RVOC August 2010 : Page 124

food drink | Bites Edited by Stefanie Phan LA SiernA GriLL phOtO by edwArd duArte. Sapphire Laguna’s Tak-Koji tacos with lime sour cream and crunchy sesame slaw. Sapphire Laguna’s Greek octopus salad. Crazy Eights! On summer menus all over the county, tentacles are tickling our fancy. Fork in the Road Street food takes a detour onto O.C.’s top menus It started with the Kogi truck. Now the ever-popular street food phenomenon is inspiring local chefs to hit the roads. At Sapphire Laguna (sapphirelaguna.com), chef Azmin Ghahreman’s spice plates explore fast foods found along the byways of America, from pork and shrimp dumplings inspired by San Francisco’s Chinatown to shrimp and Andouille sausage skewers with spicy mustard found on New Orleans’ Decatur Street. Tere’s even a version of Kogi BBQ’s Korean beef tacos with lime sour cream and crunchy sesame slaw. At K’ya Street Fare (kyastreetfare.com), the all-Surf Shack Supreme! “I wonder how this place would do in Denver,” a tourist asks his family as he chows down on a blackened salmon burrito from La Sirena Grill—he’s been dreaming about the food at Laguna’s best hidden ’hood haunt since a visit last summer, he says. Founded in 1988 on Mermaid Street (thus the name in Spanish!), the fast casual spot (also in Irvine and South Laguna) serves sustainable seafood and hormone-free meats in Mexican dishes that are faves of surfers, high schoolers (just try to get a seat at lunch during the school year) and editors (taquito plate, extra rice, please!). Just don’t park in the sneaky 124 | | August 2010 small plates menu is dedicated to the world’s street food: a classic NYC gyro pita, a Cubano sandwich from Miami, a French dip from Paris and red Tai curry shrimp from Bangkok. And if your lunch hour sends you following the food truck routes, be sure to check out the O.C. Foodie Fest (ocfoodiefest.com), a roach coach event Aug. 28 at the Honda Center. Sample gourmet goods from 50 of SoCal’s most popular food trucks including the Dim Sum Truck, Great Balls on Tires, and O.C.’s own Taco Dawg and Seabirds vegetarian truck. –SP Is that ex-SURFER editor Sam George at La Sirena Grill? loading zone nearby. Laguna’s overzealous male meter maid targets the spot—a fella’s got a quota, right? lasirenagrill.com. –Kedric Francis Palates averse to unusual texture may have to get past the tentacles, since we’ve declared the salad of the summer one that showcases the delightfully tender octopus. Our eight-legged obsession was first realized at Pizzeria Ortica, where an appetizer is served with charred Mediterranean octopus, salted and braised, and served warm with Yukon gold potatoes, celery hearts and Sicilian capers (pizzeriaortica. com, 714.445.4900). Master chef Alan Greeley makes a killer entrée out of the cephalopod at Golden Truffle. Japanese and Mediterranean mollusks are broiled to tender perfection, drizzled with lemon-infused olive oil, and served with a refreshing tomato salad, it’s to die for (goldentruffle. com, 949.645.9858). It wasn’t til we were on the patio at Sapphire Laguna that we decided this sinfully tasty trend has summer written all over it. Chef Ghahreman’s version takes a Greek spin with cool, crisp cucumbers, mint and basil leaves, red onion and a light oregano and basil dressing (sapphirelaguna.com, 949.715.9888). And when we’re not seaside, we get our fix at the lounge at Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine, where the slow-braised octopus is served with fingerling potatoes, chorizo, bell peppers and fresh herb and lemon vinaigrette (andreisrestaurant. com, 949.387.8887). If the tentacles are too much, try Antonello Ristorante’s version. Co-exec chefs Salvatore Ferrara and Gino Buonanoce freeze just-boiled octopus and slice it wafer-thin carpaccio-style, and serve it chilled with potato, cannelloni beans, red onion and olive oil. It’s melt-in-your-mouth delicious (antonello.com, 714.751.7153). And for a Frenchman’s interpretation of this decadent delight, Marché Moderne pan-sears its Spanish octopus with oil and butter, serving the warm salad with saffron emulsion, celery, potato, shaved chorizo sarta, and lemon-infused olive oil. But be warned: It’s not an ‘I’m on a diet’ salad! (marchemoderne. net, 714.434.7900). –SP

