Artichoke & Goat Cheese Flatbread is
topped leaf spinach, balsamic onions, and roasted peppers. This had some really good flavor combination -tangy from the balsamic onions, hearty vegetable flavor from the artichokes, creamy & salty from the goat cheese, sweet from the roasted peppers, and a vibrant green vegetable flavor from the spinach. Perfectly executed and paired well with the Aveleda Vinho Verde 2010. The wine was crisp, with a tart front and smooth finish, good acidity and almost disappears like a natural palate cleanser. A second fermentation of this wine adds a slight effervescence which is very pleasing. Thumbs up, way up!
Chilled Lobster & Shrimp Spring Roll comes with a dipping sauce trio of cool salsa verde, aromatic lemongrass, and sweet-hot red chili. It was a beautiful presentation! There was a generous amount of lobster and shrimp versus vegetables and noodles. This is a great summer dish with fresh flavors - perfectly cooked, chilled seafood with crunchy vegetables for texture. Hirsch #1 Gruner Veltliner 2009 was spicy and bold on the front and with the spring roll by balancing out the flavor for a crisp finish. Thumbs up, way up!
Organic Arugula Salad mixed with watermelon, grilled golden beets, goat cheese, jicama, and topped with toasted pistachios. The cumin lime vinaigrette was fabulous! Perfectly executed in flavor and texture - peppery arugula, sweet beets, creamy goat cheese, crunchy textured jicama, and smoky flavor from the pistachios. Unfortunately, the Honig 2011 did not pair very well with this dish. Otherwise, thumbs up, way up on the salad!
Mini Indulgence Desserts was a tasting of all of classic desserts served in shot glass like vehicles - Key Lime Pie, Mocha Macchiato, Pecan Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse, Market Fruit, Blueberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Rocky Road, Chocolate Chip & Raspberry Cannoli, and Meyer Lemon. The Key Lime was just like eating a slice of pie, key lime custardy filling, graham cracker crumbles, and whipped cream. The Market Fruit was like a mini fruit bowl of strawberries, blueberries, pineapples, and other seasonal fruits. The Chocolate Peanut Butter was awesome and it's one of my favorite sweet combinations! Almost like a chocolate peanut butter mousse, but not too heavy with a luxurious texture. The Blueberry Cheesecake tasted exactly like a blueberry cheesecake. The cheesecake was fluffy and not too heavy. Blueberries are my favorite topping for cheesecake so I was in heaven! The Rocky Road was a chocoholics dream. The chocolate mousse was decadent and rich, yet not too heavy. The marshmallows and crunchy nuts were the perfect addition. The Raspberry Cannoli was topped with an empty cannoli shell to dip into the creamy cannoli filling with raspberry sauce and chocolate chips swirled into the mixture. The desserts were paired with Jam Jar Moscato 2011. The wine was a little too tangy and sour. It didn't match with this. I think a sweet port would work better or a café au lait. Overall, thumbs up, way up on the desserts!
Citysearch Editorial Review.
This upscale-casual restaurant in the former Clubhouse space has a built-in customer base in South Coast Plaza: shoppers who’ll appreciate that every dish on the menu is under 475 calories. Rather than skimping on portions, the kitchen uses healthier preparation methods including eliminating butter altogether. (Then how do you make shrimp-stuffed mushrooms, you ask? Olive oil, of course.) The OC restaurant is the chain’s first location west of the Mississippi, with a menu that varies seasonally. Dishes include paper-thin flatbreads, simple, well-done salads, and entrees like caramelized sea scallops and char crust filet mignon. The extensive wine list offers 60 wines by the glass and 100 by the bottle, including six natural, organic and biodynamic wines ($9-$20 by the glass). Dessert comes in the form of mini indulgences, small shooter glasses filled with rich and not normally diet-friendly flavors like chocolate peanut butter mousse, rocky road, pecan pie, lemon meyer pie, and mocha macchiato.