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Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (long)

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Cafe Bizou - Pasadena (long)

Jase | Feb 14, 2005 08:33 PM

Was there this weekend and was underwhelmed by the service and not very impressed by the food. Parent's wanted to take sis and I there for a celebration. Being good kids sis and I didn't say something to the manager afterwards like we normally would. If it was she and I alone we would have kicked up more of a fuss.

Sis and I found the service lacking and the food okay at best. Things got off to a bad start when we were shown the booth right by the door. We felt the draft right away and asked to be moved. Host walked away with muttering they were too busy and didn't have a table available. Didn't even stop to explain or apologize.

Food description first and service below.

There was only one type of bread instead of the multiple selections past reviews had mentioned. Average bread.

For apps we had the baked mushroom and veal sweetbreads. The mushroom was stuffed with this chicken mousse sis and I found really bland and rubbery. The sweetbreads had a good texture and all four of us liked it. The potato pancake that came with it wasn't your traditional potato pancake, more like a polenta cake, but it had a good texture and went well with the sweetbread.

The $1 romaine salad and honey mustard dressing with the entree was average but at that price, wasn't expecting much.

For mains, I had the monkfish, sis had the charred ahi and parent's had the pork tenderloin. I liked my monkfish, cooked right, the shrimp risotto was a little watery but was overwhelmed by the lobster sauce. Also there were too much fried carrot strips covering the whole dish and I had to fight through them to get to the food underneath. The unburnt ones tasted okay though.

Sis' ahi was a dissapointment. It was grey almost all the way through like it was poached instead of grilled. There was only a thin pink line in the middle. Certainly not rare as described. The squash ravioli needed more flavoring and the sauteed spinach was unfinished.

Parent's pork tenderloin with garlic cream sauce was basic fare. It came with a couple of steamed broccoli stalks.

The service was lacking right away when we felt the waiter was giving us attitude by just the way he answered our questions. My parents are chinese immigrants who are easily intimidated in nicer non-asian places. Sis and I tend to bristle if we see waiters being condescending to them. We're used to going to nice restaurants.

The individual app plates were flung on our table with little finesse. We were then asked to move the bread basket so the apps could be placed. I don't mind helping or being asked and handing glasses over to be filled but I don't like being ordered in a tone to help the staff.

When my main came, the runner flung the plate in front of me and knocked my knife off my bread plate and it slid under between the dish and bread plate. As I moved the plate to reach my knife, waiter walks by with a quick glance and warns me about the hot plate and doesn't stop. He swings by a couple of seconds later to ask us how everything tasted before any of us had even dug in and walks away without waiting for a response.

The topper was when we finished our meal, the busboy who was clearing our plates interrupted our conversation to tell, not ask, us to hand him the bread basket and our bread plates. Apparently his hands were full holding our plates and he couldn't bend and reach to get the rest of our dishes. Again, I have no problem moving stuff closer or handing things over but I don't like to be ordered especially when I'm right in the middle of a conversation. A simple please would have made a difference even with that tone.

All in all, the food was okay and I'd probably give them another chance in other circumstances. But in combination with the service, I'd rather try other places first. I just felt bad because it just reinforced my parent's intimidation factor when going out to a nice place. Sis and I have worked on them over the years to go out to nicer non-asian places. These kinds of experiences don't help.

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