Food Drink Bites

Fork in the Road<br /> <br /> Street food takes a detour onto O.C.’s <br /> <br /> Top menus It started with the Kogi truck. Now the everpopular street food phenomenon is inspiring local chefs to hit the roads. At Sapphire Laguna (sapphirelaguna.com), chef Azmin Ghahreman’s spice plates explore fast foods found along the byways of America, from pork and shrimp dumplings inspired by San Francisco’s Chinatown to shrimp and Andouille sausage skewers with spicy mustard found on New Orleans’ Decatur Street. Tere’s even a version of Kogi BBQ’s Korean beef tacos with lime sour cream and crunchy sesame slaw. At K’ya Street Fare (kyastreetfare.com), the allsmall plates menu is dedicated to the world’s street food: a classic NYC gyro pita, a Cubano sandwich from Miami, a French dip from Paris and red Tai curry shrimp from Bangkok.<br /> <br /> And if your lunch hour sends you following the food truck routes, be sure to check out the O. C. Foodie Fest (ocfoodiefest.Com), a roach coach event Aug. 28 at the Honda Center. Sample gourmet goods from 50 of SoCal’s most popular food trucks including the Dim Sum Truck, Great Balls on Tires, and O.C.’s own Taco Dawg and Seabirds vegetarian truck. –SP<br /> <br /> Surf Shack Supreme!<br /> <br /> “I wonder how this place would do in Denver,” a tourist asks his family as he chows down on a blackened salmon burrito from La Sirena Grill—he’s been dreaming about the food at Laguna’s best hidden ’hood haunt since a visit last summer, he says. Founded in 1988 on Mermaid Street (thus the name in Spanish!), the fast casual spot (also in Irvine and South Laguna) serves sustainable seafood and hormone-free meats in Mexican dishes that are faves of surfers, high schoolers (just try to get a seat at lunch during the school year) and editors (taquito plate, extra rice, please!). Just don’t park in the sneaky loading zone nearby. Laguna’s overzealous male meter maid targets the spot—a fella’s got a quota, right? Lasirenagrill.com. –Kedric Francis <br /> <br /> Crazy Eights!<br /> <br /> On summer menus all over the county, tentacles are tickling our fancy<br /> <br /> Palates averse to unusual texture may have to get past the tentacles, since we’ve declared the salad of the summer one that showcases the delightfully tender octopus. Our eight-legged obsession was first realized at Pizzeria Ortica, where an appetizer is served with charred Mediterranean octopus, salted and braised, and served warm with Yukon gold potatoes, celery hearts and Sicilian capers (pizzeriaortica. Com, 714.445.4900). Master chef Alan Greeley makes a killer entrée out of the cephalopod at Golden Truffle. Japanese and Mediterranean mollusks are broiled to tender perfection, drizzled with lemon-infused olive oil, and served with a refreshing tomato salad, it’s to die for (goldentruffle.Com,<br /> <br /> 949. 645.9858). It wasn’t til we were on the patio at Sapphire Laguna that we decided this sinfully tasty trend has summer written all over it. Chef Ghahreman’s version takes a Greek spin with cool, crisp cucumbers, mint and basil leaves, red onion and a light oregano and basil dressing (sapphirelaguna.com,<br /> <br /> 949. 715.9888). And when we’re not seaside, we get our fix at the lounge at Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine, where the slow-braised octopus is served with fingerling potatoes, chorizo, bell peppers and fresh herb and lemon vinaigrette (andreisrestaurant. Com, 949.387.8887). If the tentacles are too much, try Antonello Ristorante’s version. Co-exec chefs Salvatore Ferrara and Gino Buonanoce freeze just-boiled octopus and slice it wafer-thin carpaccio-style, and serve it chilled with potato, cannelloni beans, red onion and olive oil. It’s melt-inyour- mouth delicious (antonello.com, 714. 751.7153). <br /> <br /> And for a Frenchman’s interpretation of this decadent delight, Marché Moderne pan-sears its Spanish octopus with oil and butter, serving the warm salad with saffron emulsion, celery, potato, shaved chorizo sarta, and lemon-infused olive oil. But be warned: It’s not an ‘I’m on a diet’ salad! (marchemoderne.Net, 714.434.7900). –SP

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