While it’s unlikely that Top Restaurant will ever join the ranks of my favorite Pasadena eateries, Daisy Mint, another recent neighborhood discovery, is battling it out with Cham Korean Bistro for the top spot. Since it took me nearly two years to try this well liked restaurant [J. Gold approved, Pat Sapp approved, too!], I dined here twice in one week to make up for lost time.
Located on a dingy block of Colorado Boulevard, Daisy Mint serves Thai fare in an airy and modern room. I appreciate how the space feels legitimately cool without trying too hard or seeming out of place, which is quite an accomplishment for this part of town. On my first visit to Daisy Mint, I met up with fellow Pasadena worker bee Kung Food Panda to celebrate his birthday.
While waiting for my lunch date to arrive, I sipped a Thai iced tea that was two notches too sweet. I didn’t mind though, really.
After perusing the menu, Danny and I decided to share two of Daisy Mint’s lunch specials. I chose the Daisy Noodles ($6.95), which consisted of wide rice noodles topped with red curry, basil, and fried shallots. Fresh bean sprouts and a mixed green salad were served on the side.
The curry, which had bright notes of lemongrass and galangal, coated the noodles deliciously with its slight spice and creamy texture. I enjoyed this dish so much that I tried to recreate it at home days later. The pre-fabbed red curry paste that I bought at the grocery store fell flat compared to the carefully handmade one at Daisy Mint.
Danny chose the beef green jungle curry ($6.95), which was served with steamed Jasmine rice and a mixed green salad. In addition to strips of beef, the curry was brimming with eggplant, green beans, bell pepper, and basil. Ever since tasting Jitlada’s tear-inducing version a few years ago, I’ve steered clear of the entire genre of jungle curries. Fortunately, Daisy Mint’s rendition was quite mild and left my taste buds happy and intact. We needed an additional bowl of rice to polish off the generous serving of curry.
Danny and I could’ve left the restaurant perfectly sated after eating two lunch specials, but one of the desserts caught my eye—banana roti puff with vanilla ice cream ($6.95). I was hoping that it would be similar to the banana-stuffed rotis drizzled with sticky sweet condensed milk that I obsessed over in Bangkok, but alas, it wasn’t anything like it. Perhaps a more fitting name would have been “bananas wrapped in puff pastry.” Oh, what I woul’ve given for a crisp and oily roti!
On my return visit to Daisy Mint a few short days later, I decided to sample their pad Thai with tofu ($8.95). It’s not on the lunch specials menu, which means a heftier portion and a slightly higher price tag. Like the green and red curries I sampled earlier, the pad Thai was solid. The noodles were bouncy and slicked with a sweet and tangy sauce. While I’ve come a long way since my days of only ordering pad Thai at Thai restaurants, I can still appreciate a well-made plateful when it comes my way.
I really like Daisy Mint.
1218 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91106-1842