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Have any Chowhound Faves Broken Your Heart

I can get the ball rolling with two. I have to have lunch in Pasadena every week and was really excited to hear about Daisy Mint. I wasn't thrilled at all by the food at all and was sort of grossed out that all the garnishes--carrot slices, lemon wedges, etc. were pathetically tired and wilted. My kids ordered a pretty expensive Korean style ribeye steak. It was 3/4 fat. I showed the waitress how much was inedible and she just giggled and there was no adjustment on the tab. My kids, also against my better judgement, ordered desserts which were pretty lousy (and not something I'd expect to be great in a what is essentially a Thai restaurant that panders just a bit towards fusion). I will add, that with the exception of the steak and the desserts, the other Thai dishes were o.k. for what I consider the wasteland of Pasadena but I really wanted to be wowed. Even the most mediocre joint in Thai Town would win in a smack down with Daisy Mint.

The other great disappointment was Skaf's in Glendale. The falafel was mealy, the borek (called "cheese stick" on the menu, I believe) was under cheesed and over salted and the chicken and beef shwarma were bone dry and gnarly. On kid ordered lamb chops which looked great and were scarfed down before I could sample. Maybe we ordered incorrectly and I'd be willing to give it another try but whenever the server wanted to pick up a plate or refill a glass in front of me, instead of stepping around the table (there was plenty of room) she just glowered at me, snapped her fingers and pointed to the item for me to hand over to her.

I usually don't dis small family run independent joints but I think this joints are both really flourishing and a lot of it is due to Chowhound love. I just don't get it. Did I hit an off day at both of them? And I'm sure there are places that I adore that others here would find mediocre and disappointing. Right???

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  1. That's too bad about Daisy Mint, I was looking forward to trying it. We liked Skaf's a lot -- no service problems, good hummus, mutabal and cabbage salad and the chicken shwarma was ok -- don't remember it being too dry.
    Oh well...

    1. I wouldn't say it broke my heart, but I found ultra CH fave Nook disappointing all 3 times I tried it. I'm not too crazy about Josie either.

      4 Replies
      1. re: hrhboo

        I second Josie... they have a good wine list, but I thought the food I got relative to the cost was extremely disappointing. I don't think I would head back any time soon unless someone else was paying. The food is good, but not special.

        1. re: Ali B

          i third josie.
          the food was simply not all that.
          i don't even remember what we ate.
          it wasn't bad, i just wasn't good enough.

        2. re: hrhboo

          I'm late, but I second Nook. Happy not to be the only disappointed party. I always feel like I'm missing something when I'm there... meh.

          1. re: hrhboo

            completely agree with you about the Nook.
            first experiences were, to be kind, meh.
            the last time i was there my date and i were served yellowtail that was so far past it's prime that it should have been discarded.
            the plating, service, and ambiance there is lovely,
            too bad the food is not.

          2. Fraiche disappointed the hell out of me. The gory details are here:

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/507305

            1. yes. briganti. horrible service not the food. i'm still not over the break up. i think about Briganti quite a bit and b/c it's been some time from my incident i romanticize it and consider going back, but then, i have to remind myself of the horrific slow service and i snap out of it.

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/501939

              1. While my heart beats on - I was pretty disappointed by the much CH-touted Belgian fries at the Oinkster in Eagle Rock. While Belgian fries, when properly prepared, turn out with an ultra crispy exterior - the result of the double frying, the fries I had at Oinskter were almost limp with no crisp factor whatsoever. Now while this could be coughed up to a bad day at the fryer - I have actually made a point of returning to try them again - THREE more times - each time with a similar result. While the menu in general is fine - I've had the BBQ pulled pork sandwich, the Pastrami sandwich and the burger - they are all good and I will go back for more - but sorry - their fries are a miserable attempt at the glorious Belgian fry resplendent in all its glistening greasy crunchiness.

                1 Reply
                1. re: srnka

                  I've experience the same with the Oinkster fries lately. I'm not sure why they aren't cooking them like they have previously done. Maybe I'll have to make a point to ask to have them prepared "well done", because when done properly, they are really as good as the reputation would imply.