25343 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90505
Mimi’s Cafe is inspired by the friendly neighborhood French bistros encountered by airman Arthur J. Simms in the 1940s. The cafe is mostly indoor seating (a few tables are outside for the adventurous) but the interior decor is reminiscent of an outdoor patio experience. The menu leans French in style and flavor but the standard cafe menu items can be had as well. Parking in this Torrance location is adequate but since the restaurant shares a parking lot with Kohl’s and a few smaller shops, timing is everything. Located at the southwest corner of Airport Drive and Crenshaw Blvd., Mimi’s Cafe is an easy drive from Torrance Memorial and the local car dealerships that line Pacific Coast Highway.
CARL: Sometimes we have a plan for where to go for lunch – and sometimes we just get in the car and see where the car takes us. Today, we just hopped in the car and headed down Airport Drive toward the shopping centers near Crenshaw and Pacific Coast Highway. This time it was Oliver’s turn to go with his gut and he wanted to try Mimi’s Cafe. Upon arriving we were greeted by a hostess in a spacious waiting area. We had a choice of a booth or a table and because we opted for a booth there was a short wait. At lunch you can opt for the full menu or a $10.99 two course lunch special which includes a soda. Since this is Lunch Pig and we like to feel special, I went for the special. The picture on the left is my first course, a cup of tasty Corn Chowder. The Corn Chowder was flavorful and contained some unexpected veggies which I enjoyed. The small cup of chowder was just enough and I was taking my last bite as the main course arrived…..
For the second course you have quite a few options ranging from a “Turkey, Brie & Cranberry Croissant” to a “Quatre Fromages Quiche” to a selection of “Bistro Burgers”. I threw caution to the wind and ordered a fancy burger called the “Madeira Mushroom and Swiss Burger”. Normally I like to keep my burgers simple but it sounded good so I took a shot. The presentation was good – it arrived with the top off and the remainder of the plate was filled with thin French Fries. After taking a few bites I knew I had ordered the wrong thing. For my personal taste, the sauce was too rich and heavy for a burger and would have likely been a better match at dinner time – on a burger or with another entree. The portions were generous, the Diet Cokes were bottomless (and part of the price of the meal), the overall experience was good, and our waitress was very friendly. My only negative here is that I thought the food was a bit heavy for lunchtime. Mimi’s is a great place to go if you are looking for a filling and somewhat fancy lunch on a reasonable budget. I give Mimi’s a solid 4 Pigs on the Lunch Pig scale of one to five pigs.
Oliver: My mom is a huge fan of Mimi’s Cafe, and I can see why. The moment you walk in you are greeted with the flavor and ambiance of a French cafe in the country side with rich foods and baked items. The place was hoppin’ as we had to wait to get in, not that uncommon here. They have a good lunch menu and drinks are included in the price! Bonus! The lunch meals are $9.95, but comes with a soup or salad, I went with the clam chowder as my starter, and as usual a diet coke.
For main entree I got the Chicken Crepe. It came quickly and was a nice size portion. I am going to make a big claim here, of all the dishes thsi Lunch Pig has eaten, this is by far the most flavorful dish I have had. It was an explosion of flavor in your mouth. It was really good, but it was rich, and a little too heavy for lunch. I’m not really big on gravy, I tend to call it “goop.” That being said, this was really good.I wound up eating every drop on my plate, I cleaned that plate. That says something.
I got a thing for pumpkin pie, not sure where it comes from, I’m not a cake or pie guy at all, though I have a jones for ice cream, but I’m a little cold on cakes. That all changes when October rolls around and you start seeing ads for pumpkin pie everywhere. So as a treat I’m going to review Pumpkin Pie when I find it. Let you know a good place to indulge on your pumpkin pie craving.