OUT Latin Food Not Worth The Trek
When I heard that the old Bai Cha space was being re-purposed as a Latin food spot, called ‘OUT’ I was both excited and hopeful. To be frank, Bai Cha was plain out awful, and as much as the food scene in Hells Kitchen has improved over the past few years, the area still needs a serious culinary kick in the ass. A few weeks ago I paid a visit to Bai Cha’s replacement (I confirmed that OUT’s owner is different than Bai Cha’s as well), and found that unfortunately, it seems that any restaurant space occupying 710 9th Ave may be doomed to mediocrity.
First the good – during the weekdays, they run $6.95 lunch special of a protein of your choice over rice (white or yellow) and beans (pinto or black). They also had a commendable variety of dishes available – pork ribs, a fish curry, two different styles of stewed beef, and two different types of stewed chicken, all served out of gleaming clean hotel pans.
But the food, for the most part, was bland and lacked ‘oomph’. And as it was, my pork ribs were dubiously diminutive and sinewy tough. On the other hand, there was enough gravy present to cover up some of the mistakes, and it made for a nice moistening binder for the flat-tasting rice and beans. A side of hot sauce (only served upon request), had about as much heat as an R.A. Dickey knuckleball. Although the $6.95 plate of food is a fair deal and more than filling, the food on paper is much more interesting than in reality.
For the lunchers relegated to the far west side, OUT will certainly fill the void for those craving a cheap plate of Latin food. However, I’d recommend that the rest of you stick to a tried and true taste of Latin food at Margon or Sophie’s/Tina’s.
Out Latin Food, 710 9th Ave (btw. 48+49th), 212-246-0867