We were seated on the outdoor balcony (even with the protective temperature sheets and heat bars, still a little too cold in there) and have to agree on the furniture and soundtrack. We kept commenting how it sounded like a middle schooler's discarded iPod and how the seats felt very out of place. Having visited their North Carolina location I have to say I prefer their aesthetic better - it's a clean, more industrial look with parody art posters (with the "cowfish" infused) decorating the space. This felt a little cluttered.Finally tried this last night. Sampled the filet/lobster "sushi," then had the boursin-bacon burger.
Not a big sushi guy, the roll was interesting but not enough to make me change my mind on that. The burger was very good, tho not good enough to be in the conversation for best in Orlando. At least in the discussion with NBA and HRC for best in CityWalk, but even that's not a lock. The fries, tho, were horrible; comparable to Steak & Shake.
The decor and atmosphere, tho, are where CowFish truly falls down. The place feels like a hospital corridor decorated with chairs/dividers/lights the manager picked up on an Ikea run. Murals on the walls in the same style as Antojitos and Vivo (you can tell all three restaurants and Bread Box were designed at once by the same team), only not done as well. The music is piped-in top 40. There was no sense of theme/place-making/style.
I saw a cable show where the original restaurant had a huge aquarium. Only real fish I saw at this one were wrapped in rice. The bar--an area theoretically reserved to guests 21+--is dominated by a "Make your own ca-1998 CGI fish" video game. Again, the focus of the bar is a game on a par with those in the Space Mountain queue. Clearly I was expecting too much, but the HYPE set me up for something more like Shark Grill at Sea World. Not Ikea stools and CGI fish with sunglasses.
[The one exception is the bathroom, which has it's own soundtrack--it's a one-note joke, but a funny one-note joke. The rest of the atmosphere lacks that sense of irreverence to match the menu.]
Service was fine. Friendly, perfect speed, couple managers even came over to chat. Did get an AP discount
Maybe I'm spoiled living in Orlando for 15 years. Other than maybe 4 sushi items, nothing on the menu was particularly original to me--it felt like a Jungle Jim's rip-off to be honest, I'd swear they did an Elvis burger. And while the food was good, the atmosphere is just lacking, especially compared to the local competition, like it was thrown together quickly. I do think the Universal HYPE machine has taken over on this one--if this opened at Downtown Disney, it would be ridiculed.
All the sitdown restaurants do that, Chris. Especially when we use the holiday discount.I too was seated outside. What's funny I never notice the music. Now that I think about it. Couldn't agree more about the fries. Time will tell if this place gets better or worse.
Not sure why Cowfish is the only restaurant I've come across that adds gratuity. When using a TM discount. Kind of makes me think why am I even using the discount.