Repeat after me… Mantra…

A couple saturdays ago, I went to Mantra for the second time. The first time I ever went there, we ended up there quite by accident. It was probably a year ago or more. We were in the area and looking for somewhere to eat, and it caught our eye. It was brand new. We had a lovely meal that night. It was so new they didn’t even have their liquor license yet and we got free wine. Whoohoo! We had an even better meal this time around.

After becoming unemployed oh so suddenly, Z had to find a new gig. He did. So he wanted to celebrate. He suggested Tantra. I said, do you mean Mantra? Yes, that was it. It was such a random pick, but all the stars aligned that evening. It was as if we were supposed to go there! Mantra bills themself as an Asian Soulfood restaurant. I get the asian part just fine, but I haven’t noticed the soul part just yet. It’s fairly small, but there are two floors of seating, along with a few tables outside. There’s bars on both floors. There are mostly tables, but we got seated in one of the two booths. We started with a few drinks, I had the asian red head. Apparently, with this drink name, they’ve won some kind of best drink name award. Z had some red wine, I forget what. Probably shiraz or cab or something. I enjoyed my drinky poo very much!

For appetizers, we had the Long Life Green salad the Baby Bombay Burgers. The burger is actually an entree, but for whatever reason, I thought it would be small (probably due to the “baby” in the name and the cheap price) but it was actually a proper entree. Oops. The burgers were delish and had roti as the bun. It also came with seasoned sweet potato fries, which rocked. The bulldog ketchup it came with was an excellent complement. After I ate one of the burgers, I was already pretty full! The salad was good too.

Z ordered the Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon as an entree. As you can see, it was a big hunk of filet with a wasabi based crust! It came sitting on top a pile of mashed potatoes with a side of chinese broccoli. I’m not much of a steak eater, so I would rarely ever order just a piece of meat. I tasted it though and it was nice and tender. The crust wasn’t too spicy. The mashed potatoes were great.

As for me, they have seafood specials throughout the summer. For july, the seafood of choice is crabs and they had three offerings. I went with the softshell crab. The crabs came drizzled with a sweet and spicy sauce on top of a bed of lettuce and crunchy noodles. I enjoyed the crabs, but I was a bit disappointed that this dish didn’t come with any real sides. I mean I know it came on top of a huge pile of edible stuff, but it really wasn’t worth eating. It was much more of a giant garnish, and not so much actual sides. For $25, I should have had proper sides!

During dinner, we saw Al Paris, who runs the place. He’s a restaurateur and artist and crafter. He built the restaurant with his own hands, including the tables and artwork. Z said hello to him, and a few moments later, the general manager, Chris, brought us a round of drinks on Al. Thanks Al! Al then came by and started gabbing with us. I like it when managers come by once in awhile and ask how things are, but this was the first time an owner came by, sat down, and chatted with us. It was great. Before we left, he gave us a big hug. :-) Then he told us to come by in an hour and it would really be bumping.

After an amusing trip to Drinkers Pub (mostly because I am old enough to be moms of the kids that drink there), we did go back to Mantra. When we went back, there was a DJ and they were playing this crazy japanese martial arts movie. It was getting more and more packed as suddenly, these giant groups of girls came in. Attention single male blog readers, Mantra on saturday nights. Be there! We then talked to Chris, the GM, for awhile. It was great because we found out just how dedicated they were to please customers at Mantra. They truly care about giving us the best experience and best meal we could have. I’m sure all restaurants want to do that, but it’s rare that you find it to be true, direct from the horses’ mouths. Then Z bought a round of shots and had a shot with Al and the DJ. It was hilarious. I can’t recommend this place enough. Not only is the food good, the people who run the place give a damn! How refreshing!

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