Saturday, June 02, 2007

Minx Restaurant & Lounge

We (the hubby and I) went to Minx for the first time last night. We got tired of having dinner at the same ole local haunts on Colorado Blvd,. in Eagle Rock, after wine tasting at Colorado Wine Company (cheap & bad Italian food at Casa Bianca's or overpriced & mediocre Italian food at Columbo's) and wanted to try something new but still close by. So we decided to try Minx which is just a few miles away in Glendale, off of the 134 fwy.

Minx is a sleek, Hollywood style restaurant that is surprising (pleasantly so!) for Glendale. The reviews say it "gives Glendale a rare jolt of jolt of Hollywood-style panache, minus the attitude", and offers great food.

Don't let the In-N-Out burger stand located in the same parking lot fool you - the restaurant is upscale and you can have a wonderful fine dining experience there. They have valet in front of the restaurant, and albeit a bit pretentious, red velvet ropes as well.

Although it's located right next to the 134 freeway, sitting outside on the patio at night (around 9 PM) was nice and they did a good job with the decor to make it feel like you were sitting above a cityscape and the acoustics were also nice outside. As you can see from the photo above, the outside patio is covered with a white sail equipped with lights that change it's color (reds, purples, and blues), and the patio has modern stonework and water features. Inside was another story. The design beautiful, but the acoustics were bad. It felt like you'd have to shout to your date across the table to be heard, which is why we asked to be seated outside.

MINX Restaurant & Lounge
300 Harvey Dr. (Wilson Terr.)
Glendale, CA 91206

Dining Style: Fine Dining

Cuisine: Fusion / Eclectic

Neighborhood: Glendale

Cross Street: Wilson Terrace

Price: $31 to $50

I literally drove by Minx everyday on my way to work, and I had read that Paris Hilton made an appearance there at their Grand Opening (not that I'm a fan) which peaked my curiosity.

I made reservations online for 8:30, but we got there a half hour late, which didn't matter because we were still seated right away. The restaurant was full, but not fully packed so we didn't have to wait for a table. It started getting busier the later it got. The staff was very friendly & courteous, and we got great service. (I had read some diners comment that the staff were rude, but we didn't experience that at all.)

Starters/Appetizers we ordered:
  • Oysters (Uwe declared these were the best oysters he's ever had. "You've got to try this oyster, it feels like the ocean is melting in your mouth." I found them to be too fishy, but that might just be my palate change that happened since my pregnancy. I used to LOVE seafood, but ever since being pregnant I can only eat some seafood that's not too "fishy". Strange I know, but it has gotten better - I can at least eat shrimp and crab again - , but I hope it goes away altogether so I can enjoy oysters again! )
  • Sashimi (Uwe loved it. I enjoyed it, but wasn't blown away.)
  • Poki with smelt egg and aoli (One word - Delicious! The Poki was so fresh and perfectly marinated, and the smelt egg fritter on the bottom was an excellent choice to compliment the poki. I had to hold myself back from eating the whole thing - since we were sharing.)
Entrees we ordered:
  • Monk fish with lobster risotto (The Monk fish was disappointing, but the lobster risotto was tasty.)
  • Roasted duck with asparagus (Very yummy. Uwe commented that the duck was better at Minx than at the Red Lion - a German restaurant/tavern/beer garden that we frequently visit. The duck was leaner, and not as fatty/greasy as the Red Lion, but I do love the traditional German side dishes that come with their duck (red cabbage, potato, orange/cranberry relish, & pickle)- and it's worth the 20 minutes made to order wait. At Minx, their duck entree just comes with asparagus, and two sauces lightly decorating the plate.)
Dessert we ordered to share:
  • Peach & blueberry cobbler (Gross! Although it sounded good, the combination just didn't work. This dessert had blueberry ice cream dunked in a too sweet sauce with peaches floating in it and the cobbler was almost non-existent. The waiter noticed that we had barely touched our dessert, and comped our dessert for us - which was very nice.)
Things I could have done without:
  • The Snoop Doggy Dog rap that they started playing over the speakers towards the end of our dinner (but it does turn into a nightclub at night).
  • The clubbing crowd who were definitely NOT A-listers. (Think lots of obese women showing off their enormous cleavage.) I had also read comments from diners that the restaurant can at times be full of gang bangers all dressed up for a night on the town. I think that's probably more the scene on Saturday nights, rather than Friday.
  • The creepy guy - maĆ®tre d' maybe? - who approached our table to say, "It's a pleasure to have you in our restaurant."

Things that pleasantly surprised me:

  • The decor is beautiful with a nice ambiance.
  • The food, although hit or miss, was excellent when it hit. It makes me want to go back and try other entrees (as well as ordering the poki with smelt egg again!).
  • It felt very Hollywood chic and upscale, but yet just a short drive away in Glendale.
  • The service was excellent. We ordered a lot of different dishes, but everything came to the table promptly and we never felt we were waiting. One dish came after the next. The wait staff also refilled our water without us ever having to ask, and they were observant and on top of things without hovering (i.e., taking our orders for a 2nd cocktail/wine).
  • Someone brought their kid, an infant who was fascinated by the water feature. Uwe got very excited by this and said, "We can bring Astrid next time we come!" Being a parent in LA, it's tough to find those restaurants that are cool and kid friendly. While I wouldn't classify this restaurant as kid friendly, I think if we came early enough for dinner, we could sit on the outside on the patio with her and have a great meal together.
Overall Summary:
Our overall experience was good (2 thumbs up), and there's a 99.9% chance we'll return.

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