Overall impression: Sage's menu includes sections devoted to oysters and pizza, risotto and organic meat and poultry. Throw in beef bourguignonne and meat loaf, and it's hard to know what kind of restaurant Sage wants to be. None of it is particularly well executed. The restaurant was once owned by chef Laurent Tasic, longtime owner of Sage French Café and Wine Bar in Fort Lauderdale, but it was sold sometime ago.
Ambience: The long, awkwardly shaped dining room is overdecorated and in need of a redesign. Fresh oysters are on display as you walk through the brown-toned dining room.
Starters: Raw oysters — Kumamoto ($2.95 each), Apalachicola ($2 each) and Blue Point ($2.25 each) — were among the best things we sampled at Sage. Fresh and served with mignonette and cocktail sauce, they were the highlight of the meal. Escargot ($11) was nicely done, but needed more garlic in the butter. Tuna tartare ($9 half/$15 full) was a nice mixture of cool tuna and spicy guacamole, but the half serving was minute. We returned cold and greasy calamari ($10), and it was removed from our check. There are too many appetizers and salads to list, but they include portobello Napoleon ($12), lollipop lamb chops ($12), warm goat-cheese salad ($13) and French onion soup ($8).
Entrees: Thinking I was dining in a French restaurant, I ordered a medium-rare New York strip steak with French fries ($27 for a 16-ounce/$20 for a 10-ounce). It was pretty much raw and impossibly chewy. It sat on my plate. Catch at la Sage ($28) is a combination of lobster, shrimp, scallops, mussels and cherry tomatoes with a bit of brandy and cream served on top of snapper with rice and vegetables. Bouillabaisse ($25) was a bit salty for my tastes. It had plenty of shellfish, but no fish. Mussels in creamy garlic sauce ($18) were fine, although unremarkable.
Service: Eccentric but attentive. Still, why did our server pour the bottle of wine we'd ordered before letting us taste?
Liquid assets: A decent wine list.
Sage Oyster Bar in Hollywood
2000 Harrison St., Hollywood
Hours: Dinner daily
Credit cards: All major
Bar: Full service
Sound level: Can be noisy
Outside smoking: Yes
For kids: Highchairs, booster seats, menu items on request
Wheelchair accessible: yes