We had a rare date night, and decided to try out the 50% off the entire menu at Mantra as reported in this thread:
We arrived at 5:45 or so, and there were plenty of seats open on a Tuesday night. IT was busier than other restaurants in Palo Alto when we left though.
We were able to do the tasting menu - $22 for a 4 course meal. Pretty good deal.
Service was fantastic - the barkeeper was very nice, even though we weren't drinking, just eating (even though we don't drink, being about ready to pop pregnant always makes it more palatable to servers used to making money on drinks : ) ). He was very kind, talking us through the menu, with allergies, and subbing out the dessert for fruit even though there are usually no substitutions.
With one hit, one decent, and the rest not great, don't know if I will be rushing back.
First course we had a "chaat edamame" salad - bland, potatoes still rather crispy, but not too starchy tasting. Beet salad, needed some acid - beets were not particularly flavorful.
Second course: tomato soup with ginger gelee. Pretty good - I didn't finish mine, but hubby did. Gelee was good.
Third course: Duck with risotto - risotto overly acidic, and duck didn't have much flavor - as tad overcooked. Didn't finish this dish.
Smoked tofu - this was excellent. Tons of flavor, good balance, served with a kind of unique cheesy basmati rice with tomato sauce and spinach.
Dessert: I had berries. Saffron creme brulee DH had was curdled some, and not particularly well executed - but he ate it. Served with berries, macerated raisins, and a tuile.
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