The appeal of a place like The Daily Catch is something that befuddles me. People wait in line for an hour to get to a seat in the cramped little hole in the wall, which does look like someone punched a hole in the wall and stuck a restaurant in it. Maybe it’s the herd mentality or something like that. Everything is open. You watch the chef boil your pasta and fry your calamari, see him grab those chicken breasts from the fridge no more than 3 meters from your seat. So maybe it’s the performance piece of it.
When we decided to visit on a Monday night, there was a line of 7 or 8 folks waiting outside. Luckily, we came at an opportune time when a group of 5 or so was leaving the restaurant and an impatient couple in front of the line decided to leave right before the host called us in. The expectation of a 30-45 minute wait time was thus reduced to 5 minutes. The level of excitement then was irrationally high. We got in, sat down, and ignoring the wisdom of the venerable Anthony Bourdain*, ordered the shrimp with squid-ink pasta and fried calamari. It was good. Not good enough to warrant a 30-45 minute wait, but good. The calamari was good – batter was crunchy and not too heavy, the squid was soft, not too rubbery. The pasta was more than al dente, so was slightly disappointed. The sauce and the flavor of the shrimp – they make up for it. I would come here again, though not sure I’d wait an hour on an empty stomach. But then on a full stomach, why bother?
*We learned from Mr. Bourdain that in the restaurant business, seafood is usually delivered on Friday morning and Monday morning. On Monday night, restaurants are most likely trying to get rid of the old seafood. So, you should never order seafood on a Monday night. Unless lower GI discomfort is your thing.