Great on Paper: Mi Piace in Old Town Pasadena

Have you ever gone to a fancy restaurant during the day, say, for a business lunch, and sat next to well-dressed ladies (with Neiman Marcus shopping bags resting on the empty chair) lunching over a glass of Chardonnay, and wondered how those people are able to support such extravagant lifestyle without having to work? Sometimes, I make up silly stories about them in my head. Let’s see … this woman must live in a seven-bedroom house above Laurel Canyon with a plastic surgeon husband and three annoying Pomeranians … no kids … drives a Lexus but wishes she drove Bentley instead …two boob jobs (one for Christmas, another for birthday, courtesy of her husband)… her husband is actually gay and she knows it but prefers to be in denial … etc. While a part of me wishes that I can live such lifestyle without worrying about money, another part of me wonders if I would ever quit working if I, say, win a lottery tomorrow. I don’t know. I might change my mind if I actually encounter a sudden windfall but until that happens, I like to think that I’m one of those people who will continue to work, even if I don’t need to. Granted, I may not be in the same line of work that I do now, but I’ll definitely be keeping myself busy with something, somewhere.

When Maya visited me last week, I took a few days off from work so that I can spend time with my best friend and experience the life of the rich and famous together, by shopping and dining in the bright daylight! We went to Mi Piace in Old Town Pasadena for a lovely lunch over, yes, a glass of white wine, and pretended to be faux housewives! Maybe the table next to us thought we were those privileged ladies … or maybe not. I think I was sporting a beat-up pair of $20 Old Navy jeans that I’ve had for almost five years, with a pair of flip flops, and Maya had on a pair of cargo pants that were too big for her (definitely not rich housewife-like)! 😆

For lunch, we started out by sharing the Fungho Portobello Al Forno, oven-roasted Portobello mushrooms and tomatoes, in balsamic vinegar reduction. It sounded really delicious on paper, but the dish was actually just okay. The herb rub of rosemary and oregano was a tab too overwhelming in my mouth and felt like I was chewing on dried leaves.

Maya ordered the fish which was on the daily special.  I think she enjoyed the dish a lot!

I ordered the Antipasto Di Mare. The miso dressing was delicious but the jumbo prawn and mussels smelled just a little funky. Calamari and clams were fine but the rest, I think, weren’t fresh. 😯

I must admit that I was a little disappointed at Mi Piace, especially because I used to have good experiences here in the past. Especially with the impressive number of recognitions that it has received, I was hoping for a much better dining experience than mediocre food. Maybe everything in life is like that. Whether it’s an award-winning establishment or those ladies who seem to have it all, grass is always greener … and things are best admired from afar.

Mi Piace
25 E. Colorado Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105
★★★☆☆

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