I have just returned from the non-profit Delish. As usual, I sacrificed myself for the sake of this blog by eating as much as I possibly could. Never mind that I won’t be fitting into my swimsuit this year.
The first thing you need to know is how the lunch is served.
1) There is no menu. They have what they have. I wanted to ask if the lineup would change daily or weekly but the place was just too busy by the time I thought to ask some questions. (I was excited about getting that food in my belly.)
2) You are served by folks behind the counter so there is some portion control. However, Mr. Sadorra himself served me and he was very generous with the scooping. You simply tell them which items you want on your plate. I thought about introducing myself. You know, I could have said something like “Hi! I write for Fork You…that semi-famous local blog about restaurants…I’m the one that sent you the love letter about your satay….can you pile on another half dozen of those sticks?” But I decided it would be best for the others in my party if I remained anonymous.
3) They have nifty little signs taped to the glass in front of each dish so you know what it is. The geek in me loves labels.
4) They are set up for to-go orders, too. You get a fancy paper plate if you are dining in (think Chinet…you know, the good stuff) or a largish styrofoam container if you are taking it out.
5) The price is $8 plus tax, which includes a drink. (The soda machine was experiencing technical difficulties today so we had water…but they were appropriately apologetic.)
The interior looks just like it did when it was Cilantro’s except there is new fabric on the cushions and different artwork.
Here is a breakdown of the menu and my thoughts on each of the items I tasted:
Chicken meatballs stuffed with cream cheese served with a pepper coulis – These are made of chicken breast and are a little bigger than a golf ball. The cream cheese inside is a lovely surprise. The coulis is a mildly flavored creamy sauce. I like the meatball.
Chicken and vegetable medley in a blush onion cream sauce served with cous cous – The chicken breast is tender and served with a variety of vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces. The sauce is a bit underseasoned which left the entire dish somewhat bland – not what you would expect from Mr. Sadorra. The cous cous is liberally dotted with bright green peas – very good.
Sweet chili asian infused country style ribs – I am not a rib fan so I passed on this one.
Spicy garlic satays – one of the stars of the plate. The sauce is divine.
Peanut thai satays – another superstar. I could have eaten a pile of these. The peanut sauce is even diviner (purposeful poor grammar used for emphasis) than the garlic sauce. If you missed the original Delish, these satays will make you happy.
Orange BBQ glazed salmon – the salmon is tender and perfectly cooked. There is a nice smoky background with the sweet orange glaze. Delicious.
Marinated portabella caps topped with roasted peppers and feta – even though I normally say I don’t like mushrooms, I enjoyed this dish. The portabellas are meaty and the tartness of the marinade is a delicious counterpart to the sweeter sauces on the plate.
Spring mix salad tossed with vegetables,feta and grapes served with a garlic vinaigrette – salad? I just couldn’t spare any room on my plate for salad.
Chicken Waldorf salad wrap – Misty tried this one. It is a fruit-laden chicken salad. She repeatedly held up bites of fruit so we could agree they were indeed large and plentiful.
Tri colored rotini pasta with spinach, onions, zucchini, peppers, and cheese tossed with an Italian dressing – Misty tried this also. The best thing about this pasta salad is the freshness of the ingredients. Oh, and the parmesan cheese. That’s umami, you know.
Yam (not listed on Facebook) – I would like the yam a bit more done than it was but yams are so tasty I didn’t mind.
Brownie (not listed on Facebook) – Misty sampled the dessert offering. It is a fudgy brownie that may have contained chili powder. Most of the way through the piece, Misty detected something spicy.
Suggestions for improvement:
1) I really, really needed a knife. The plastic fork was bending too easily to cut through the yam, the chicken meatball and the portabella.
2) An explanatory sign about how you “order” would be helpful for first-timers. And this week, everyone will be a first-timer. We were a little confused about how it would work even though we had read the Facebook page and Daily Mail articles. There is a sign outside the front door, but Sarah Lieu from Channel 13 was standing in front of it interviewing Mr. Sadorra when we arrived. Perhaps that sign would have clued me in.
I enjoyed my lunch. The food is reminiscent of the original Delish that I miss so much. The price was very reasonable for what you received in return. So much so, that I am wondering how there will be any profits. I paid my bill with a $10 and did not ask for change.
I still don’t really understand the concept, but I have requested to put Delish on our weekly rotation, ESPECIALLY if the line up changes periodically. I will rate it with actual forks next time since it seems a little unfair to do so on opening day. Oh, and next time I am going to ask them to squirt that peanut sauce all over my plate!