Orange County Restaurant Week is here! And what better way to kick off the event than by attending the premier night! My aunt and I decided to check out The Californian at the Hyatt Hotel,(yelp review here) in Huntington Beach, CA as the three course menu (see menu here) seemed tempting and also included a glass of white or red wine. Here we go!
Before you enter the restaurant you first need to valet your car at the front. No worries though! The Californian will validate, though it does make me wonder if hotel guests regularly pay the $19 daily rate or $25 overnight stay. Yikes!
But finally we enter the pristine establishment and were presnted with bread, olive oil and the most delicious balsamic vinegar I have ever had. It's sweet but not overpowering and the bread was an excellent vechile to really savor both flavors.
Next there were two appetizers to choose from so we decided to get one of each to sample them both. The Salad of Watercress and Endive was such a delightful salad as the pungent feta combined with the candied hazelnut and crisp endives covered in the creamy hazelnut dressing just created so much dimension in each bite. My Agave-Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque with Spiced Pepitas was also a hit as the slightly sweet and creamy butternut squash just melts in your mouth. Both were great to kick off our meal swaray.
Next we were presented with our entrees and again we selected different items to maximize our sample options. Mmm... The presentation for the Grilled Natural Flat Iron Steak looked and tasted delectable. Combined with the pumpkin-seed butter and red wine jus it was just heavenly. I also really enjoyed the vegetable remedy underneath which consisted of organic mushrooms and a rutabaga hash.
My experience with Shetland Island’s Sustainable Salmon entree however wasn't quite as stellar. The salmon was a bit overcooked and bland. Quite a disappointment since it was the star on the plate.
However, I absolutely loved the port macerated raisins as it added a sweetness to the dish that was unlike what I've had in the past.
We finished off our meal with an All Natural Gelato with a House-made Biscotti mmm... fancy... and the hot fudge with bits of chocolate sprinkled throughout the dessert was simple but decadent.
The Californian is located only footsteps away from the beach and has the most spectacular view of the ocean (when seated outside), but with the night dawning earlier the pitch black darkness just envelopes the natural beauty. I can only imagine how picturesque the perfect brunch on a bright sunny day would be like. I guess the fountain fish and grand palm trees will do for now.
I love attending Restaurant Week as it gives me an opportunity to try out high end restaurants at a discount. I haven't figured out which one I want to attend next, but there sure are a wealth of choices! (see list here)
What restaurant would you like to attend at a discount?