Winnie's in town! Winnie's in town!
We celebrated the brief return of our friend at Daisy Mint (1218 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena), a contemporary Thai fusion eatery.
If you're not a particularly adventurous eater and would like to try something new, Daisy Mint would be an excellent candidate for your initial foray into Thai cuisine. The restaurant's interior is cute and welcoming and decidedly not Asian.
The exposed brick and tinge of Rachel Ashwell-ness notwithstanding, Daisy Mint's food is surprisingly not too Americanized and pleased the palates of our party, which included 5.5 Asian patrons.
Having just watched Twilight, Winnie and Lilcee arrived a little early and were already sitting and chatting when I entered. We shared some salmon rolls -- fresh and innovative. In other words, the opposite of the movie they just saw.
Daisy Mint has a fairly extensive selection of teas. I opted for spiced apple pie rooibos tea ($3.50). It was fantastically fragrant. I liked it so much that I had three French presses' worth.
When the whole group assembled, the deliciousness really started rolling in. These crab meat cheese wontons ($4.95) were little golden triangles of yum.
Even better, in my opinion, was the roti and curry special of the day ($3.95). The roti was perfectly flaky and buttery and paired wonderfully with the curry.
I think the Waterfall pork salad ($10.95) with grilled marinated pork, shallots, scallions, rice powder, greens, and spicy lime dressing could convert non-salad-eaters. I loved the combination of char and tang.
The pad see ew ($11.95) with shrimp, egg, garlic, Chinese broccoli, and black bean sauce was bouncy (yes, I call good noodles "bouncy") and well-seasoned.
The honey pork ($10.95) accompanied by green apple salsa was tasty, although I preferred the Waterfall pork salad. I suspect that the two were the same thing or at least strikingly similar, yet the pork worked better in the salad.
Those who like hot dishes will enjoy the chilies and basil with chicken ($8.95). It is the ideal topping for a heaping mound of steamed rice.
The kitchen ran out of our desired garlic string beans, so we settled for some chicken fried rice. This one was a snoozer. Skip.
My favorite dish of the night by far was the pineapple curry with duck ($11.95) infused with cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and basil. Rich and flavorful and really well-executed.
Winnie's birthday is Monday, so clearly we needed dessert.
Then there was the chocolate lava cake and ice cream.
And just so Winnie isn't the only one pictured here, I'll post these, too.
Happy birthday, Winnie! Thanks for including us in your short visit!