Thursday, August 28, 2008
The other day I made it to Cacti in Novato for a late dinner. I was surprised to find that I was the last guest allowed in at 7:55. I overheard the staff telling others that the restaurant was closed just five minutes later. The interior is airy and relaxing and the staff were quite friendly. The sign outside said "Mexican Grill", so I had a certain expectation around the menu. I was quite surprised to see that it was an American Grill of sorts. Mexican dishes, pasta, steaks & seafood were all on the menu. One of those great places to go when you have a group that can't decide what kind of cuisine to have as a whole.
I was impressed that within seconds after being seated, I was served pleasantly warm cornbread and slices of a rustic, hard-crusted loaf with creamy sweet butter. Many restaurants neglect to warm the bread, and so it's always a nice surprise.
I was quite impressed with the Grilled Crab cakes with tequila lime sauce, rice (Spanish), and crisp tender vegetables. The Crab cakes were full of genuine crab and not much filler. Although there was nothing wrong to point to, the place seemed to lack something. Perhaps a coherent identity? I wouldn't make a special trip here, but if I were in the neighborhood again, I would consider it.