This place had all the features of being one of those "little places" that you surprise your friends with; it's tiny, hard to spot, always has been there but you never noticed it. Their menu is pretty impressive too, always alternating with the differing seasons with things like their Veggie Burger with Cranberry Ketchup, Pumpkin Spiced Quinoa Salad with Almond and Cranberrys on top of some Mixed Greens. They also had different specials everyday. They made Everything from scratch, Potato chips, some sort of Herb Foccacia. And i was even informed that they were always trying to perfect everything in their menu, i'm guessing since most of them graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu Program a couple of blocks away. But of course like everything in this world, if you want the good stuff, it's gonna cost you a pretty penny. Here, it was a gonna cost you a gorgeous penny.
Unfortanately, they were still "perfecting" their Veggie Burger's Cranberry Ketchup, so i substituted with a half order of their Pumpkin Spiced Quinoa Salad and a Half Order of their Fall Vegetable Soup with Garlic Pistou. I saw the prices, but didn't mind them since it was some pretty good stuff coming from this side of town but i ASSUMED that they were going to be pretty decent sizes.
When our food came, the portions were more like Spa style. Just to tease you. It looked beautiful, but that was about it. The Quinoa was underneath the Mixed Greens rather than on top. And it was all sculpted in a perfect circle by one of those cookie cutter things. It was good, nice and chewy Quinoa with an abundance of little pieces of pumpkin and perfectly roasted Almonds. I even tasted a little mint in their. Nice balance of flavors. Although the greens were a little overdressed with their oily House Vinagaraitte. But after a couple of bites, everything disappeared.
Their light Fall Vegetable Soup was just as toothsome. The fluorescent green vegetable stock's flavors were well macerated and the garlic pistou added a bright garlicky punch. It was full of Baby Carrots, Broccoli and Cauliflower Florets and tiny little Bird Tongue Pasta. All evenly cooked. The real star for me was the Herb Foccaine, since i LOVE CARBS. Crisp, flaky and buttery but with Olive Oil not butter. Giving a different kind of richness. Perfect for soaking up the wonderful green broth. But like the quinoa, after a couple of spoonfulls, it was gone.
With my overwhelming demand for calories, this was really just an appetizer for me. When the check came with the $13.99 circled in the center. I felt kind of cheated, dissapointed. They did have some pretty good sounding desserts, but was scared to experience the same thing. And it turned out that they had "perfected" they cranberry ketchup since the morning but had forgotten to take off the post it. Typical luck for me.
Everthing was good, but i needed more, a lot more.
I found myself eating right when i got home.
07 South Fair Oaks Ave., Ste 110 (at Dayton St.)
Pasadena, CA 91105