10 Downing's triangular shape, with glass walls jutting onto a non-grid corner, creating some of the city's worst acoustics, explains the terrible noise. For that I was glad. The conversations around me were like those at an L.A. party, but instead of talking about the pretty young women who light up the screen, everyone was praising the ugly, fat old men who created our current state of affairs.
Its resonant address aside, 10 Downing isn't even remotely British. And I've no clue why it's now come to a critical mass. 10 Downing is loud; the kitchen is known to be inconsistent; they feature truly horrific wine cocktails (don't ask about the Port Flip); the chef is infamous for a tawdry dispute with a former business partners. And Damien Hirst posters can only get you so far. And yet, it works. So get on over while it lasts; blood sausage and duck meatball cassoulet won't seem so appealing come July. Or maybe that's when it really gets fun. --Jeff Harris