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MochaBleu in Teaneck

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New kosher bistro and patisserie coming to the Plaza area of Teaneck.

"The restaurant will feature a French-Italian fusion menu, pizza from a wood-burning oven, sushi and non-alcoholic cocktails. The attached patisserie will feature Illy coffee and pastries and breads baked in-house."

How does sushi go with a French-Italian menu???

http://njmg.typepad.com/foodblog/2009...

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  1. Don't you know? No reliable hashgacha agency will give a restaurant approval unless sushi is included on the menu!

    4 Replies
    1. re: queenscook

      Queenscook, you have used my line! (I am sure, unknowingly :))

      Who in France or Italy serves non-alcoholic cocktails? I look forward to trying (the restaurant and patisserie not the cocktails) and will be sure to report.

      1. re: Kosher Critic

        Apparently Teaneck has some strict rules related to liquor licenses. That's why Smokey Joe's is BYOB. And it is likely the reason that the new joint has non-alcoholic cocktails.

        1. re: craigcep

          Pasta Factory is the only kosher restaurant in Teaneck with a liquor license. A license can only be acquired by purchasing it from a license holder who is selling one. It typically costs over $100,000 to buy a license.

          1. re: craigcep

            I am fine w/ the BYO policy. Teaneck also has some strict sushi in non-Japanese kosher restaurant rules: Pizza Crave, Kosher Experience, Chan's Glatt, etc.

      2. What is the plaza area of Teaneck?

        1 Reply
        1. re: cappucino

          Queen Anne Road near State Street

        2. Looks like this will be a unique kosher option. I saw this ad on craigslist:

          Fashion Designer to Launch 1st Restaurant Interviews Monday (Teaneck, NJ)

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Date: 2009-10-25, 6:18PM EDT
          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          Interviews Monday October 26, 2009 from 10AM-4PM (if you cannot come please send resume by email and we will reschedule you) 1399 Queen Anne Rd Teaneck, NJ 201-837-2538 Please come with resume and headshot Hot new trendy place looking for vibrant and friendly individuals to join our team. Must be energetic, friendly, and great with people.

          Looking to fill the following positions:

          1) Hostess
          2) Head Waitress
          3) Servers
          4) Barista - Mus Have experience

          The designer's concept is a fashion forward Patisserie and Bistro. Upscale clientele with great tips. Hours of very flexible depending on position. We are only 5 minutes away from the George Washington Bridge. The more experience the better.
          3 Kitchens: Open Kitchen, Restaurant Kitchen, Bakery

          Please send your time availability.
          Please do not send any generic or short worded emails.

          4 Replies
          1. re: morris

            hmm.. I've never seen a French/Italian/Sushi/Pizza/Bakery before with *models* as servers!

            1. re: cheesecake17

              The "great tips" comment also leaves me nervous.

              1. re: vallevin

                maybe that's just marketing to get people to come to the interviews. how can something like that be promised?

            2. re: morris

              I can't imagine the Vaad being thrilled about this ad. also too much eye candy might mean wife picks a different place next time

            3. A little birdie told me it will have a soft opening today (11/11)

              3 Replies
              1. re: DebbyT

                Debby,

                Any idea if they'll be open tomorrow too (Thurs?)

                1. re: vallevin

                  Passed by 8AM, already people inside!

                2. re: DebbyT

                  They were open yesterday. Breakfast , limited and only on the bakery side. Lunch and dinner was only going to be pizza and sushi.

                  This Sunday, they said they are offering the FULL menu.

                  I will them much success. I was in yesterday morning and the place is beautiful. But the real question is, what is the kosher consumer looking for? Good food, good service in a clean place? or are they looking for a fun place to go that has good food? Is it about entertainment or nourishment?

                3. I really wish someone in Teaneck would just serve good food. Sammy's is good. I don't have much hope in this fluffiness.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: cappucino

                    Cappucino: What do you base your comment "I really wish someone in Teaneck would just serve good food" on? The implication of that statement is that no one does. Boy, I must get my eyeglasses prescriptions changed. The restaurants and shops I go into or visit are pretty crowded. The people coming to Teaneck from Passaic, Livingston, Edison/HP and Monsey must have simple tastes. I have no idea where you reside, but there are plenty of kosher observant communities that would die to have the selection that we have in Teaneck. You don't like Mocha Blue's attitude, that is your choice. As long as they treat the customer with respect and put out a worthwhile product, I could not care any less if the food was served by robots, avatars or eye candy.

