I just got word this afternoon from restaurant manager Kamyar Khoshdel that the new and improved Andaluca at the Mayflower Hotel has actually hit its date and is reopen, as promised, as of breakfast today.
"It was basically like building a new restaurant," Khoshdel told me. "We have to take everything out, replace floors, work, then bring everything back in again."Unlike building a new restaurant, though, Andaluca managed to get everything done by the date it announced--something as rare in the restaurant industry as an honest genius or a virgin cocktail waitress. What Andaluca went through during the ten days it was closed was a major renovation. "New hardwood floor, new equipment..." Khoshdel explained, like he was ticking everything off on his fingers. The kitchen got partially rebuilt. The dish room completely. Everyone, it seems, got some new gear. "Basically overall? Facelift."
Two things that haven't changed: the cuisine and the staff. The kitchen is still under the command of exec chef Wayne Johnson (as it has been for the past eleven years--a helluva tenure in Galley World), and the cuisine remains Spanish in both inspiration and execution, a mix of simple pintxos (potato croquettes, steamed mussels, grilled chicken skewers with saffron aioli and duck cakes with apricot chutney and raita) and large plates for those whose appetites can't be contained by a mere 20-odd appetizers.