Living Room Theaters Boca Raton Needs Work, but It's Already the Best Movie Food Around
|Photos by Eric Barton|
|It's less Florida Atlantic University campus and more Stockholm.|
There's something that feels foreign about the lobby/restaurant at the new Living Room Theaters in Boca Raton. The sparse tables and chairs look straight from Ikea, and the minimalist touches feel like the designer used to work at Volvo. And it all works -- this is South Florida's new home for indie and foreign flicks after all.
The system for ordering at Florida Atlantic University's theater is also completely foreign, and here, unfortunately, it possesses no Swedish ingenuity. Next to the one-man
box office window is a restaurant cash register, where you may wait in line to learn that it's just for ordering food in the theater.
If you decide instead to sit in the restaurant, you'll be at the mercy of a couple servers rarely patrolling the place. But if you go for eating in the theaters instead -- and why wouldn't you? -- you'll be given a number on a stick that you bring with you to your seat.
Inside, the seats are the nicest around (take that, Muvico). Big leather captain's chairs feature a console area on one side with a pair of cupholders. It's stadium-style seats, so the views in the small theaters are fantastic.
The food comes quickly. Only one person in our theater waited into the previews. And it comes in style -- in lap-sized, white plastic containers that look like huge bento boxes. The menu largely consists of tapas, and if you've ordered a few items, you'll be juggling those boxes a bit. My wife and I split four small- to medium-sized items, and we clunked around our boxes through the previews, hoping to be done with our Leggo-like plates before the movie started.
As for the food, it's better than you'd probably make at home, maybe worse than you'd do at Mizner Park nearby, and certainly a vast improvement over any other food-serving South Florida theater.
The wine and beer menu includes a fine selection of the cheap and the moderately priced. Our bottle of Erath pinot noir ($38) came with a set of real, stemless glasses -- a nice touch for a cinema.
The $7 mezza plate includes a well-spiced hummus, a too-salty baba ganouch, and a fresh tabouli. Eat the pita bread quick before it hardens to nearly inedible.
The $8 Spanish tortilla comes sliced tartine-style, with exposed layers of egg, potato, and ham. It's a bit spongy -- likely from the reheating in the microwave -- but a fine tapas dish while catching a movie. The salsa on the side gives the otherwise simple plate a nice bite.
If the $8 caprese is any indication, the paninis may be the best bet here. The ciabatta comes well toasted, the mozzarella melting into the red peppers and basil. We went with the balsamic dressing (yes, they ask for a dressing choice when you order it), and it soaked in nicely to the porous bread.
The only real disappointment in our boxes was the $7 crème brûlée. It's described on the menu as "seasonal," but apparently we're in a very simple season. It came with no fruit or chocolate or flavor to suggest it was anything but custard. And it also had no crusty, carmelized sugar top, which is one of those things that you're just supposed to do if you're calling it crème brûlée.
Maybe the torch was broken that night. Maybe the manager was off, considering nobody noticed us in the dining room for a half-hour, even after we asked. And maybe they'll figure out the very odd ordering process.
But even if all of that never works, The Living Room is still the best movie house/restaurant around.
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