                    1. re: Foodtekie

                      A. you mention two things that don't matter to me: "crowded" and "selection." i care about the taste of the food, the passion or lack thereof of the management and the customer service. on that end, your restaurants are lacking. read some of the discussions about that on other threads. i'm not alone.

                      B. i have never been to mocha bleu and i did not mention their attitude. i have hopes for it. i drove past it on the way to sammy's which does have great food and excellent customer service (again, i don't work for them or know any of the owners).

                      btw, i feel like manhattan doesn't offer up as much cs or passion as it did in years past. perhaps, i'm older than you are. it happens.

                      1. re: Foodtekie

                        Ok, foodtekie, I've officially been in. Didn't have time for food, but had a cappucino and an overpriced round, little thingamajig. I wish the thingamajig had been dairy and/or tastier. It was just ok and quite expensive. Cappucino was good, but absolutely too small a glass (never have seen it in such a small glass) and by the time I got it to the table, it was a quarter of the way deflated (yes, i know it is supposed to deflate). I will give them a high mark for ambience. I did feel like I was in Manhattan and I did enjoy sitting on the leather couch in the alcove, but the plastic chairs looked uncomfortable. I will try the food sometime soon and post.

                        1. re: cappucino

                          Dear Cappuchino:
                          My wife took a friend there last week. She said it was very, very noisy and the portions were small and pricey. She said everything tasted very good and was not your typical fare. Her friend, who usually does not even finish her portion in a restaurant, was hungry after a personal pizza. I just don't understand why kosher places have to scrimp on portions? I am embarrassed by the portion sizes when I take a non-jew to eat kosher.

                          1. re: Foodtekie

                            Maybe this place in paticular has smaller portions... but most kosher restaurants have large portions. The places I can think of in Brooklyn and Manhattan usually put more on the plate than I can eat.

                          2. re: cappucino

                            I went there for my son b-day. I loved the food and the service was ok. I shared my son's desert ( which I expect is what you mean by thingamajig) and it was realy good.

                      2. We tried this on Sunday (11/15). They had very little available, food-wise, but they were honest about it. We went for breakfast so we just had coffee, bagels, and some pastries. The coffee was good (according to my spouse - I don't drink it). The bagels were very disappointing, but if you're going to this place for a bagel you might have other issues.

                        The pastries, however, were another story. Delightful, and oddly enough- pareve (non-dairy). I tried the eclairs and my friends something else, and both were great.

                        The prices are a bit high overall, but the pastries may be worth it. Not sure I'd go here for a casual meal though.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: typo lad

                          I tried it out for a bagel a couple of days ago and I do agree that it was dissapointing. The bagels were tiny and they barely put any cream cheese on it. The pastries do look very good but I have not eaten any of them yet.

                          I went yesterday for a "quick" lunch but it turned into a 1 1/2 hour nightmare. The food was OK, but nothing special or unique. Many tables were complaining about the timing issue. There was a lot of food sitting at the bar waiting to be brought to tables which resulted in many people getting cold food. I had a pizza which was not done enough. With a wood burning oven, I was hoping for a super crispy pie. They did have trouble in service, i.e. not knowing what tables ordered what, bring food to the wrong table, and also bring out duplicate meals to tables that already had their food. I hope they can figure out how to get it more organized. They most certainly are not ready to open for dinner.

                          The space is very nicely designed however I think they should think about taking a table or two out. There was no space to get anywhere and when a lady with a stroller wanted to leave, everyone had to get up. Also, the chairs are very narrow, I am not a big guy and I was almost falling off the chair.

                          All in all, I wish them luck and if they can work out the kinks, it will be a nice place to eat.

                          1. re: typo lad

                            Bagels come from the 5 Towns. Really bizarre since Sammys and Hot bagels make some of the best in the region (imho). They should support local businesses unless the product is inferior. Very bad for the environment too. Shameful.

