My friends and I thought we’d go try out Mama’s On 39 now that they’ve been open a few weeks. After we’d made arrangements and plans I then looked on Yelp to find it with only a two and half star average, but when I scrolled through them, the reviews both good AND bad weren’t from any source I knew personally, so I decided to just go with the flow and make my own decision on this.
Priscilla of She’s Cookin, Austin of The Hungry Dogg and I arrived for a late lunch but still had to wait a few minutes for a table. During this time I decided to snap a few photos of the interior and the decor on the walls.
After being shown to our table, Austin and Priscilla ordered some drinks from their list of “Coolers” (all $9.95).
Citrus Cooler comprised of freshly squeezed blood oranges, ginger root, Han soju vodka and basil while Mama’s Pink Lemonade has fresh lemonade, strawberries, raspberries, Han soju vodka and basil.
Just a note that if you want a mocktail without alcohol, you will be charged the same as the alcoholic beverage.
We started our meal with Pabst Steamed Littleneck Clams ($11.95), a bowl of Carlsbad Farms clams steamed in olive oil with garlic and PBR and served with two slices of grilled buttered bread slices.
While the clams were slightly overcooked, they were definitely fresh. Usually I love the broth steamed clams are sitting in but this time, I wasn’t loving it so much. The broth had a bitter aftertaste — probably should’ve used a higher quality beer — very unpleasant on the palate.
Our main courses arrived and I liked the presentation of the Cowboy Sandwich ($11.95) with the homemade potato chips in its own separate brown bag.
This sandwich has grilled steak, which I requested to be medium rare, crispy onions, shishito peppers and sliced brie. I’m not sure the shishito peppers needs to be fried with a coating because the crispy onions already had one.
The sauce was overwhelming completely consuming the flavors of everything else in the bun. On top of that, the steak was rare — kinda raw actually. I did not like this at all.
On a positive note, the homemade potato chips were pretty damn good!
Pulled Chicken ‘n Brie Scramble ($13.99) again had great presentation. Scrambled eggs were filled with bland chicken and shimeiji mushrooms, brie and topped with crispy fried sage.
The entire dish was tasteless and it was inevitable that my condiment pouch was required to make an appearance.
Austin added some salt and I sprinkled some freshly ground pepper from my baby pepper mill to the dish. It tasted just fine after that.
Priscilla ordered the Green Eggs ‘n Ham Skillet ($11.95), a frittata with smoked ham, spinach, griddled onions, avocado and pesto. Again, it was very bland and as we took a few bites, we realized it was devoid of any ham — maybe THAT’S why it was tasteless?
We pointed this out to our sever who was nice enough to have the kitchen make us a new one.
It took about 15 minutes and the manager brought it out to us. Immediately, Austin notices that when we moved the skillet, the egg was wobbly. I took my fork and pierced the frittata to find uncooked egg oozing out at rapid speed. It was still liquid on the inside. It was sent back a second time and we declined to have it prepared a third time.
Through it all, we were all in agreement that the staff were awesome and helpful. Each server who stopped by our table was very apologetic and we repeated over and over again that it wasn’t their fault since they weren’t the ones making our food.
As far as service goes, it’s pretty good, but sadly, the food left a queasiness in my stomach which lasted the entire afternoon and evening. Would I return again? Probably not anytime soon and it’s a shame because they support local farmers and use sustainable produce.
The only thing I may return for is the nickel a scoop Thrifty ice cream they have on offer.
Now THAT was the best part of our meal and the potato chips of course — and the very friendly service!
Mama’s On 39
21022 Beach Blvd
Huntington Beach, CA 92648