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Dec 7, 2006 03:32 AM

Mimi's Cafe in Monrovia
Mimi's Cafe
500 W Huntington Dr
Monrovia, CA

Dear Hounds,

I'm not sure if it might be blasphemous to talk about a chain restaurant on these boards, but I wanted to share a positive experience my wife and I had. We simply found ourselves hungry in Monrovia, and it was Mimi's or Applebee's. To me the Applebees and Chili's and Spoons and Outbacks of the world all run together in my mouth. None of what they serve tastes exactly like food to me. It tastes like a big corporation's impression of food. I'm reminded of Steve Martin's comedy bit about his suspicion that McDonald's makes all their food by pouring the same grey goop into a machine which stamps it all out...hamburger...fries...paper box...

Anyway this is a long way of saying we were pleasantly surprised by Mimi's. I'd never even heard of the place before. Nevertheless I found every bite they served me to be delicious, from the breads and muffins to their french onion soup and chopped cobb salad. My entree was their ciabatta chicken sandwich ("Smoked gouda, grilled red pepper & onion, baby greens & citrus remoulade on grilled ciabatta bread. Also available blackened").

I did have the sandwich "blackened" (which in this case simply meant "herbed"), and with no equivocation it was scrumptious! It was everything I want a sandwich to be.

The service was adequate for a family-style restaurant. The decor and lay-out were akin to other chains, but done quite well. Mimi's definitely served our needs. While I wouldn't consider it date material, it's sure to be a place we'll go again if we're already out and suddenly hungry.

Thanks to all you hounds out there for the great tips you've given us over the years. You've never let us down yet!

A fan,


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  1. And while no longer part of the family's chain, the concept of Mimi's Cafe was developed at the French Market in West Hollywood and the Kettle in Manhattan Beach, both still owned by the founders, even though their baby, Mimi's Cafe, was sold several years ago to the Bob Evans organization out of Ohio.
    The local operations still put out decent food after all these many years.

    3 Replies
    1. re: carter

      Mimi's was part of teh French Market? Wow I never knew that. Back in the late 80s early 90s I had a friend that lived around the corner from the French Market and we ate there all the time. I moved from the area on 92 and have never been back to that neighborhood and hadn't thought of the French Market since. Great memories. Are they still around?

      Mimi's...we go for breakfast at the one near our house in the Phoenix suburbs once in a while. The food is better than the other chain breakfast options and they must have a good manager at the one by our house as the servers are always great. We've been for dinner a couple times but definitely prefer breakfast and look for other options for lunch or dinner.

      1. re: ziggylu

        Our local Mimi's is hit or miss. The last time we went for breakfast was a disappointment. I had some kind of crab and asiago cheese omlete concoction, no discernable crab, no discernable taste other than blandness. The Mrs' scrambled eggs were just OK, the muffins are the huge overabundant kind, the blueberry muffin had too many tasteless blueberries.

        We do like their fat breakfast sausages, and the blueberry pancakes are a good choice for breakfast.

        In terms of lunch or dinner, again very hit and miss. Mimi's seems to have aspirations for something that is more sophisticated than they are capable of achieving.

        Our last breakfast at Mimi's, Chino, California:

        1. re: ChinoWayne

          we alway order very basic - bacon eggs and toast no muffin. Probably why we don't mind it for breakfast. I have to admit I like their bacon - thick, cooked correctly - crisp not burnt - and full of flavor. with the juice it's not a bad value really for a basic breakfast.

          I do wish they had hash browns and not the cottage potatoes. We have a hard time finding good hash browns in our neighborhood...

          I've tried the benedict on the crab cake and too much filler in the crab cake so haven't tried that again.