                          2. I understand why they made their bakery kosher, but WHY??? Come on! I am sick of all of the parve baked goods and pastries, you can't beat butter. I want the real deal. I am not impressed by people saying "you can't taste the difference" because all I am thinking is great, chemical camoflage. I went and tried some of the pastries, and they were good, but I can't say I will be buying what I chalk up to more of the same, often or at all.

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: peacepug

                              The only reason I can come up with as to why they are using pareve pastries is because they are not making these items on premise and their source for the pastries only makes them in pareve.

                              1. re: KosherChef

                                or they want the chalav yisrael crowd and they feel that the cost of products made with chalav yisrael ingredients would be too high. I agree that butter is the way to go. I also hope with the pareve ingredients they use that they do not use ones with hydrogenated ingredients

                                1. re: koshergourmetmart

                                  I think KG might be right about the Cholev Yisrael angle. Does anyone know if RCBC insists on Cholev Yisrael.

                                  1. re: vallevin

                                    It was my impression that most of those who keep cholov Yisrael don't insist on CY butter, since it's halachically judged to be something that can't be made from non-kosher milk.

                                    1. re: GilaB

                                      I will say that I have not yet been to the Mocha, my comments are based on those that I have heard from others.

                                      Restaurant is very nice, great decor and design. A lot of money was spent on this location. I have heard the service and food has been very poor from all whom have gone. Personally I will not go for at least one month perhaps longer. My only issue is, if you spend that type of money on a restaurant the operation should be ready for a grand performance from day one. I do understand that it takes weeks for a kosher restaurant to have the kinks worked out, but it seems that no money was spent on training the staff and doing dry runs before the went live. With that being said, I wish them a lot of luck and it is a wonderful addition to the dinning scene in Teaneck.

                                      1. re: GilaB

                                        if you go to fairway they have kosher dairy pastries there that look great and seem reasonable

                                        1. re: koshergourmetmart

                                          the pastries at fairway are very well priced and for the most part taste great.

                                      2. re: vallevin

                                        The RCBC does not insist on restaurants being cholov yisroel.

                                        1. re: vallevin

                                          They don't, but it's a good angle for why to do it.

                                          I find the Earth's Balance sticks and the like actually ape butter well...

                                          1. re: vallevin

                                            RCBC does not insist on cholov yisrael. But if you are going to be cholov yisrael they will ensure you don't stray.

                                        2. re: KosherChef

                                          it is my understanding that they DO bake on premise. They have a French pastry chef on the payroll and he has a huge kitchen space. I am sure they are making things parve so they can supply many of the caterers in town.

                                          1. re: KosherChef

                                            I think they are making them pareve so that people can come in and buy takeout cakes/pastries for Shabbat.

                                        3. Another good idea gone bad .Typical move for a kosher restaurant, when desperate for revenue add sushi. Had they invested in a quality manager and quality staff, there would be no need for sushi, or for whatever the next "big thing" is. Food is average to below average, service stinks.

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: bendinai

                                            i have tried mocha bleu as well. i agree the food is average, but the service does not stink IMHO. i had such a sweet waitress, the girl and guy behind the bakery counter were really nice as well... i dont think the food was worth what we paid ($7 for a portion of fries????), but i would go back and try more.
                                            2 questions though: 1) they do not serve bread with lunch, which is odd, especially consideirng they have a bakery and it could be a good marketing move for them, 2) we ordered the soup which was also not served with bread. not a problem just curious why they would do that... has anyone been there for dinner? is it different at dinner time?

                                            1. re: marissaj

                                              Finally tried out this place.... what a disaster! Four of us went out for a late night snack. We ordered very lightly, spent $100 and left hungry. $18 for a small personal pizza!!!! $7 for a miniature-sized soup! You get only what you order and nothing else - nothing comes on the side - no salad, fries or anything. No bread, crackers or rolls on the table. One entree was served much later than the others. Water was never refilled. I don't get how they could charge so much for so little at dinner time, and then expect you to stop by in the morning for a bagel and coffee.... I'm guessing that would be about $10. And there's no good excuse for the bakery not being dairy. Of course we weren't even offered dessert.

                                              1. re: marissaj

                                                hey,
                                                there is bread and butter available (and, from the bakery) but you need to ask for it. I agree that it should automatically be brought to customers but, until they've completely got their service coordinated, these little details will have to wait.

