La Di Da Di
Preamble: I don’t really know what to expect since this is my first time visiting a restaurant run by renowned chef collective “Battles”.
I mean, I grabbed ice cream at Gloss Drop once a few years back, but that hardly counts.
“The Yabba” – Fun and light, but doesn’t really go anywhere. Serving size is too large, and I was barely interested in eating the second half.
“Dot Net” – Delicious! Best item on the menu. Not too filling, lots of interesting flavours. Perfectly balances the three main ingredients: sugary looping synths, tart melody, and bitter, thumping drums. Reminds me of something Michelin-star chef Aphex Twin would serve.
“FF Bada” – Someone left this in the oven too long. The restaurant across the street, “Sun Araw”, does this dish with much more nuance.
“Summer Simmer” – Complex and fun, but too diluted. At least the paddled drums and shrieking jingles leave a pleasant after-taste.
“Cacio E Pepe” – Nicely layered sandwich, but the annoying syncopated spices made me reach for my water too often.
“Non-Violence” – Love this vegan dish. It’s seasoned to near-perfection, and the sparkling keyboards, while a bit repetitive, are comforting. I will definitely come back to try this again.
“Dot Com” – This one arrives at the table on fire! South American flavours come together with a puerile North American texture to make the most crowd-pleasing item on the menu.
“Tyne Wear” – Might try to make this one at home myself – a simple holiday dish. Nothing special at all.
“Tricentennial” – A strange, experimental item. Fried guitars on the side are a treat, and outshine the main pudding which is arid and bland.
“Megatouch” – Will bring back memories of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and playing Super Mario Bros while you pretended to be sick. Great comfort food.
“Flora > Fauna” – A minty pallet cleanser. Hiroshi Yoshimura did a lot more with a lot less. Oneohtrix Point Never, too.
“Luu Le” – What an odd dish to finish on! Don’t know what to make of this. Very large portion size. Lots of layers. Gets dense – and most exciting – near the middle, but the milky whip cream on top and flimsy filo pastry on the bottom don’t exactly make a satisfying alpha-omega.
Verdict: La Di Da Di really lacks cohesion. If asked what the “mood” of this restaurant was, I could tell you: light and playful, good for all ages. But the type of dining experience that Battles provide here exists in an awkward limbo between sit-down and take-out, between progressive cuisine and comfort food. They might steal away plenty of business from competitors like BadBadNotGood, but other local eateries need not be concerned. If you’re looking for something similar to what I’ve described here, but more ambitious and up-scale, I recommend Jonathan Badger’s “Verse” which is just down the street. That said, if you’re just strolling through town and happen to pass by La Di Da Di, give it a shot. You’re sure to find something on the menu that’ll make your taste buds smile.
– Nicholas Fazio
Label Website: warp.net/news/artist/battles
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: BATTLES – LA DI DA DI