A group of about 20 of us, including Shelly of Shelly in Real Life fame, went to Sunday brunch at Andalu for my friend’s birthday. It seemed like a logical restaurant to choose – brunch that accommodates a large party with bottomless mimosas and a little upstairs area where we can be rowdy and loud. And with over 1000 reviews on Yelp with 3.5 stars, it couldn’t be that bad, right?
Right. It wasn’t that bad. But it also wasn’t good, or memorable, in any way. First of all, the service was super slow. I understand that we have a large party and the food will take a while, but it would have been nice for the waiter to check up on us once in a while to see if we needed more water (which we did), or to see if the people who arrived late needed to order food (which they did). But we really only saw the waiter maybe 4 times in 3 hours. And when we finally paid for the bill, most people paid cash while 4 others paid with credit cards. My friends with the credit cards didn’t get it back for 20 minutes! You would think charging us and getting us out of there would be the quickest thing they do.
And then there’s the food. I asked the waiter for the recommendation between the Crab Cake Eggs Benedict and the House Cured Salmon Eggs Benedict. He said hands down the salmon, so I went with that. Turns out their “house cured salmon” is really just smoked salmon I could probably get at Costco or Trader Joe’s. The english muffin anchoring the eggs benedict was flat (taste-wise) and seemed like it came straight out of the package. The poached eggs and hash browns were passable, although by no means near the great. The only unique thing that stood out about the dish was the hollandaise sauce on the side. It had a salmon flavor to it and was actually unique, although it was too heavy to use more than a dash.
At the end of the day though, the birthday boy had a terrific time and that’s what matters the most on occasions like this. But then again people usually tend to have a terrific time when they’re challenged to drink pitchers and pitchers of mimosas. I’m glad the star of the day enjoyed his time at Andalu and I also had a great time catching up with friends, but one word really sums up my foodie experience at Andalu.