Stephan Pyles wants your cheap ass to feel fancy. That must be why he opened Samar in the middle of downtown, put a buncha hookahs out front, hired hosts in suits who insist on opening the door for you and did a million other things so that when you look at this place you say, "Thas expensive." But then he's only charging five dollars per tapas plate. For nine bucks, you get two plates and for $17 you get four plates. The menu is a super fuckin' fancy read (everything's in Not English and the dishes include everything from chicken to foie gras) and is broken up into three regions: Spain, India and Eastern Mediterranean.
For nine dollars, I got to order a meal that sounds like it should cost at least 50 bucks. I felt like Sloane in that fancy restaurant in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, only less shoulder-padded: "Uh, yes, I'll have the mejillones en escabeche [mussels with pears, sherry and cream] and the patatas y chorizo con huevo orgánico [potatoes and chorizo with fried Motley Farm organic egg and Hudson Valley foie gras]. Because I'm super fucking rich, and I can afford it. To drink? A water. Tap. On the rocks."
Those mussels were more amazing than a movie about Jesus starring Jesus. They were like tom kha on mussels-crack. The bowl was kinda small, but they poured enough broth on top of the mussels to count as more than a full cup of soup. And it's a tapas place. Take a deep breath and deal with the fact that there's no buffet line and the portions are small, fatty.
Samar 2100 Ross Ave. 214-922-9922
Tie and khakis count: 25 Hookah count: 5 People actually hookah-ing count: 0
Order some naan (that's India's version of Texas toast for my rednecks in the house) if you get those mussels. There's a lot of broth and using naan to sop it up might be more dainty than, say, making out with the bowl like I did.
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The foie gras was amazing. I went after it like PETA's going after Lady Gaga for that meat dress. I hadn't had foie gras on my breakfast platter before and it was dope. Mickey D's should seriously think about adding that shit to their menu. PETA, if you're reading, 1) I'm not sorry for eating it, and 2) I can't believe you read this filth. And hey, Foie Gras, stop tasting so good if you don't want me to eat you. Duh.