July 6, 2007

Rosine's Mediterranean Cafe [Anaheim]

A visit to a friend in Yorba Linda brought us to Rosine's for an early dinner. At 6pm, the dining room was nearly empty, but by the time we left, even the seats at the bar were full.

The Lehmejoun or Armenian pizza ($6) was more like a grilled pita sandwich filled with minced beef, tomatoes, parsley, bell peppers, and onions. The mixture was ground to a paste and tasted like a robust sundried-tomato pesto doused with a refreshing twist of lemon.

But what we really came for was the Rotisserie Chicken ($11), which is a half chicken with Rosine's garlic cream sauce and two sides. Our tabbouleh was on the salty side while the scoop of Muhammara or Walnut Caviar was a tart, grainy paste that while good with pita, was even better with the chicken.

At $11, our plate was overflowing with white and dark meats, though I decided to give Rosine's the true test of a rotisserie chicken. I went straight for the white meat which flaked from the bone with a mere flick of my fork. Things were looking good for Rosine's until the fork made it to my mouth--while tender, the chicken dried out your mouth with its flat flavor. No juiciness of the skin, no chickeniness of the meat, but at least you've got both the garlic cream sauce (almost like garlicky mashed potatoes) and the Walnut Caviar to compensate.

In the interest of trying something new, we opted for the Farina Cake, which dropped our mouths with its $4 price tag (we're used to Bay Area cost of living). If you could imagine a dry chiffon cake that crumbled like a day-old cookie, you too would be overjoyed with the berry crown that managed to save the dessert. It strangely grew on us over time, but while it was bearable for the time being, I wouldn't order it again.

Don't let the plain Jane storefront deceive you. Inside, there are votives on the tables, cloth napkins for your lap, and ambient light to flatter your physique. So if you're looking for a filling, sit-down meal at cafeteria prices, Rosine's isn't a bad place to start looking.

Rosine's Mediterranean Cafe
721 S Weir Canyon Rd
Anaheim, CA 92808
(714) 283-5141

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