There's the raunchy name. The 50 wall-to-wall flat screen TVs showing every sport televised. The blaring music. And let's not forget the fetching young waitresses decked out in short shorts and tank tops. No question, Bottomz Up appears to be aiming a bit lower than the intellect. Or the palate.
Guess again, for this so-called "breastaurant" boasts a smart, ambitious menu from well-credentialed chef Adam Goldgell as well as a dinnertime satellite sushi bar from the nearby Shiro of Japan. Adding to the appeal are midweek prix-fixe specials.
One dinner kicks off with a Black Dragon roll, a surprisingly light combo featuring chopped shrimp and crab, avocado and eel. Goldgell's North African sweet potato-peanut soup du jour comes off as slyly spicy, wickedly good. Baltimore crabcakes fashioned of lump and jumbo lump crab meat are a treat; pulled chicken sliders with barbecue sauce and coleslaw are downright terrific. A guilty pleasure: freshly baked pretzels with multigrain mustard.
The burger here is a juicy, oozy winner, served with excellent hand-cut fries and a fine fried pickle. A respectable turkey burger comes with cranberry ketchup and gratuitously cinnamon-sugared sweet potato fries (request yours naked). Although a sliced skirt steak sandwich is ordered rare, it turns up well done. Still, the meat is juicy, savory.
Not a hint of moisture in the macadamia-crusted chicken, which is a veritable block of wood. St. Louis ribs, on the other hand, are meaty and moist, brushed with a slightly sweet barbecue sauce. A runaway hit is Goldgell's unconventional shrimp and chicken jambalaya, grilled Gulf shrimp lined up over corkscrew pasta laced with chicken, chorizo, peppers and onions in a spicy, creamy sauce.
You might conclude with the airy, boozy tiramisu in a martini glass. Or the raspberry cheesecake served in a beer mug with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Ask your waitress to hold the aerosol whipped cream. Desserts like these deserve better.