Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ambrosia Cafe

Ambrosia Cafe is a decent and reasonable Mediterranean restaurant in the Southwest, just South of the 215 on Jones. I was on the way to go drop off food for Penelope and pay her a visit in her new home when I saw this fairly new restaurant and decided to stop in. I'm a little wary of a place that serves Philly cheese steaks, ribs, and falafel, and even more wary when the latter is spelled 'felafel' on their menu, but I was hungry and they had some reasonable lunch specials. Considering my first impression, I was actually quite pleased with my lunch. I ordered the 'felafel' sandwich plate ($6.99) which came with a good version of tabbouleh and an undressed salad. I realized after eating half the sandwich that I should put that little salad inside, since the weird (or to be kind, interesting) combination of falafel, hummus, pickle, and peperoncini needed a little color and a touch more crunch. The falafel itself was beautifully browned and flavorful, but could have used a bit more kick. The hummus was fine, yet fairly standard, and the tabbouleh salad was properly done with lots of lemon juice. After the hummus and tabbouleh at Sunnin in Los Angeles, however, I am finding it difficult not to draw comparisons and become slightly disappointed in these two items elsewhere. The portion of lentil soup ($3.99) was huge, but I'm not sure it is supposed to be, judging by the way the waitress had to move at the pace of a snail to avoid spilling any of it over onto the plate. I appreciated her care, but unfortunately by the time it got to me it wasn't super hot anymore. It had a pleasant hint of curry that I enjoyed, but needed salt and a probably a more flavorful stock. It definitely improved once I doctored the leftovers back home later that day. I wasn't terribly impressed with my lunch, yet it was better than I'd expected so I was content. This isn't a place you would go out of your way for, but if I lived in the neighborhood I wouldn't mind its presence and would most likely frequent it on occasion (they also deliver).

Today's Food Ratings:
'Felafel' Sandwich plate: 6.5
Lentil Soup: 5.5 (6.5 after doctoring)

Restaurant Rating: 5


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