Rose Cafe, Venice, lunch 7/2/09
Salmon florentine: salmon undercooked but OK; hollandaise sauce (home-made, says manager) grossly over-salted, as my companion agreed. Flourless chocolate cake (round thing 5" dia.): Lousy chocolate (used to be pretty good), and tasted caramelized or burned. The latter is the greater disappointment, as my ordering the salmon florentine always was an expression of hope more than a reflection of prior good experiences. Decaf cappuccino: lousy. The experience reminded me what I stopped going some years ago after a long period of going pretty often. A very ODD place, in that it doesn't have a clue about consistency -- it's Never been consistent, but long ago the average level was much higher than I experienced today. And odd in its unresponsiveness to customer complaints. Oh yes, it's been redone decoratively -- at least the outdoor area -- in sort of neo-factory. Personally I dislike it; much preferred the old funky stuff. I wish they'd spent the decoration money on increased wages for better chefs.
Yeah I have a love-hate relationship with that place, but every time I get sick of it they win me back over with a superb new special. Latest favorite has been the Lamb Kofta Meatballs. And the semi-frequent tandoori chicken and mango sandwich special is another winner. Their hamburger, turkey burger, and bbq chicken sandwiches are also high up in my book.
As a Rose frequenter, I have to say that your choices were pretty poor. The salmon florentine?? I see that tired old dish in the counter every day and only had to try it once to confirm that it's as lackluster as the display plate. And the flourless cake? Leave flourless to the gluten-free specialty houses, that's just not Rose's thing. As for their coffee, it's not a coffee shop, and I don't think anyone would go there for great coffee. Yes it would be nice if they had killer coffee, but Rose is a food place that also serves coffee not the other way around.
I agree about consistency ... sometimes everything is just off there.
I hadn't been there in years, but we actually ended up having brunch there on the 4th and everything was very good. Enjoyed the eggs benedict with lox on croissant, and my 3 companions also enjoyed their meals (also all breakfast stuff). The patio is a nice place to spend a couple of hours. I wouldn't go out of my way to go there, but I would certainly eat there again when in the area.