Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mini Foodventure #98: Daisy Mint (Pasadena)

Daisy Mint has been on my to-try list for some time, given its rave from Jonathan Gold, Eating L.A. and Gourmet Pigs -- but I just haven't gotten around to it since it's pretty hard to coax me out of my favorite Thai joints (Ruen Pair in Thai Town, the two Saladangs or President Thai in Pasadena.) But the occasion to finally come here arrived when I was feeling like Thai food and my dining companion, not-so-much. Since this place is more Thai-fusion and actually features quite a few non-Thai dishes (kim chi fried rice, honey pork with apple salsa) I figure it's a good middleground for both our palates (it also helps that Euro Pane, with its heavenly salt caramel macarons, is a walkable few blocks away, something to look forward to afterwards.)

For some reason, by the time we sat down our cravings swapped -- my DC opted for their yellow coconut-milk chicken curry (after eye-ing how nice it looked one table over,) and I was intrigued by their "Daisy Salmon", broiled with a creamy cilantro sauce. Since it was lunch time, we ordered the lunch special portions, which is more sensible, a little bit cheaper and comes with a side of rice (white/brown, or lemongrass/sticky for extra charge) and salad.

Daisy Salmon Lunch Special
I was pleasantly surprised by how well the salmon and the sauce turned out, the fatty fish was a great platform for the tangy-creamy sauce (reminded me of tzatziki with an herbal kick from the cilantro). I also love the sweet-tangy vinaigrette dressing for the salad; the fluffy brown rice was well made but honestly, I would've preferred some sort of flatbread so I can eat this like a Mediterranean-inspired wrap.
Yellow Chicken Curry Lunch Special
The yellow curry was only OK, partly because it felt so generic and standard; the coconut milk did add a little richness and edge but otherwise it's just a standard chicken-potato-carrot yellow curry that I can get about anywhere or make at home. (On a revisit I had their green jungle curry with beef instead, which turned out way better with vibrant aromas of basil and kaffir lime, with more distinctive veggies of eggplant and bell peppers in the stew.)

And while we already were planning to have macarons on this particular foodventure, the rotating menu of desserts here looks promising too. Once, I had a custard-filled slice 'o baked pumpkin (with the rinds on) that was neither too sweet nor too rich, and I can't wait to try their F.B.I. (fried banana with ice cream) one of these days. And I've definitely added this on my list of cheap and casual places to go (most lunch specials fall under $10, and dinner is around $10-15 a person); and better yet, I don't even have to be specifically craving Thai foods to want to come back.

1218 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106
(626) 792-2999

Daisy Mint on Urbanspoon


Daily Gluttony said...

hey HC! i just tried this place a couple weeks ago. i was a little skeptical of a place that was thai fusion (because in my book, many times "fusion" just means half-assed), but i was pleasantly surprised. our pad see ew & ground chicken w/ chili & basil were pretty tasty. the staff is really friendly too which was a plus.

TonyC said...

ugh!!! just say no to fusion Thai...

that said, I wonder how Bua Na Thai is in Pasadena.. have you been?

Diana said...

I've heard wonderful things about the macarons at Europane -- have you had maacarons at Boule or paulette? I'm curious how they compare...

H. C. said...

@DG, Oh yea, forgot to note how nice the staff is too.

@TonyC, heh are you a ethnic cuisine purist? I don't mind fusion, but like anything else -- it can be done well or poorly so I do a little homework. Alas, haven't been to Bua Na yet, what have you heard?

@Diana, Europane carries fewer flavors than the other two (and less exotic flavors like Rose / Lavender), it's a bit denser and chewier, and considerably bigger (easily can cover half my palm).


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