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Mimosa: A Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese restaurant with mixed reviews

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I’m always a bit of a skeptic when it comes to new food and new restaurants. So, when a friend invited me to lunch last week to Mimosa – I was a little less than thrilled after hearing mixed reviews.

Before leaving for lunch that day, I went online and located their website (mimosa217.com), hoping to get a peek at their menu beforehand. Unfortunately, the site was very generic, and didn’t offer much more information than the phonebook. No menu, just hours, location, and contact information, followed by a basic introduction.

Located a bit of a distance from campus on Wabash Avenue in Springfield, the restaurant is not the most conveniently located, but is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Featuring Thai, Vietnamese and Japanese food, the newly renovated eatery has a modern atmosphere, with a great deal of detail put into presentation.

My initial positive first impression quickly turned sour as my friend and I waited to be seated. As we made small talk, the young, rowdy bartenders standing behind the bar zeroed in on the host’s stand.

The host welcomed us and offered to take us to our table, which was shortly accompanied by a few whistles coming from the bar. Not only did we feel disrespected, but it made for an awkward first few minutes at the place we would now be sitting at for a 45 minute lunch.

The a la carte establishment flaunts, “Big city variety, small town price!” and they aren’t kidding. With 115 menu items, 67 sushi options and a lunch menu, you might struggle with deciding what to actually order.

This was our first mistake – taking our time to carefully look through the entire menu only added to the lengthy amount of time it took to get our food. We eventually settled on a few appetizers to share, the beef tip kabobs, chicken lettuce wraps, and mini egg rolls – all reasonably priced under $7 per plate.

Our food finally made it to the table and was beautifully presented. Everything appeared to be fresh and of quality, and was the perfect amount for sharing. Matching its presentation, the food was well seasoned, seemingly cooked properly and flavorful.

The beef tip kabobs consisted of four kabobs with grilled, marinated beef loin tips skewered with bell peppers and red onion. The chicken lettuce wraps were not exactly what we were used to, but included wok tossed ground chicken which was served with vegetables and lettuce to wrap. The mini egg rolls came on a plate of six with a sweet dipping sauce and some side vegetables.

Our waiter came across as a little out there at first, but was extremely friendly. He was attentive and knowledgeable of the menu and flavors and had several suggestions to offer. However, personally having restaurant experience, it seemed as though Mimosa was fairly understaffed.

Our waiter easily had 10 tables to himself plus a party. Although very attentive when he arrived at each table, he seemed to have to juggle all too much.

I have gone back once since then and had a similar experience – good food and mixed service. It’s not a bad place to catch up with friends or grab a drink, but if you’re used to great food and great service consistently, Mimosa probably isn’t the place for you.

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