Social Eatz is a restaurant and bar located in Midtown which opened a few short months ago. Angelo Sosa is the Executive Chef and owner of this atypical jaunt. If his name sounds familiar, its because he was on Top Chef. Or maybe because he recently opened a sandwich shop, Xie Xie, that closed a little more than a year after opening its doors. Based on the service, food, and location, I am predicting the same outcome for Social Eatz. Sorry Sosa, you’re restaurant is just So-So.
Let’s start at the beginning, with your name! “Eatz”? Really? The “Z” is about as cute as the “E” Chuck E Cheese. Unfortunately, the name is not the only resemblance to this kids’ colonnade. Social Eatz, much like Chuck E Cheese promotes being social. So, the tables are on top of each other. Seriously though, they are ridiculously close. Two separate parties share a bench. So, whether you like it or not, you are on a double date. Just close your eyes and pray the couple next to you isn’t fighting or making out, not sure which would be worse.
The décor also resembles that of an arcade, minus all the cool games. This might make sense for let’s say, Johnny Rockets, which serves “classic American food” aka the kids menu. But, the menu at Social Eatz is anything but juvenile. It actually appears to be pretty well thought out, with unique flavors and combinations.
And the similarities to Chuck E Cheese continue…The staff is dressed as if they are working a kid’s birthday party, which is also the way they act. They are friendly in an “I’m the entertainment at your 7th birthday party” kind of a way. Listen, nice wait staff is better than the alternative. But come on people, this is midtown Manhattan, not Middletown, NY. This quirky restaurant just seems utterly confused.
If the food was amazing, all of this wouldn’t matter as much. But the truth is the food needs some work too. The Noodle Salad was swimming in the plum ponzu sauce. It was too cold, which means it had been sitting in the refrigerator waiting for some idiot to order it. I just happened to be that idiot. The Hot Wings were actually pretty tasty, although they had a few tablespoons too many of sauce. They were just exceptionally small, like the size of a pigeon’s wings small. Also, there were no wet naps. Come on now people; that is a rookie mistake. The Chicken Corn and Coconut Taco looked exactly like the Chili Kissed Tilapia Taco. They tasted the same too. The star of this meal should have been the Bibimbap burger, which was topped with pickled carrot and cucumber and a slow cooked egg. The flavors were actually unexpected and intriguing. However, the egg was over-cooked which made the burger really difficult to eat.
So-So so long Sosa. Wish I could say I enjoyed my meal, believe me I do. But this Bite Sized Blonde will not be returning to your restaurant.
232 East 53rd Street
New York, NY