                                                1. re: slipslidemelt

                                                  This is asinine. If I were served soup without bread, how would I know to ask for it? And then if I did ask for it, would I also have to embarrass myself to ask whether there was a separate charge for it? If I didn't feel like paying extra, I wouldn't ask in the first place, since I would assume it would be another charge if it didn't come with the soup originally.

                                                  1. re: queenscook

                                                    Agreed- it's not like it states on the menu it comes served with bread and butter.

                                                  2. re: slipslidemelt

                                                    *until they've completely got their service coordinated, these little details will have to wait.*

                                                    bringing 1/2 the order isn't a little detail.. it's a big one

                                                    1. re: cheesecake17

                                                      Oh my goodness. A. you shouldn't have to ask for it. B. they are just being cheap. C. it isn't a minor detail, it's pretty basic D. nothing should "have to wait" when you are clamoring for business in a bad economy. Get your ducks in a row or get off the pot. And, I want to add btw, that I was annoyed to see they were packed on Sunday night Presidents' weekend and Arabica (better food, better service) was half empty.

                                                      1. re: cappucino

                                                        Went for a belated lunch today with my friends. Arrived to a very, very busy restaurant...seated promptly, served promptly, food was very, very good (sea bass sushi...) and the cheesecake was REAL cheese. Even the parve desserts we chose were good.
                                                        Don't know what you are all kvetching about.

                                                        1. re: cappucino

                                                          that's exactly what I was saying.

                                                          reminds me of something-- a bowl of soup in Great American Health Bar came with either seven grain bread or a bran muffin. They didn't advertise that the muffin was an option.. so if you ordered soup.. you got bread.

                                                          1. re: cappucino

                                                            just btw they give bread and butter at dinner time, and if you ask at lunch they give it to you no charge so you need to calm down, the soup portion is huge and delish and i am happy to finaaly have a tasty soup with no starch or flour or 500 pounds of oil in Teaneck you need to relax and appreciate a great thing when you see one....no wonder teaneck can't have nice places to go to ...finally a gorgeous place with fresh food and a french bakery and all you do is kvetch...wowwww

                                                  3. I was there today for lunch. Service problems persist, it was very busy and it seems like they did not staff enough people (or someone called in sick?). At the beginning when the cafe was not so crowded, our waitress was very attentive, but as business picked up, it got tough to catch her attention.

                                                    My MIL and I had the grilled vegetable wrap ($9), the veggies were cold, which I did not expect, but it was otherwise tasty. It included 2 slivers of a pickle and a thimbleful of a spring mix salad. My mother had the french onion soup and asked for a side salad which is not on the menu (put it on fellas).

                                                    I think their portion sizes are actually okay, but the price feels a little high relative to the amount. (Which is to say lower the price, don't increase the food). Over the quality of the food was very good and the ambiance was very nice, but also noisy.

                                                    Desserts: We had the cappucino cup, the chinese cake and the French breast, each about $4.00. They looked and tasted good, especially for pareve.

                                                    Verdict: I will find a way to drag the husband there sometime soon for a date night.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: vallevin

                                                      I paid $14 for a really bad salad, it was absolutely nothing special, just plain greens with one or two pieces of avocado, plain nuts, and a dressing that had too much vinegar. The coffee was okay. I still felt like I threw out $20 for a lunch I didnt eat or enjoy. I noticed the other items on the menu were also overpriced. Not fair to charge that much.

                                                      1. re: bbd18

                                                        ummm i eat there 2 to 3 times a week with business associates, we often order salads, they are all loaded with delicious fresh ingredients , sweetened nuts (I shouls know, I requested to buy a small container for the house) and all salads are huge with tons of toppings and are so filling, I also order frequently the avocado on top of salad, and always get large portions, all of the dishes we have ordered, calzone, fish and chips, pasta dish, etc..always are a really nice amount, i have ordered many numerous things, always fresh and delicious, and the manager is always so sweet and caring.also happy to see that someone is finally offering up Illy coffee---ambience is fantastic, I will admit that i went there in the very begining and the service was slow, but the manager comped me with dessert and greeted me very nicely, in the past 3 to 4 months service has been great I am glad to see they worked out their kinks.

                                                    2. I have been there a few times and disappointed isn't the right word in this case....I manage to always leave, confused.

                                                      For some reason, I enter the restaurant already knowing fully well what is on the expansive (and expensive) menu, yet can never find anything that interests me. There are a few different pizza/pasta options, a million types of sushi/fish options, some soups/salads, a million types of NON-alcoholic cocktails, and a bunch of pastries and coffee drinks. In an already saturated market, was another pizza and sushi place really necessary? (Think Sammy's, EJ's, Poppy's, Sushi Metzuyan and Pasta Factory...and those are only the ones within a 1 block radius)

                                                      The design is beautiful, and the service is pristine, but the atmosphere screams BRUNCH!!! Where are my omelets, my pancakes, my hashbrowns?!?!? How is the menu so full, yet so empty. With a 5+page menu, why do I see 90% of the customers with pizza?!?

                                                      My last critique is of the bar that takes up 50% of the restaurant. I think it would be utilized more If A) there were outlets for laptop usage B) The nonalcoholic drinks were mixed up there and the coffee was made there versus at the "bakery". Also, a Smoothie station might be nice. and C) the waitstaff didn't hang out there.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: ArMed1010

                                                        Oh my gosh, armed, you couldn't have stated that any better!

                                                        1. re: ArMed1010

                                                          The setting is gorgeous, but noisy, I was so disappointed that the menu and the food did not even come close to matching the "ambiance".

                                                          cschoen

                                                          1. re: cschoen

                                                            Was there today for lunch. Sorry to say, it was one of the worst meals I have ever
                                                            had in a restaurant. Best thing I can say about the meal was that desert, triple
                                                            chocolate cake, was bland with no discernible flavor othen than it was chocolate.
                                                            Fish was not fresh. I could go on. Trendly look. There are much better places
                                                            than this which are mostly less expensive.

                                                        2. I feel absolutely compelled to share my experience at this restaurant, which is by far, single-handedly, the WORST dining experience of my life. After being served an inedible meal, the manager came to spit at us some of the RUDEST remarks anyone has ever said to me. Upon telling the manager that he would be losing us as customers for his sort of treatment, he replies "Yes, yes we are. That's OK."

                                                          I had heard similar reports from friends and thought "O they must have just had a bad experience." But I can now see that these people have zero concern for their customers' satisfaction, both with food and customer service. The first time we asked to speak to a manager, our waiter told us that he was busy. When we asked again, we were truly SHOCKED for him to come only to be INSULTED by him.

                                                          And bear in mind, this was for a $100++ meal!!!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: andrew f.

                                                            Totally agree. One of the worst dinning experiences I have ever had. Rude staff and awful food. Not sure how they still have customer. The only explanantion is that Jews are used to dealing with crappy restaurants like this one and have come to accept sub-par food and service.

                                                          2. A little bit late, but regarding pricing. Recently in the Jewish Voice, Mocha Bleu ran their take-out menu for Shavuot. A 7" cheesecake for 42$? You have GOT to be kidding me. Trays of ziti and other pasta dishes in the $30-50 range as well. Considering that they do not even make their pasta from scratch, these are dishes that can easily be made at home for what, $7 tops? Is convenience really worth an extra $30 on top? How about a pound of lox for I believe it was around $28? Again, a little late with this but the pricing is insane. Many people have mentioned how the pricing is NOT in-line with the portion sizes(and I agree -- lower prices, don't increase portions!), but this Shavuot menu has lead me to believe they are out of their freaking minds!

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: leahsarah

                                                              You think you can make a tray of Baked Ziti for $7? I don't know the size of their tray, but I doubt you could buy enough cheese for $7. Add in sauce, pasta, labor, and profit and $30 doesn't seem out of line for prepared food.

                                                              Also, Zabars sells packaged lox for $29/lb and hand sliced for $48/lb, so what is your issue with MochaBleu's price?

                                                              1. re: avitrek

                                                                baked ziti...
                                                                2 lb bag shredded mozzarella -- $8.29 (costco)
                                                                2 boxes pasta (1lb each, barilla) -- 2 for $1 (on sale, shoprite)
                                                                2 jars good quality sauce -- $2.50 each (on sale, shoprite)
                                                                total- $14.29 for the ingredients alone...

