After a few disappointing visits to Candle 79, I finally decided to try the original Candle Cafe. I have to admit that the Candle Cafe far exceeded my expectations. The service was relatively quick (we were in and out in under an hour, in spite of the fact that we seemed to show up at the start of the lunch rush). The casual atmosphere made Candle Cafe seem like it wasn't trying to pass off its food as haute cuisine, which also helped my opinion of the place.
I began my meal with a plate of focaccia and a side of miso tahini dipping sauce. The miso tahini sauce was unusual but quite addicting. I was disappointed to later discover that the sauce was $8 (twice the cost of the focaccia itself) but I would probably order it again.
For my entree, I decided to try the one of the daily specials - a plate of rosemary nut-encrusted tofu triangles served with broccoli rabe, mashed sweet potatoes and seared brussel sprouts (which were drizzled with a delicious sauce). Every aspect of the entree was amazing. I don't normally eat brussel sprouts, but I made an exception for the ones on this plate.
For dessert, I decided to try a slice of the cheesecake. It came dusted with cinnamon and tasted a little more like tiramisu than cheesecake but it was still pretty good.
I also managed to save the sangria-infused fruit from the bottom of my fall sangria ("a blend of California merlot, apple, pear, pineapple, citrus, cinnamon and agave nectar") until after dessert, which left a wonderful taste in my mouth for the rest of the afternoon.