. For my part, I got the Asian chicken marsala, a hip variation on an old favorite which was, for the most part, successful. The dish was practically covered in a bitter herb, but this was made palatable by the sweet shitake mushrooms which also accompanied the meal. The flavorful chicken was also accompanied by a side order of grilled summer vegetables which was good but unremarkable.
My dining companion opted for Hali'Ilmaile Rigatoni, a Hawaiian-inspired dish of shrimp and scallops tossed with asparagus in a cilantro macadamia nut pesto cream sauce. She had no complaints about the seafood, but the sauce itself proved to be slightly problematic. For one thing, the macadamia nuts couldn't be tasted in the sauce, and when the dish was brought out, all of the sauce was simply spooned into one section of the plate. While it's understandable that the kitchen was probably in a hurry to get the food out to us, the fact that the sauce wasn't spread over the dish shows a lack of attention to detail for an otherwise satisfying meal.
At the end of the meal, we were confronted with what is probably the main thing keeping some folks away from the Langosta Lounge: the bill. After two beers, an appetizer and two entrees, plus tip, the check came out for around $75. Definitely not cheap, and some people may find it to be a bit more than they're willing to pay for a meal eaten on the boardwalk.
However, given the general quality of the food, I'm inclined to say that the meal wasn't exactly over-priced, through a bit more attention to detail in the kitchen would have made the price easier to swallow. In general, at Langosta Lounge the old axiom "you get what you pay for" holds true, as long as you're willing to wait.