158 West Main
Tustin, CA 92780
Also located at:
211 North Pomona
Fullerton, CA 92832
264 North Glassell
Orange, CA 92866
So the parents decided to invite me and my wife out for dinner last night. Since my wife is somewhat of a vegetarian, we decided to go to a place we hadn't been to for a while that serves a lot of vegetarian dishes, Rutabegorz. Rutabegorz is celebrating their 30th year in business this year. We hadn't been to this place in about 6 or 7 years because we were not that impressed with it the last time we went. Things fared a little better for us this time, but it won't be making my favorites list any time soon.
After carefully looking over the menu, I decided to get the fondue. ($13.95)
A large pot of bubbly cheese was placed before me along with a huge platter of vegetables, apples and bread. My only complaint about the setup, was that if you wanted vegetables, they were hard to access as they were buried underneath the apples and the bread. I didn't mind much though since I'm not a big fan of veggies in fondue.
I pierced a piece of the bread with my fork and dipped it in the gooey, warm cheese. It fell off the fork. I fished it out and quickly popped it in my mouth. The flavors of swiss cheese and white wine danced in my mouth with glee, but the flavor was not as intense as I expected it to be. I found myself comparing this in my mind to the cheese fondue at The Melting Pot. The Melting Pot fondue has a much stronger flavor that I enjoy. Rutabegorz serves a milder, still acceptable version. The other complaint I have about the fondue is that instead of bread "cubes", you get squares of bread cut from slices. This makes the structure of the bread very weak. Therefore the bread almost always falls apart as you are trying to dip it in the cheese.
My wife decided to get the spinach and mushroom crepes.($9.95) She loves crepes so she was eagerly awaiting their arrival.
When they arrived at the table however, they looked a little odd. Instead of the neat little enchilada shaped crepes that one might expect, this plate was a giant mess of cheese and sauces. Needless to say, the wife did not enjoy these crepes at all. Among the comments she made about them were..."worst crepes I've ever had", "I'm so disappointed in these" and over and over again, "these aren't crepes, this is soup". Indeed her crepes were served in a bowl and smothered in so much bland, watery sauce, that it looked like a bowl of soup to everyone else at the table. My wife described it as a large bowl of tasteless mushroom soup with a crepe stirred in.
My wife spent the rest of the meal eating my fondue. At least someone ate the vegetables!
My mother decided to get the garlic chicken pasta. ($10.25)
She didn't love it, but she didn't hate it either. She said that the first bite she took, she thought she was eating croutons. Then she realized she was eating chicken. She thought that parts of the dish were very dry, but the parts that were covered in sauce were fine. She also did not like the sundried tomatoes on top, because they were not marinated in oil or anything so they again were very hard and dry.
My father decided to get a pepperoni, cream cheese, olive and onion sandwich.($8.75)
My father as well felt that his food was a little dry. He said that it could have used more cream cheese.
Overall, this restaurant is not horrible. Even though I enjoy the fondue from Melting Pot better, I still enjoyed my dinner. I also don't know if it's fair to compare the fondue from a restaurant that specializes in health food, to a restaurant that specializes in fondue. My wife is hesitant to return to this place. I told her that maybe she just made a "bad choice". She pointed out though that at a restaurant, there should never be a "bad choice" on the menu. I'd have to say, I agree.