Six of us just got back from lunch at Johnny Garlics in Santa Rosa. You know what? It was really good! I had the seared ahi tuna sandwich lunch. The tuna was perfectly seared and raw in the middle, with a delicate light fresh flavor. The texture was lovely, very easy to bite and chew, but with just enough resistance to give it a nice fresh mouth feel. The chiabatta bun was lightly crispy with a very light taste that complimented the tuna. There was also dark green, very fresh lettuce, but just enough to add some green flavor without being too thick. I'm not sure what the sauce was, it had some capers, and again, was savory but light enough that overall, the dominant taste was the tuna. I substituted the house salad for the fries. While it was certainly not earth shaking nor particularly original, it was very fresh and dressed perfectly for me, very lightly. Offered the choice of bleu cheese, balsamic, ranch or Italian dressing, I asked what Guy liked best. The waitress said that Guy likes the dressing on the Chinese chicken salad the best, so I asked if I could have that and she said sure. It was the perfect choice, anything else would have been much too heavy with the delicate fish.
We didn't share tastes, but everyone else said their lunches were delicious: a volcano shrimp appetizer (S. wasn't very hungry), grilled kobe beef with mashed potatoes and vegetables (including a fried, crispy spinach that R. had had before at Tex Wasabi's and didn't like, but said that it was much better this time), grilled chicken with wild mushrooms (same accompaniments as the beef) and two pasta and salad combos. We also shared an order of garlic fries. Much too garlicky for me, but hey, it was Johnny Garlics. I will say that the fries were perfectly cooked, crisp on the outside giving way to soft creamy inside. Nothing was particularly innovative (and I was a bit relieved - I feared a menu of the crazy concoctions he dreams up on his tv show), but everything was solid. The service was prompt and friendly (though M. did have to ask twice for a glass of water) and the place seemed quite busy. There were two tv's in the bar, one with sports and one running a constant stream of Guy Fieri's tv shows with the sound off. I'm glad we weren't sitting there!
I know this place doesn 't get much respect on the board. R. was treating and suggested it, and I was admittedly quite curious. D. said that she had eaten there three times before and that this was the first time that she liked it. So I guess maybe it's hit and miss, but we certainly had a hit today.
917 Piner Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403