The M.E.C. mallrats fill out their comment cards. They didn't like the dessert or the chicken, but they liked the tempura veggies. Cliff watches the judges leave and says he doesn't feel great about their experience. The judges move over to Lalalina where Ted Ilan explains the name. The explanation draws coos from all the judges. You can even hear Yakura say, "That's SO CUTE!" but I can't tell if he's being sincere or not. "Is this an olive pit on my table?" Padmadala asks suddenly. Your table, Padmadala? Aren't you sharing it with Yakura? The camera close-ups on what is indeed a chewed-over olive pit. "Is that our amuse?" Yakura laughs as Ted Ilan hastily grabs at the pit. The M.E.C. server brings water and says they also have some Italian orange-tangerine soda. "Can you run across the street and get the beer from the other restaurant?" Colicchio asks, lounging back in his chair and not even looking at the server when he talks to her. Given that the other restaurant is right next door and not actually across the street, I'd say you have had more than enough to drink, Coldickio. Also, that stunt of making a crack while not looking the person in the eye when speaking to them and instead looking around at your companions to bask in the appreciation of your wit is rude and disgusting. I'm sure he does it often.
In Lalalina's kitchen -- typing that name is giving me the DTs -- Ted Ilan swears and reports on the olive pit discovery. He adds, "Oy." Lest we forget his Jewishness. One Lalalina mallrat says she's jealous of the M.E.C.'s customers' beers, "They seem so happy." Beer equals happiness. Especially when it's Post Road Pumpkin Ale. Over at the judges table, Yakura rips his bread in half and says, "I'm going to put my bread right... here." And then he dramatically drops both pieces heavily on the table. Oh, Yakura, you're such an edgy cut-up -- you're the John Bender of Top Chef. In Lalalina, Sam wants to know if the mallrats are giving their server any comments. "They wish there were [sic] beer or wine," she reports. "Sucks," Sam says, wiping his head and flicking a hand at Ted Ilan to bring dishes out.
At the judges' table, Gail determines that Lalalina's service is better than M.E.C.'s just as their fried meatballs arrive. Ted Ilan adds something not covered by the Bravo graphics, the meatball is topped with a sugar-roasted tomato. The tomato is small and yellow, so I'm guessing it's a Sungold. Love those. The judges agree that the meatball is better than the burger. In the back, Mike seems to be screwing up left and right. The pesto linguini with roasted mushrooms comes out. Yakura smiles snidely, "I'm just not having any fun with this." What does that even mean -- not having any fun? Do you expect the linguini to put on a show for you? Maybe do a little Lord of the Dance? Tell knock-knock jokes as good as yours? Yakura doesn't think the mushrooms belong in the dish. "Is this the best way to make a dish that is going to impress us?" Colicchio wonders. The roasted pork loin with bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts comes out. A small bowl of polenta is served on the side. Yakura wonders why the polenta is on the side. "Um, it's on the side because we thought it would, uh --" "There's too much shit on the plate?" Yakura supplies for him. Ted Ilan sort of nods and then tells us that serving the judges was tough. Back in the dining room, Ted Ilan stands up to Yakura's greasy topknot and corrects him, "No, we thought it would look better on the side." Ted Ilan says Yakura was "a bit rude." Colicchio is still lounging back in his chair like he's some silk pantalooned sultan expecting to be fed peeled grapes by nubile sous chefs before he burps his way through a viewing of the Dance of the Seven Veals. Lalalina's mallrats think the pork is bland.