Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mojave - Agave's Little Sister Comes to Astoria

Mojave - 22-36 31st Street Astoria, NY 11105
N/W Train to Ditmars Blvd (last stop)

Mojave has been the talk of the town ever since its much awaited opening last week. So naturally, I couldn't wait to check it out for myself--especially because I'm a huge fan of Agave, its big sister in the city.

The first thing I thought upon stepping inside is how much this place has transformed since its predecessor, All-Star Burger--it has done a complete 180!

The overall look very much mirrors Agave and if you've been there before, you'll feel right at home. The wooden paneling on the ceiling, the rustic white concrete walls and the cushion seating all very much say, the modern Southwest. The bull horn ceiling fixtures are also a nice touch, adding to Mojave's authentic simplicity.

Being a fan of Agave, I had a certain level of expectation from the food--and the menu is basically the same as at Agave. Overall, my expectations were only met halfway.

Margot and I both got individual soup appetizers. Mine was the butternut squash bisque, which I highly recommend. It was sweet, creamy and had a lovely surprise in the middle--goat cheese with fresh chives. The soup was also an amazing value--a large portion was only $6 and I took the leftovers home. Margot's roadhouse chili was equally fantastic and consisted of shredded beef and pork mixed in with sweet pico de gallo. It came with a generous side of flour tortillas and Margot's only regret was that she got the cup instead of the bowl.

Based on the quality of appetizers, we couldn't wait for our entrees but were sadly let down. I ordered the blue crab quesadilla and Margot got salmon tacos. Even before describing these dishes further, I will simply say that seafood is not Mojave's strong point--next time I come here, I'm going to stick to the basics such as beef or chicken. The crab quesadilla had a really funky taste--the crabmeat was so salty and gummy that it was inedible. And Margot's tacos were so bland that she left her plate half full.

Service and Cost:
Besides the fact that we ordered the wrong thing, we also had a really inept and callous waiter--it just wasn't our night. He started off by saying that since he and the restaurant are new, he's not responsible for knowing much on the menu--a terrible first impression. His performance certainly didn't improve as the night went on--he was inattentive, basically ignoring us the whole night.

The cost of dishes is very comparable to Agave. Some items are a bit cheaper (i.e. the butternut squash bisque is $6 at Mojave vs. $10 at Agave). On average, appetizers will cost you between $4-$13 and entrees range from $8-$24.


  1. I am still thoroughly upset by that server. What a rude, inconsiderate, ignorant, chauvinistic, excuse for waitstaff. Seriously? Not even an apology for getting our drink orders wrong? For taking 20-30 minutes in between each break in our meal to come back to us? A 2 hour and 15 minute dinner is inexcusable when the restaurant is not busy. And then lying straight to our faces at the end of the meal! He's lucky I believe in always giving a tip. Despite the lack of flavor from my tacos. You know it must be bad when I don't clear my plate. At least I had wonderful company to enjoy my meal with.

  2. Hahaha, I know Margot. He needs to be eliminated from Mojave and pronto. I'm going to give this place another shot and see what I think. But so far, not so good.

  3. I tried Guacamole on Broadway recently on your recommendation, and I thought it was very good! I had the chicken wrap sandwich. I'd describe it as fresh and light, and the service was friendly.

  4. Hi Anon,

    I haven't been to Guacamole yet. I might have suggested Margaritaville (not far from Guacamole) so you are ahead of me. But thank you for the tip and I can't wait to try Guacamole soon.


  5. I actually went there last night and from your reviews i didn't know what to expect, i am visiting a friend just around the corner.
    As soon as i walked in i was greeted by two Italian accent guys who courtesly seated me at a table of my preference, one of them speak also german because he picked up mu accent too and asked me how i was in perfect German.

    The waiter was a girl and she knew the menu pretty well because i am really not familiar with this type of cuisine, i am from switzerland here on business.
    Everything i ordered (which was reccomended) was delivered promptly and the waitress always checked on me during my meal. they were actually quite busy for a thursday night.
    Food was good and presentantion nice, in the end i really have to say i like this place very much. I am definately going to come back.
    By the way, i work for the michelin guide for europe, we do review of restaurant around the globe.

  6. Dear Anon,

    I'm happy that you had a great experience at Mojave. I have a feeling that Margot and I just ran into some back luck with a lousy waiter and some poor menu selections.

    It so happens that I'm going to try it again tonight with some friends. They're big fans of Agave (sister restaurant) so I can't wait to see what they think and I hope that my experience is better.

    Thanks for your great comments!

    And that is very cool about working at Michelin--very impressive. I'm glad that you read my site!




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