Marmalade Cafe – El Segundo

The husband and I wandered here on Sunday for a late lunch (2pm-ish).  It was our first visit.  The place was packed but luckily there was no wait for us.

There were two menus – the regular menu and their brunch menu.  I’m notoriously bad at trying to figure out what to order when I don’t have a particular craving.  Having two menus did not help.

Our server promptly arrived and took drink orders.  Husband was feeling the need for some alcohol and asked for a Captain n’ Coke.  Strangely enough, our server came back saying that they were trying to locate their bottle of Captain hence the slowness in delivery.  But the fact that he came back and explained the wait was just one sign of the great service we got.  I never had to ask for a refill on my water; our food arrived quickly and our waiter was attentive without hovering.

The other half decided on the country fried steak and I opted for the seafood risotto.  While we were waiting, a basket of nice warm rolls arrived.  Nothing special about them other than the fact that they were warm which is great for melty buttery goodness.

The country fried steak came with mashed potatoes and a medley of squash, carrots and broccoli.  I stole a bite of everything on Husband’s plate.  The potatoes were quite rich, creamy and buttery and also skinless.  It seems like a lot of places nowadays are doing “smashed potatoes”, leaving in the skins and not really whipping it up to the right consistency.  Marmalade Cafe did it right, thankfully.  The gravy was super thick, a little too thick, I think, but was okay flavor-wise.  The chicken was a little dry for my tastes.  It was breaded with Panko crumbs which had a nice crunch and wasn’t super-saturated with oil.  As for the veggies, they were cooked perfectly; they still retained a little crunch of freshness.

The risotto was a bit disappointing.  It was too soupy and thin, almost as if they didn’t spend the time to stir it to the correct thickness.  The dish looked more like seafood and rice mixed together with a little pool of broth at the bottom of the bowl.  The broth was tasty and the flavors simple.  There was a generous amount of seafood given which was a plus.  But it wasn’t really risotto in my opinion.

The cost was a bit on the high side.  The risotto was around $20 and I think the country fried steak was around $15?  But the portions were filling and we were both stuffed with our meals.

There were many things on the menu that were tempting, especially in terms of brunch items.  I think the other half and I were happy enough with our first experience to go back again.  I just don’t think I’ll be ordering the seafood risotto again unless I’m craving shellfish.

I give Marmalade Cafe 3 NOMs.

Marmalade Cafe
2014 E Park Pl
Plaza El Segundo
El Segundo, CA 90245
(310) 648-7200
http://www.marmaladecafe.com/

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