Mustard Seed Cafe
1948 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Feliz, CA
9.26.06 - Tuesday, 12:45 PM
Myself + 1 guest (Noah Zee Lunch Buddy)
Mom tells me that when I was a wee one, I judged a 'rant by its bathroom. Well, old habits die hard. I almost always take a peek into the ladies room, whether or not I'm in need. There's an element of pride and care one can gather by taking a gander at this intimate spot, and my feeling has always been this: if the bathroom's a mess, dear god, I don't want to know a thing about the kitchen.
The Mustard Seed Cafe is a quaint joint tucked on a Hillhurst corner, in the heart of Los Feliz. It sports the kind of cozy green awning that catches your eye as you pass, and makes you ponder, "Hmm. Looks cute. Could it be a diamond in the rough?" I wonder this for ages. I heard a nice thing or two. I finally had a chance to give it a whirl.
Here's the scene: it's the middle of a Tuesday afternoon, prime lunching, and the place is rather quiet. I grab a perfect outdoor table, waiting on my companion, and the service is immediately fab. I have a cute, laid back waiter, and am perusing a menu in no time. OK, fine, the usual suspects here, but I'm intrigued. Noah arrives, and we order in a jiffy.
The food plops down just a short spell later, and it's . . .average. Looking, tasting, the works. Somewhere mid-meal, I whisk off to the Forbidden Zone - the one and only Mustard Seed Bathroom, tucked in the back, next to the dishwasher's station. There's someone in the coed closet, so I linger, noting some nasty, musty smells, and a very disgruntled worker. It's so awkward, I can't even tell you. Finally, the door zips open and I usher inside, looking for tranquility. OMG. No such luck. One of the nastiest bathrooms I've been in, outside of the third world visits. Dirty, foul, with crumbling walls and no effort to even feign a sense of cleanliness.
Welp, that does it. Mustard Seed blows.
You still want details? MASOCHIST!
Nothin' but soda - they have a sad little wine list, but there were no takers.
Roasted Salmon Salad
-- A nice slab o' fishie goodness with a bland roumelade and a healthy dose of greens, dosed in balsamic. Ehhh, the fish tasted tough and greasy (overcooked), and the salad was just so-so. I did appreciate the smattering of veggies, like carrots and broccoli.
BLT on white
-- Toasted bread absolutely crammed with bacon (heaps of it!), avocado, lettuce, and 'maters. Decent sannie for sure, but wayyy too much of the meaty stuff (hard to imagine a bacon overload! Better to have TOO much, however . . .) Potato salad was the side, and I suppose it was decent, if you're madly in love with mayo. Woof.
And that's all she wrote.
Damage for 2 drinks and 2 entrees - about $25, before tip.
RESTAURANT REPORT CARD - Mustard Seed Cafe, Visit 1
Ambiance - D
Service - B-
Food (Taste) - C
Food (Presentation) - C-
Wine/Drinks - C
Value - B
Vibe/Energy/Scene - C-
Overall Experience - C-
Final word - A world of no. As in, no reason to return, clean bathroom or not.