I've seen the white sails of Minx Restaurant and Lounge from the freeway many times and wondered what the venue was like. Was it a restaurant? A club? Turns out, it's both.
Recently, Tony of SinoSoul forwarded an invite from Hungry Hungry Hanh for a media dinner that included steak, scallops, sweet potato fries, au gratin potatoes, and other standard American fare. While the menu was standard, they were all dishes that I like and I was curious to see what Minx was like inside, so why not? Joining us were WeezerMonkey, Anna of Banana Wonder, and the Carina half of the Uncouth Gourmands.
A classy nautical theme? What does that have to do with purring cats? Hey, I didn't name the place...
I liked how the lights look like the underside of boats and the metal curtain.
The graffiti-like silhouettes kinda grew on me.
We sat at a huge, high table. So high that my feet were a foot above the ground and when my napkins (plural because the waiter noticed I had a black skirt on and gave me a black napkin too so my clothes wouldn't get white napkin pills) fell, I couldn't be bothered to hop off to retrieve them. So he gave me new napkins. Nice attention to detail!
Warm bread and chipotle honey butter. The bread was nothing special, but served as a means for me to shove more sweet, not really spicy, butter into my mouth.
Minx recently underwent new management and hired executive chef Keven Alan Lee to retool their menu. Keven was on hand that evening and came out several times to introduce himself and check up on us. I admit, I came to the dinner with no expectations and left pleasantly surprised. Hopefully, the level of service and quality of my meal wasn't just because it was a media dinner.
I should preface this meal by saying that I have no idea how the actual portions will be served if you choose to dine there. Since this was a blogger meal, we were given tasting menu portions of some dishes and side dishes were served family-style. I figure you're smart enough to decide for yourself if you want to try the restaurant based upon what you see here. I checked their current menu for prices and descriptions for your edification, but again, they may not be reflective of the portions or presentation should you dine there yourself.
Hearts and Romaine, five garlic-brushed hearts of romaine, grilled hearts of palm, kalamata olives, ciabatta tostinis, $8. Obviously, that wasn't five pieces of romaine lettuce. Good, but nothing special.
I really liked the Blooming Butter Head salad, organically-grown butterhead greens, Lola Rosa, crispy bacon, crumbled Stella blue cheese, shaved red onions, charred corn, toasted candy cashews, and blue cheese vinaigrette, $10. The Lola Rosa is the red lettuce at the bottom of my plate. Yes, I Googled it. Some of my favorite salad ingredients, all of good quality, together in one. What's not to like? Although, looking at these pictures, my portion, below, was substantially more than WeezerMonkey's plate, above.
Signature Creamy Five-Onion soup, $11, caramelized shallots, red and yellow onions, leeks, and scallions creamed together with melting Gruyere cheese, and served in a colossal onion. We were told that this was not that colossal onion, but a normal-sized one for the media meal. I expected it to be like French onion soup, instead it was pureed onions, thicker. I asked the chef why the onion "bowl" wasn't steamed as well to make it edible. He said it wouldn't hold the soup and would give off that steamed onion smell. Some people had raw onion chunks at the bottom of the soup and were unpleasantly surprised by that. I had no issues.
Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp $10, sauteed black pepper shrimp with creamy Orleans-style barbecue sauce with garlic bread. The shrimp reminded me of Vietnamese caramel shrimp, a sweet, concentrated shrimpy flavor. The garlic bread was intended to mop up the sauce, which I did, but think a softer garlic bread would have been better.
Side dishes are all $6 on the menu. Can I just give a blanket statement that I liked all the side dishes. Solid preparations.
Sauteed mushroom medley with garlic and herbs.
Grilled asparagus. You can also ask for boiled asparagus, but why would you when you can get it grilled?
Sauteed garlic spinach topped with Romano cheese.
Brussels sprouts and bacon with balsamic butter.
Yukon Gold mashed potatoes with bacon, scallion, and creme fraiche.
Steamed broccolini with garlic butter.
Au gratin potatoes with horseradish cheddar cheese.
Now we get to the entrees.
I ordered the 14-day dry-aged NY steak. I'm sure the normal $27 price would be a much more substantial portion. As it was, I was so stuffed, I could only manage one piece, gave some to WeezerMonkey, and took home the rest. Not as tender or flavorful as I expected.
She ordered the sea-diver scallops, $17, and ended up giving me two. The scallops weren't as tender or flavorful as I expected either.
Both entrees were actually the two weakest dishes of the night. I liked the appetizers and side dishes much more.
A shot of our table with all the sides. I did try and liked, but missed close-up photos of the truffle radiatori pasta with Vermont cheddar and shiitake mushrooms, shoestring buttermilk onion fries, and sweet potato fries with maple syrup, $6.
Oh, I did manage to snap a photo of the truffle Parmesan French fries with basil, $6.
Desserts are all $10 on the menu.
By this point, I could only manage one or two spoonfuls of each to taste.
Banana Foster whoopie pie, handmade marshmallows, fresh bananas, and caramel orange twile.
Blackberry pear cobbler with Tahitian vanilla ice cream and lavender whip cream. My favorite of the desserts. I liked how the lavender whip cream and rosemary sprig counterbalanced the sweetness of the cobbler.
Lemon panna cotta with goat cheese cookie crumb, chilled berry broth, and micro basil. Not sure where the micro basil went because that's definitely a mint leaf as garnish. Or was it in the broth? Too subtle then because I don't remember that. I liked it, but the panna cotta was a bit firm.
Chocolate toffee bread pudding with Kahlua milk chocolate fondue.
Seriously, by this point, I hit overload and just had to stop.
Sometimes with all the ethnic dining I do, it's nice just to have good old American food.
As we left, I noticed how very empty the restaurant was. I hope nearby residents give Minx a try.
While the meal was complimentary, we did leave tip, as you always should unless instructed otherwise for any media event.
Thanks again to Hanh for setting up the dinner and to Minx and chef Keven Alan Lee for having us!
My dining companions' coverage of our meal:
Hungry Hungry Hanh has a layout of what the restaurant looks like, including our ouija board-like table.
Carina of the Uncouth Gourmands brought along her intern. I never got treated to meals like this when I was an intern.
Had a great time chatting with Anna of Banana Wonder about Portland, Greece and Greek food, and her friendship with Kunal Nayyar ie. Rajesh Koothrappali of "Big Bang Theory." Fangirl squee!
And it's always fun when WeezerMonkey is there. :)
Minx Restaurant and Lounge
300 Harvey Dr.
Glendale, CA 91206
1 year ago today, Wahkeena Falls - Columbia River Gorge - Oregon.
2 years ago today, pomegranates!!!
3 years ago today, everything's coming up roses...and a sidenote on plagiarism and copyright infringement.