Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jamming at Marmalade Cafe?

Marmalade Cafe
2677 Park Ave.
Tustin, CA 92782

Saturday date night, but where to go? We were going to see a movie at the District in Tustin, so we were sure to find a good place to eat there. Feeling a little adventurous we decided to try somewhere that neither of us have been before, Marmalade Cafe. A few blogs that I read regularly have visited there, but only for breakfast, and all of those were positive, so we decided to give their dinner a shot.

Marmalade Cafe has a Mimi's Cafe kind of vibe to it. They opened for business in 1990 in Santa Monica, as a catering business, but soon opened a cafe in that same location. Marmalade Cafe now has ten locations and the Irvine  restaurant is the first outside of LA county. Let's see if this is the perfect way to start our date night.

We chose to sit outside, and the lighting really made it easy to take pictures. The bread was good. A sourdough roll with some herbs inside of it. These came out really warm. I mainly just wanted to show off this picture.

For an appetizer we got the Warm Artichoke-Spinach Cheese Dip. Unlike its name, this came out really hot. We let it cool off for a few moments and then dug in. This is served with their homemade potato chips. Their chips were very thick and stood up to the dip with no problem. They were almost like a pita chip. The dip itself was okay. They make it with three cheeses plus, feta cheese, but the dip was just average. I did like that they did not shy away from using a lot of spinach and artichokes in this.

Here is Katie's choice for dinner, the Artichoke Chicken. This is chicken breast, artichoke, basil and mushrooms with a Dijon mustard sauce, served over a bed of spaghetti. The first few bites of this that I ate I liked, but then the mustard sauce that they put over this took over. It became too much. The chicken here was cooked fine, but I could not get over the sauce. This was also accompanied by a baby arugula-onion salad. The salad was fair, not my sort of thing. Katie liked her entree, but did not rave about it.

What you are seeing above is the 18oz Bone In Rib eye with bleu cheese butter on top. This is served with your choice of two sides, I went with the Mashed Potatoes, and Broccoli Parmesan. I could not be more disappointed in this dish. The sides were lacking in flavor. The potatoes needed to be seasoned with something, anything. The broccoli was okay, but the parmesan did not add anything here either. The bleu cheese butter, had no bleu cheese in it. It tasted like regular butter, I even tried some on a roll, and could not tell the difference between it and the regular butter. The rib eye was cooked the way I liked it, medium rare, but there was way too much fat on this one.

I know, rib eye's have the most fat, but this was way too much. It was supposed to be 18 ounces, and probably twelve of it was fat and bone. The meat worked well with the sides, because it was not seasoned at all, just like the rest of the plate. Not a good scene.

The service at Marmalade Cafe was great. Our server was very friendly and the bus staff were on top of everything. We might have just got the wrong things here, but the food was just not that good. Nothing on the dinner menu really jumped out at me as something that I must try next time. I would like to give their breakfast a shot though.

Out of five canning jars, five being best to zero being worst, Marmalade Cafe gets 2 canning jars.

For more information on Marmalade Cafe, click here:

Marmalade on Urbanspoon


  1. My friend and I just ate here tonight for the first time. It was disgusting...worse than Denny's! The Tropical Iced Tea was cheap. We ordered the same appetizer and were not impressed. The worst part was the main entree...Salmon salad. Neither one of us finished our meal and went to Pinkberry afterward. The waitress was clueless and never around. Will never return and will not recommend it to friends

  2. Anonymous - Sorry you had such a bad time here. We still have not been back. Wish they would have fixed their problems by now. I still want to try their breakfast though. Thanks for the comment.