Thursday, January 21, 2010


Of all of the restaurants in Alameda, there is one restaurant that has remained consistent in the quality of food, that place is Asena. Asena's menu is not long, but it has a Mediterranean flair with spices and sauces. One can always find a chicken, lamb, beef or seafood entree on the menu along with vegetarian options.

The roasted garlic has been a favorite of mine as an appetizer. The flavor of the garlic is great, slightly sweet and it's not overwhelming like fresh garlic. The bread that accompanied the garlic over the years has changed. About a decade ago, the bread was a thin cracker, and then it changed to the same bread the staff brings out to the table when you first sit down, and now it has changed to a more thicker bread with a cheese on top.

Another favorite of mine is the house salad. I always enjoyed salads that came straight out of the refrigerator on a cold plate with fresh, crunchy greens. The dressing is tasty, slightly sweet with a hint of balsamic vinegar. The cheese crumbles is a good contrast and adds a smooth texture and flavor, and the nuts brings out the salt of the salad. Once upon a time, the house salad or soup came with the entree at no extra charge. Those days are over. There is an extra charge now for a starter.

The homemade ravioli also brings a smile to my face. Fresh pasta with a great sauce is wonderful. The staff takes the time to make a delicious stuffed pasta with seafood, vegetables and cheese or meat. One should always inquire if they have ravioli as a daily special.

The desserts have been a hit and miss for me. At times that had great desserts of flan or chocolate cake, while other times, the creme brulee was bland. The tiramisu is light and fluffy and make sure you get a slice that is not soggy or old.

The prices of Asena have been reasonable over the years. Entrees range in price between $15 to $25. Portion sizes are perfect, one never leaves hungry after a meal.

Asena recently had a mild face lift and changed the color schemes of the front of the restaurant as well as the interiors. The black front creates a more dramatic affect and has contrast with the blue, purple color of the interiors. The old art work had a Chagall-feeling to the room, that too has changed to different color scheme paintings with more still life settings.

Overall, Asena is a great restaurant with reasonable prices. The food is always delicious.

No comments: