Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Citrine, a new restaurant with diverse cuisine

Citrine is affiliated with Safeway, though at the moment that relationship's only effect is that they serve "O" brand organic products, and some particular combinations you might recognize from your Safeway shelves. Asked whether Citrine serves as a testing ground for future Safeway products, like packaged meals, the knowledgeable cashier said, "Not yet, but we're not ruling it out."

Everything about the interior is sparse and elegant, clean in line and surface. It's set up like a quick-serve cafe, where you order and pay at the cash register and then your food is brought out to you. They have an impressively diverse menu, innovatively cross-organized by type of cuisine and dinner course (appetizer, salad, etc.). Some of our group found this rather confusing (having to read across to see all the salads, for example), but overall we liked the layout and the selection.

The items we ordered came out as they were ready, so main dishes appeared before salads, in some cases; the attentive waitstaff don't really worry about whether everyone gets their dishes at once, nor whether you're done with one before bringing another. But that's what you expect in this kind of diner, and it didn't bother any of us.

So how is the food? Overall it got high marks. The flatbreads were particular favorites, but everything we shared around was good, and everyone cleaned his plate (with the exception of one friend who asked for no side salad and got it anyway--special orders are always tricky). The spicy pasta dishes actually had a good level of spice to them (to my bland palate), and everything had a nice, robust flavor.

If you're in the mood for a good, quick meal, check out Citrine. Chances are you'll find something you like there. Worth a return visit for sure.

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