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Friday, October 29, 2010

Daisy Mint in Pasadena: For Emergency Thai Cravings Only

Who woulda thunk it? Two words: Thai + Pasadena. I didn't think they'd mix either, but I was surprised at the decent Thai served up in an area known more for housing overrated bakery Europane than good Thai eats.

Daisy Mint looks like it was obviously converted from a bohemian cafe -- judging by the cool art hanging on the walls, what looks like a glass pastry display by the cashier and the prerequisite old-school chandelier.

I had the chicken pad see ew and the tofu penang curry with brown rice. The pad see ew was above average, and I liked that it was stir fried with some black beans to give it a heartier flavor. The chicken tasted fresh and came in generous chunks instead of it being mostly noodles and greens.

The tofu penang curry was on the overly sweet side for me but once I added some hot sauce, it was better. I liked the pumpkin and the other healthy veggies in the curry. Having it with brown rice adds to the good-for-you appeal. I like it better when the tofu is fried but then I catch myself and think, oh, that's right. I was trying to eat healthy.

The worst part was the dessert. I mean, look at this monstrosity! The day's special, banana-stuffed dosa with vanilla ice cream, sounded so good on paper. Unfortunately, it was an awful execution. The deep-fried pocket filled with banana wasn't even warm (we were told it's usually warmed but this one wasn't because it was closing time, so they microwaved it for us, which helped a little but not enough to salvage it.) and the ice-cream didn't taste like vanilla at all. To make matters worse, they drowned, and I mean, drowned it with this awful berry syrup and condensed milk. If there ever was a dessert crime, this would be it.

One interesting thing I noticed from the menu was that it had Korean elements on it, including barley tea, kimchi fried rice and ribs. Although I probably wouldn't go here to get my Korean food fix, I thought it was an interesting mix. I asked if the owners were Korean. It turns out the owners are a Thai woman and Korean man couple. Cute.

Although I'm not sure I'll be returning anytime soon, it is good to know that there is a place to get half-way decent Thai in the middle of Pasadena. Me, I'm lucky to be closer to Thai Town than I was before, so there's little reason to venture out to Pas.

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