                                                                1. re: avitrek

                                                                  I certainly agree with Avitrek that the Baked Ziti and the lox seem pretty fairly priced. We have seen on this board many times, that there are people who don't seem to realize that restaurants, pizza places, and the like are profit-making businesses and not tzdekas. You can't just add up the cost of ingredients and think they're cheating you if are being charged more than the cost of dough, sauce, and cheese for a pizza. Beyond labor and ingredients, there is also the cost of operating the place: everything from rent and electricity to napkins and floor cleanser. I've never been there, and the other negative reviews here don't convince me to want to try the place, so it's not as though I'm trying to defend or promote the place.

                                                                  All of that said, though, $42 does seem a bit high for a 7" cake!

                                                                  1. re: queenscook

                                                                    Bought my cheesecake b4 shavuos for 24$, at mocha bleu I guess it was some kind of printing error (flip the numbers), oh and I got a pound of the lox and it was hand sliced!!!! So according to avitrek I got a deal!

                                                                    1. re: njsal

                                                                      Ahh, $24 sounds more reasonable. Quality ingredients like cream cheese, sour cream, etc. do cost. And the labor, etc. I myself made my own, so would not have purchased one, but I could see how someone would choose to buy one. Convenience has its price. And so does quality, though I can't speak to that, never having tasted the food from this place.

                                                              2. Was really not impressed....If I am going out for pizza, I think I will go to Dairy Palace in Staten Island next time

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: joejoetheranger

                                                                  Was pretty pleased by it...

                                                                  1. re: KosherVeg

                                                                    I like a lot their parve deserts. I get them often for the week-end, I think they taste great and I definetely enjoy going there! Regarding the drinks, they for sure have non alcoholic drinks in Europe!

                                                                2. After all these years, finally tried Mocha Blue for something other than a breakfast pastry. The food was good, not excellent. We had mostly pastas and pizza. I found both to be overly salty, especially the pizza. I also felt that the pizza lacked distinct flavor (beyond salt, that is). It needed an infusion of herbs considering it was supposed to have pesto, which was barely discernible. The sushi was unremarkable. The menu itself is good, with many choices (though they plan to redo the menu -- apparently many of the most requested items are never available. Why they don't just make them available rather than removing them I have no idea). We ordered dessert from the dairy menu - I had creme brulee. The flavor was fine, but the custard lacked body - it was thin and runny, and the topping a bit thin as well. Overall, the food was better than Shelly's, but not quite as good as Rabica. Of course the atmosphere is nnicer than both of those others.

                                                                  HOWEVER, the service was (as many have noted) terrible. The waitress, in fairness, was very nice, with good humor, and did warn us that dishes do not come out together, but so what? That is an excuse? After being in business for 3 years, they can't get it right? Soup as an appetizer needs to be put in bowls and served, it should not take 15 minutes. My daughter's fish and chips was the last to arrive, after everyone had finished their main course. Sushi appetizer was served after the main course. A pasta dish was brought out at the same time as the soup appetizer. Coffees came promptly, but the lattes took an additional 10 minutes. Ice cream was the last to arrive, 10-15 minutes after the other desserts, including the cake it was supposed to accompany. It was impossible to determine how much was due to kitchen disorganization, coffee bar disorganization, waiter ineptitude. All in all, it was the fault of the manager -- this one there for only a week, but clearly there is a management problem.

                                                                  Mocha Blue is popular because it has better food and ambiance than the other two dairy places, and with the conversion of the Pasta Factory to meat, there is less upscale competition in this category. But I share the frustration of many foodies on this site that the kosher community is too complacent with places that would not last 10 minutes in the non-kosher market due to poor service. Remember restauranteurs: we go out and pay high prices for food and service; if you cannot provide both, please find another business.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: mrogovin

                                                                    I disagree with your description of Shelley's . We were there for dinner on Sat night a few weeks ago with another couple. We all enjoyed our dinner. It was well presented and delicious. Service was excellent. I would heartily recommend them as well as Rabica. We have not been to Mocha Bleu since we tried them when they first opened. The food was good then ,but service was awful . They acted like they did you a favor to serve you .