I eat: Daisy Mint

Living in the SGV, I’m spoiled by the abundance of Asian restaurants that offer cheap, good eats. Since I’ve pretty much narrowed down my favorites, it’s hard to not be biased when I try new places. I usually end up thinking, I could have gotten the same thing for cheaper at ______, or this dish tastes just as good at ______ and I don’t have to drive as far.

Last weekend, Henry and I decided to give Daisy Mint a try because of all the good reviews we read on Yelp. It is located in Pasadena, which to me, usually indicates overpriced (Asian) food. I had to remind myself to keep an open mind. The inside of the restaurant is pretty small, seating only about 25 people, but there is also a really cute patio area that seats an additional 15 or so. We were fortunate to sit outside 🙂

After we sat down, it took less than a minute for me to decide what I wanted to order. I saw the Duck Roll appetizer and the Spaghetti & Black Mussel entree on the menu and it was a done deal.

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I was a little disappointed with the portion of the Duck Roll. It was basically one small roll, cut into 4 pieces. Although it tasted good, I wish there was more duck.

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You know those sizzling udon plates at Chinese cafes? Well, this spaghetti tasted just like it. I guess I expected that since the description read “spaghetti stir fried with bell pepper and basil in xo sauce”. I thought the dish was on the salty side and I also didn’t like finding bits of broken shell.

Henry ordered the Green Jungle Curry, which is probably the only thing I would order again if I went back to Daisy Mint.

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Verdict: 3/5
Daisy Mint
1218 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106

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Bad Apples

It really pains me to watch this video.

I don’t live in Vancouver. I’ve never even been to Vancouver. In spite of this, I can truly empathize with Vancouverites who are deeply saddened, outraged and embarrassed by the riots that took place after the Canucks lost Game 7 of the SCF. I know how it feels. I’m from LA. Hell, there are even riots here when we WIN!. I know how it feels to be unfairly lumped into a category (i.e. LA fans are “classless”) based on the media’s over-sensationalized coverage of inexcusable acts by idiots who do NOT represent the majority of the city’s residents or fan base. I know how it feels to desperately want to deflect blame and protect the city that you love.

I get it.

But come on Vancity, let’s keep it real. To claim that the riots were caused by anarchists and criminals posing as Canucks fans, as VPD Chief Jim Chu did, is completely absurd. I clearly see people in Canucks jerseys, new AND old (yes, I’m talking about the hideous Halloween jersey), actively partaking in the destruction of business storefronts. And I’m not buying the ridiculous explanation that these people were actually hooligans who spent money on jerseys just to riot after the SCF. As easy as it is to rationalize the situation, it is also illogical to reason that the rioters were not “true fans” because if they were “true fans”, they would not be rioting. First of all, the definition of a true fan is subjective, but more importantly, being a true fan does not necessarily mean you are a good person/have good judgement and vice versa. There are bad apples in every group, in every city. It is unfortunate that the rest of us have to suffer because of them.

I eat: Julienne

I actually wanted to try breakfast at Julienne, but it’s only served until 11:15AM on Saturdays. I couldn’t make it because I had a dentist appointment in the morning, but honestly, even though I love food, it’s a tough sell for me to wake up early on the weekends.

When we arrived, my first impression was… wow! Fancy, schmancy! Since it was a beautiful day, we chose a table outside.

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Our meal began with bread service. I really liked the Rosemary Currant bread. Henry, on the other hand, isn’t a big fan of rosemary so I basically finished his bread for him.

Since I looked at the online menu before we left the house, I was set on ordering the Sauteed Shrimp and Broccoli Curry with Steamed Rice. I was a little bummed when I found out that the menu posted on the website was Julienne’s winter menu and the curry was no longer available. However, there were a couple of other items that caught my eye. I couldn’t decide between the Tuscan Meatloaf with Spicy Tomato Chutney, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Sauteed Spinach and the seasonal Fish Tacos so I asked our waiter for his recommendation. He said, without any hesitation, fish tacos.

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And they were SOOOO GOOD! The swordfish had a nice char, the citrus was refreshing and I absolutely LOVED the jalapeno aioli. It was definitely the best fish taco I’ve ever had! NO CONTEST!

Henry ordered the Roasted Lamb with Caramelized Onions, Avocado, Tomato, Basil Aioli on Pain Rustique. We were both expecting a hot sandwich, but it was cold.

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Although it was a good sandwich, I really couldn’t tell I was eating lamb. If you told me it was roast beef, I would have believed you. The best thing about the sandwich was the caramelized onions.

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The dessert menu was presented to us with a tray of desserts. Cute points!! We were sold on the Blueberry and Lemon Bread Pudding. It was served warm, drizzled with raspberry sauce and topped with whipped cream. Delish!

The only downside to this great meal was the bill. Two entrees, one dessert and one cup of coffee set us back $50. Julienne may not be my casual weekend brunch spot, but I’ll return when I feel like splurging 🙂

Verdict: 4/5
Julienne
2649 Mission St
San Marino, CA 91108

I eat: Euro Pane Bakery

It’s such a struggle to decide where to eat on the weekends. We always end up at the usual suspects, ordering the same food. So when Henry reminded me that we still hadn’t tried Euro Pane Bakery, I welcomed the break from monotony and off we headed to Pasadena.

Parking turned out to be a breeze, which is more the exception than the norm. I was pleasantly surprised to see that despite the small size of the restaurant, there were tables available. I guess we came at the right time. After placing our order at the counter, we picked a table next to the storefront window to sit.

We started off with a cup of coffee and a lemon bar.

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Dessert first! It’s a way of life 🙂

Not to toot my own horn, but I like my lemon bars better. I thought the lemon filling was way too dense; it was almost as hard as the shortbread cookie crust!

Anyway, we didn’t have to wait too long for our food ~ only about 10 minutes or so. And good thing since we were starving.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE……

I present to you the infamous open-faced sandwich that was featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Served Cold”:

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Egg Salad Sandwich

I liked the sandwich! It was chunky, well seasoned and balanced, with just the right amount of mayo/mustard. The sun dried tomato pesto spread was a nice touch and added depth of flavor to an otherwise one dimensional egg salad.

If you read the reviews on Yelp, you’ll see mixed reviews regarding the Egg Salad Sandwich. I understand that people will have differing opinions, but some of the negative comments I’ve read about this sandwich are a bit ridiculous. Complaints include:

– not a real sandwich since there’s no piece of bread on top (UM, that’s why it’s described on the menu as being served open-faced)
– too much egg (UM, it’s an egg salad sandwich)
– difficult to hold in hand and eat (UM, it’s called a knife and fork)

The only reasonable thing to complain about is the price: $7.50 (w/o tax) is a steep. It’s interesting to note that the cost differential between the Egg Salad and the Salmon Sandwich below is only a $1.

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Salmon Sandwich

The Salmon Sandwich ain’t no Russ & Daughters bagel and lox, but it was still pretty good. Next time I would definitely choose another bread. In hindsight, brioche was an odd choice to pair with smoked salmon. My bad.

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Yea, that’s right. I couldn’t leave without some macaroons! I took home 2 sea salt caramel, 1 pistachio, 1 passion fruit and 1 mocha. My favorites were the passion fruit and mocha because they weren’t overly sweet. The macaroons were a little chewier than I’ve had before, but delicious nonetheless.

Verdict: 3.5/5
Euro Pane Bakery
950 E Colorado Blvd, Ste 107
Pasadena, CA 91106