I have placed my faith in the in the recommendations of Chowhound posters many times and have never been disappointed. So when 6ix Park Grill was suggested in response to my request for a recommendation for a business dinner, I did not hesitate to follow the advice. In fact, the original poster of the advice is a local Hound whose advice I have noted in the past and agreed with on many, many occasions. So the following review is not meant to disparage in any way those who recommended 6ix.
I knew things were off to a bad start when my martini came back half empty. When I asked our waiter if it was a full pour, he replied, Yes, one and one quarter ounces. To which I though, Ill be sure to tip exactly 15%, its called discretion!. Seriously, why insult the customer by pouring "exactly one and one quarter ounces" in a 5 ounce martini glass? It looked like he took not just a sip, but rather a gulp, of my drink before bringing it over.
The bread basket looked good, with a walnut bread, crispy cheese bread and rosemary focaccia. But all three breads were stale and dry. Even the foccasia, an olive oil based bread, was dryhow can that be?!
For my starter I got the warm goat cheese crostini. This was probably the best dish of the night, with four slices of French bread topped with melted slices of tangy goat cheese and garnished with an olive tapenade. I liked how they left the rind on the cheese, allowing for a nice presentation and contast in texture. There was also a small ramekin of chickpeas marinated in olive oil and garlic which was pretty good and reminiscent of a deconstructed hummus with a strong punch from the garlic. This starter was nothing special, but a good start to the meal.
Others at the table ordered the crab cakes for the appetizers, which tasted rather fishy. The two small cakes were pretty dry and consisted mostly of bread. At $15 for the tiny pair of cakes, I expect a little less wonder bread and a little more crab. Despite being artfully plated alongside a deep fried plantain which was wrapped around a bushel of greens, the $15 price tag wasnt worth the quality of the bread crumb heavy cakes.
My entre was the special of the house, the 6ix Grill Platter. This dish comes with a petite filet, half a quail and two pieces of white shrimp, along with some grilled veggies. Well, my medium rare filet came out medium well. I could have gotten over this, had the small filet not consisted of mostly gristle and inedible tissue. Nasty. Just nasty. The gristle caused my 5 ounces of filet to consist of 2 ounces of inedible meat. hmmm...gristle.
I couldnt distinguish the white shrimp from regular shrimp, though they were adequate in taste and quality. Nicely grilled, the two peices of shrimp where plump and flavorful, though nothing I couldnt reproduce at home on the grill. The half quail was the saving grace of the platter, with the skin being nicely grilled and the dark meat of the quail saving if from being overcooked (unlike my poor filet).
With such a bad experience I passed on dessert but others ordered the molten chocolate soufflé and coffee crème brulee. No one complained about dessert, but neither did they express much enthusiasm. I took a bite of a friends coffee crème brulee and thought it was decent with a semi brittle top and creamy interior.
My main problem of the evening was the service. Even though the restaurant was more than half empty on a Tuesday night, our dinner took over for three hours. I felt, and it appeared, that our server was waiting on all the patrons. There were awkward 20 to 30 minute breaks between courses and when the food finally arrived, the wait staff could never remember who ordered what dish. No, no, she ordered the fish. Yes, I am sure. Come on, it shouldnt be that hard to get it right.
6ix Park Grill
17900 Jamboree RoadIrvine