It seems I rarely blog about my "regular" places- as in, I only post about special-occasion restaurants. I guess if you get coffee at the same shop three times a week, it never occurs to you to whip out the camera. However, we all keep going back to the same places because they're GOOD, and the other day I was thinking of how I should stop taking them for granted and start blogging about the places that keep me fed and happy all the time! I mean, isn't it nice to go to a restaurant knowing that you're going to get great food and service? So here's my tribute to one of those places: Daisy Mint in Pasadena.
Where do I begin? First of all, the decor is adorable. The pastel walls are lined with empty frames of all sizes and designs, and there are a few antique bird cages sitting here or there. The sunlit space is airy and clean, and always, ALWAYS smells so good you can barely contain your appetite as you look over the menu and try in vain to narrow your choices to just one or two things. I'll be honest: I've barely managed to get through even one-third of the menu, because the things I've eaten were so good I HAD to order it again the next time I went.
Take, for instance, the kimchi fried rice. I dream about this dish. You can choose your protein: chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu, and also ask for brown rice, which I always request. I love the nutty flavor of brown rice and actually prefer it to white in most dishes, except in sushi (of course!). The heat of the kimchi isn't overpowering but definitely lingers on your tongue, and the chicken breast meat is always tender. If I had a runny egg on it it may possibly be The World's Most Perfect Lunch but it's still pretty killer without.
One of J's favorites is the Garlic String Bean, and he often gets it in the lunch special which comes with your choice of brown or white rice and a salad. Like all of Daisy Mint's food, it's always perfectly seasoned and is downright addictive.
Other dishes we've enjoyed include the Beef Salad - the meat is always grilled to perfection and the salad is brimming with fresh red onions and cilantro- and the Summer Rolls which are always fresh and crisp. The Ginger Fish is a filet of orange roughy with lots of ginger, which makes it the perfect light summer dish, and the curries are all savory and packed with flavor. Eating at Daisy Mint gives me cook's envy- if I could learn to create flavors like the ones in their dishes, I'd be so happy with myself! At least I can make the 15-minute drive from my house to the restaurant until I learn how to cook like they do (if ever!).
The service is swift, courteous and efficient and I love the Andes Creme de Menthe chocolates they give you with your receipt- it's a sweet gesture (literally and figuratively speaking!). If you love Thai food and want a cute, cozy atmosphere with top notch food, give Daisy Mint a try! I believe at night it's BYOB, so it's inexpensive as well, and now you literally have no reason why you wouldn't get over there in a hurry:).
1218 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91106