Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lazy Dog Cafe - Jack of all trades

Do you know Mimi's Cafe? It's a modest chain with a Southern country theme. Now a handful of years ago, a relative of the founding family (I think it's the son) joined his dad in launching a new concept. The original location is in Westminster (Huntington Beach depending on who you ask). Every time I've dined at Lazy Dog I say the same thing. It's a great place for everyone.

These days I find myself at the Orange spot. Accessible off the 57, and adjacent to Century Theatres, it's an unbeatable combination. Boasting a sizeable waiting area outside and a roomy patio, you've got ample dining space inside as well. I've gone here with another family, with a group of co-workers, even celebrated my birthday with a dozen of my good friends. Everyone is pleased with their experience. This must be the only family place where the dining room is comfortable with the bar scene.

Their menu is a cut above what you'd expect. For starters, how about some Ahi Poke or Hummus Trio? Lamb shank and stroganoff are great alternatives to chicken and beef. There's also Maggie's Snake River salad, filled with Laurel Chenel goat cheese, cranberries, and balsamic vinaigrette. They'll even top the house chili with goat cheese if you so desire. Gouda in your grilled cheese? Side of whole wheat pasta salad? They've got the options.

Oh, and yes, I even go beyond my Arnold Palmers and make it a Tiger Woods (i.e. add cranberry juice). When you're done dining, the interior is a fantastic conversation piece. Photos of employee doggies and a rustic design add to the local charm of this place. Let's not forget the flashback music as well. Everything from metal to r&b to pop, it's practically karaoke night.

I am very comfortable recommending Lazy Dog to all my friends wanting something different.