Magenta Restaurant Corvallis Reviews

4/25/10 SW: A co-worker and I went to Magenta to try the Dim Sum and were not disappointed. Each of the many Dim Sum offerings are $4 and there is a happy hour bar menu Mon-Fri. We had martinis and 6 different "bar menu" items. The grilled mussels in tangy garlic soy sauce were my favorite and the t2 small pieces of tuna in the grilled spicy tuna over rice were done to perfection. We enjoyed everything we tried and will definitely be back again. The restaurant is nicely decorated and has a good feel to it and our waiter was great! As a side note: I was re-inspired to try Magenta again after their wonderful offerings during Corvallis' Culinary Week.

3/7/09 RK: Last year, my wife and I went to Magenta early on a Saturday night and had a bad service experience. We were the only bar customers and had to wait 20 minutes to get served a drink (after watching the bartender wash glasses and drink his own soda). We waited almost 40 minutes before being served two tapas we ordered. My wife and I decided to give Magenta another try Saturday night. We had dinner reservations somewhere else at 7PM and arrived at 6PM at Magenta. The bar area was almost full and we took a table by the door. We were greeted immediately by a friendly server and given drink and tapas menus. We ordered 4 tapas and two drinks. The drinks arrived within 5 minutes and were OK (we both agreed we had tried better versions elsewhere). The first tapas arrived about 10 minutes later (coconut prawns). This was excellent- hot, fresh, great flavor and presentation. Just as we finished the prawns, the Indian chicken arrived. This was also excellent with wonderful curry spices and tender chicken. When this was complete, our crab cakes and shrimp/ goat cheese baguettes arrived together. The crab cake had a wonderful, subtle sauce with a spicy kick. The shrimp/goat cheese baguettes were fresh and delicious. We were finished and had our check by 6:40 PM. The service was perfect, as was the food. We hope this indicates positive changes for Magenta. We give it a rating of 'Suggested' for their excellent tapas menu. We will upgrade Magenta to 'recommended' if their service continues to be good. We will be back.

11/2/08 HS: A friend and I tried Magenta's downtown location for lunch this week. They did a lot of work inside and it looked very nice. The lunch menu looked excellent and I had a hard time choosing. I decided to branch out from the only item I had ever eaten there, pad thai, and I ordered the squash crepe. Both my friend and I ordered iced tea. They were not busy, we were one of about four tables in the restaurant. The service was pretty bad, my friend never got his iced tea although we now consider him the lucky one. Mine cost $3.50 for plain iced tea and I never got a refill. The food took awhile but it looked great when we got it. However mine looked familier, it looked just like the pad thai that I usually get. It took so long to track down the waitress I ended up eating it anyway. So much for branching out. The waitress offered to bring me the crepe, but by then my lunch hour was long over. I will probably go again, but not anytime soon.

8/10/08 WS: We went out to Magenta for a nice dinner last night but it never happened. I was so excited to try the restaurant and their pasta with seafood and scallop appetizer. My husband and I arrived and had to seat ourselves, waited 10 minutes for water and 5 minutes later when the waiter arrived we were told they were very busy and the food would take a while. So after we were there for 15 minutes we left because we were scared to stay due to the bad service. The staff just did not seem to care at all. So we went to Aqua.

3/8/08 BC: The place looks great! I think the food is good if you order the right thing but it is too expensive for what you get, even though the menu is creative; not sure if they are a lot cheaper at lunch like the old Magenta. They have a great cheap bar menu but you must sit at the very small bar or at the nice-looking but uncomfortable modern tables by the fireplace to order from the bar menu. The weirdest part was that we were at a table and it was vibrating the whole time. We hypothesized that this was some new-age technique to add good vibrations to the food. Turns out the vibration is from the downstairs refrigerators!

