Icho: Unprofessional

So this it how it looks with the lights on...

So this it how it looks with the lights on...

Give it a try if… You can’t wait to enjoy an evening tour of the charming, lively neighbourhood of Les Corts.

Steer clear if… You’re also planning to have dinner.

I would love to open this promising new year by telling you how great sushi is at Icho, an upscale Japanese restaurant situated on a corner of the L’Illa Diagonal mall. I would be happy to praise its glamorous decor, the flawless service and the creative menu. That is, if only I had been able to try it.

How Dared We

It was Reyes night (January 6) when a friend and I decided to go out for dinner (CHOIR: OOOH!). I mean, can you blame us? We were simply feeling like dining in a HQ restaurant, but during the holiday season that can turn into an all-but-simple quest in an anti-anticonventional city like Barcelona. You see, most of the population here loves to go out at the same time – friday or saturday evening, sometimes thursday if you’re feeling reeeeally wild – in order to do the same thing – eat one and a half croquetas de jamón, drink beer and mock anyone sporting a mohawk or an otherwise exotic look.

Anybody Home?

We were originally aiming for La Maison du Languedoc Roussillon, one of the best restaurants I tried last year, but I tragically discovered that it has closed up shop. (May it be reincarnated! I mean, if Richard Gere deserves it, why shouldn’t such a good restaurant.) Other places were closed for the holidays, so I ended up calling Icho – whose answering machine just warned that they “cannot answer at the moment” – and finally booked a table through its shiny website. “6 January 2012: Reservation confirmed,” said the email I promptly received. “We hope you’ll enjoy the visit.”

It’s Hulk Time

No surprise we felt like vomiting our bile all over the spotless windows when, after travelling all the way to the place – which is not exactly right around the corner – we discovered it was shamelessly closed. As in closed! Now, dear managers, tell me: if you really want to market yourself as a top-tier restaurant, why don’t you start by respecting your customers’ time? Picture the look on my face when, 12 hours later – after checking their website again to find an insolent “Happy New Year” note, without any mention whatsoever of the closing – I received a follow-up email saying “Thank you very much for visiting Icho. It would be great for us to know about your experience. It will only take two minutes of your time.” Well in the end I’ve taken more than an hour, but at least you know how I bloody felt. Sorry I cannot tell you how good Icho is, then, but how could I know – and as you can imagine, I am not that eager to find out.

UPS score (Utmost Perfection Scale): 0/10

Icho: C. Déu I Mata 65-92 (Les Corts), BCN – closed: good luck finding out!

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