poor weather, nice destination: mendocino,ca

by Chen

I had to admit that it was quite a bad idea to go to any beach in such a weather. Windy. Cloudy. Foggy. Rainy. Freezing. My shirt+sweater+fleece jacket+wool coat did nothing except making me awkward.

But the town was such a lovely place that I would like to visit again.

Botanical garden:

Glass beach:


And, of course, the most important purpose of this post–to introduce Mendocino Cafe and Mendo Bistro.

Mendocino Cafe was a family owned casual restaurant. Besides classic American favorites, there were many dishes featured Asian twists since the owner, a 50-ish, friendly man, was somewhat obsessed with Asian, especially South Asian, cuisine.

UP: Seared tuna with soba, marinated cucumber, Chinese cabbage, and tangy sesame-soy dressing.

UP: Award winning clam chowder (loaded with dill!) and spring salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

UP: Steak and brie melt with horseradish sauce and potato salad.

Mendo Bistro was another place full of surprisingly delicious goodies yet not-empty-your-wallet. They only opened 4 hours (5pm-9pm) a day and was famous for their handmade fresh pasta. Also, they offered an exotic “make-your-choice” menu, from which customers could choose their main ingredients (fish, meat, tofu, etc), methods (roast, grill, fry, braised, etc), and sauces (BBQ, tarragon, red wine, curry, etc).

We, three starving ladies, ordered grilled flatbread with arugula, apple, pancetta, and parmesan for appetizer, chicken roasted in lemon-garlic butter, grilled portobello mushroom in tarragon sauce, braised tofu with EVOO and Indian spices. The food was so yummy that I even forgot to take a picture! And the only one I took was quite messy (sorry…).

Actually, I felt that their side dishes were even better! Creamy polenta. Herbed mashed potato. Sauted kale. Heavenly scrumptious, definitely! I was completely warmed up!

Though the weather was frustrating, though I got serious carsick on the way home, though I had some guilty feeling after every bite, it was worth revisiting.