2/20/08 GL: My husband and I went to Magenta last night, and I feel compelled to add our two-cents worth. We had only eaten at Magenta when it was located on Monroe, but we both had favorable memories of the food, the cocktails, and the service. I should also note that our previous experience with the menu had been the bar menu only, not the entree menu. When we arrived, we were greeted and seated quickly. We looked over the menu and felt mortified. There was not one entree that either of us found appetizing. I am an adventurous eater, but not when it comes to meat. They had only 7 or 8 entrees, which included rabit ravioli, elk, emu, buffalo, wild boar (!), and duck. They were all expensively priced, on par with Big River or higher, but we didn't order from the entree menu, so for all I know, the Emu medallions are worth every penny. The waiter came over to get our drink order. I ordered a Magenta martini, and my husband ordered a beer. It took almost 20 minutes to receive our drinks. As a former waitress, I compulsively watch the waitstaff at every restaurant I go to. I can't help it. In the case of poor service, I am usually totally understanding because it is almost always due to circumstances beyond the server's control. Unfortunately, this was not the case last night. I am afraid our server was just incompetent. 10 mintues after ordering our drinks, he came over to let us know they'd be right up. The problem is, there is no bartender there~the servers mix their own drinks. I watched him mill about, check on other tables, flirt with the hostess, and stare off into space before he actually made us our drinks. When he came to take our order, I explained that we had only ever seen the bar menu, and asked if we could order off of that. He said it was kind of against the rules since we were seated at a table, but since the bar was full, he'd let us order from the bar menu. I definitely have to give the guy credit for bending the rules for us. The bar menu is (was?) really snazzy~they offer 20 or so plates at $4.00 each with an $8.00 minimum drink purchase per person. They are small-appetizer size, so between the two of us, we ordered the Pad Thai, grilled lemongrass-pork meatballs, the shrimp salad roll, a shrimp and goat cheese baguette, potstickers, and the steamed mussels. The food took quite a while to arrive, at least 30 minutes, and when it did arrive, our server only brought the pad thai, salad roll, and potstickers. All three were good, if not run-of-the-mill. The mussels arrived five minutes later, and then the meatballs arrived shortly thereafter. The meatballs, I kid you not, were 3/4 of an inch in diameter, and came 6 to a plate. It was the epitome of stereotypical pretentious French food: tiny portion on a big plate with lots of garnish. They were delicious, but their tiny size made us both crack up. 15 minutes after that, the shrimp baguette arrived. It was also pretty good, but again, small. We pretty much knew what we were getting into when it came to the modest size of the bar menu plates; after all, they're only $4.00 each. However, the portion sizes of some of the bar menu items is just insulting. Our server did not come to check on us the entire time until the end of our meal, when he asked if we wanted anything else. I fear we may have been written off as poor college kids, which couldn't be farther from the truth, but that doesn't matter. It was just plain uncomfortable to sit waiting for a $4.00 bottle of beer while other tables were being doted upon. We will not go there again, and I would never recommend it to anyone. Magenta seems to want to be a Portland-esque restaurant, but just doesn't cut it. It has all the pretension with none of the special little things that make going out in Portland worth the price. We love Far East, which I have heard is owned by the same person, and has a much more traditional -but-quirky Vietnamese menu with far more reasonable pricing and outstanding service. And as far as Magenta's cocktails go, my martini was decent, but at $8.50, don't even bother. Save your money and go to Cloud9 for a Lotus Blossom or the Crow Bar for any one of their Kamikazes~you'll even have enough to leave the awesome bartenders the big tip they deserve. There! Thanks for keeping your site impartial and up-to-date. It's always reliable, and fun to read.

1/4/08 BP: [Ed note: this reviewer is only speaking of the bar, not the restaurant] I cannot speak for the food at Magenta for the service at the bar made me worry too much for the quality of the food coming out of the kitchen. The "bartender" was extremely slow, and didn't know her drinks or her booze. We were extremely let down and will probably never return to find out if the food is even worth trying. 100% not suggested!

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