Davis >Food & Dining >
Catering >Mustard Seed
222 D St, Davis, CA | Directions 9561638.543920 -121.742272
Lunch: Daily, 11am - 2pm; Dinner: Daily, 6am - 10pm
Neighborhoods: Downtown Core
Terrible staff – The owner probably has a hard time finding a decent staff becuase he posts his job openings on Craigslist!
Mustard Seed-- a European oasis – This is not exactly Chez Pannise, but it is, nevertheless, a little gem. The food is excellent, lovingly prepared by Chef Paul, and often very creative. We have dined there dozens of times and have always found the service to be outstanding and the ambience lovely. It's a favorite for lunches in warm weather, with the beautiful, shaded garden. In winter the snug dining room with a fireplace is delightfully European. You'll think you're somewhere in Switzerland.
Do Not Recommend: Horrible, service; combative, snooty, rude owner – The service is awful, unprofessional, and rather obnoxious and odd. The owner is strange, somewhat confrontational and inappropriate. I've eaten at Mustard Seed 4-5 times in the last year and the ambience is unbeatable. The food is good, too. But, my wife and I have finally had enough of the obtrusive service and the snobby owner. The owner is under the misimpression Mustard Seed is Chez Panisse, which it is not. My sister is a chef at Chez Panisse and we've eaten there many times. There's no comparison. Every time we eat at Mustard Seed one waiter in particular fancies himself a comedian and constantly tries to make his "routine" part of your dining "entertainment." It's very annoying. One time after one of our dinner party said he wanted his steak well done on the outside this waiter remarked "well, once you go black you never go back." We were shocked. Another time much younger friends ate there using a gift certificate and the owner remarked, "Oh, what DID you do to deserve THIS!?" (It wasn't an attempt at humor). She acted as if the honor to eat at Mustard Seed was a gift far out of any young couple's grasp or wildest dreams. At one point when I ate there last the owner saw us milling around after finishing and screamed at her staff in the kitchen (without shutting the door), "Why is that table looking at me!!?" The owner is just an odd, highly pretentous bird. Unfortunately, some of the staff must share the same genes. All of this detracts from the comfort and enjoyment of a good meal and wonderful atmosphere. However, we're done with the staff/owner's tired routine. People go out to dinner to relax and enjoy conversation, not to endure forced banter from waiters, and the intrusions and pretentiousness of an irascible, mercurial owner. I would like to recommend Mustard Seed, but my suggestion is to go somewhere where the food is as good and the service/owner more professionals. Davis doesn't lack for other options. Go elsewhere.
Extremely poor customer service - not recommended – While the food was fine, not special, the treatment by this restaurant's staff was worse than awful. The waitress herself did an average job. We made reservations for which we were somewhat late, due to the very, very challenging parking situation in downtown Davis. After one hour and five minutes, various staff members began "furtively" looking at us and our table, after which the check was thrown in front of us (we were not asked about dessert or coffee). At that point, Robin, who is apparently the owner/manager came to us and stated that they needed our table for another reservation who had been waiting, further pointing out that we were late and therefore were not entitled to sit at that table any longer. We politely left, with no further acknowledgement of any sort from any staff member--- no apologies or even a smile. Later I telephoned to let the manager know how unpleasant this experience had been---she shouted loudly on the phone stating that "we were late" (giving the impression that they as a business had the right to do anything they wanted because we had been late) and hung up the phone on me!! Davis is a small town and there are more and more good restaurants available all the time, who make very positive efforts toward their customers. If this manager had thought at all about this poor, rude and thoughtless impression she has given of her business, she might have thought twice. I have no doubt that she would have no qualms about treating any customer this way. We will not return, and of course have many friends in the community who will hear about this exceptionally crass showing for one of our downtown businesses.
User review by mootilldawn – I took my girlfriend here for Valentine's Day and we indulged in their pre-planned 6 course meal. Good: lamb medallion, lobster bisque, quail. Average: Spring salad, oyesters, chocolate-dipped strawberries. Nice romantic evening if you're willing to pay the $100/head price (tax and gratuity included).
Delicious food in a cute cottage – The food at mustard seed is consistantly delicious. Most dishes are a little on the pricey side, but the dishes are seasonal and using very fresh ingredients. They also have wonderful salads and sandwiches for lunch, which are much cheaper. I highly recommend mustard seed for special occasions. The service is kind of slow, but it's worth the wait.
This restaurant serves great Californian cuisine in a romantic, rustic cottage setting. – The Scene
This diminutive house in the heart of Davis looks like the kind of place you'd expect to find in a small mountain village. Chairs fashioned from tree branches, cozy nooks and a fireplace give the restaurant rustic charm. A serene back patio surrounded by trees and tropical plants, tables stocked with flowers and flickering candles add to the ambience.
The California menu is brief but dishes are lovingly prepared with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients. Sherry vinaigrette highlights each element in the baby spinach salad: caramelized walnuts and bleu cheese, accompanied by slices of ripe pear. The grilled Hawaiian swordfish with chardonnay, artichoke hearts, leeks, capers and pine nuts is cooked to moist perfection. A dish of Dungeness crab cakes on Asian noodles mixes a subtle sea flavor with sweet red peppers, shiitake mushrooms and scallions.
Go for dinner, not breakfast – I've been to the Mustard Seed twice. Once for dinner and once for breakfast. The difference was night and day, literally and figuratively. The dinner was excellent, all the dishes were prepared well. The ahi tuna and the steak were particularly good. The service was great. The breakfast on the other hand left much to be desired. It took about 45 minutes to get our order and some of the dishes were cold. I know they just started serving breakfast so maybe it will improve
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