Finally tried Cafe Hiro in Cypress and I wasn't disappointed. We were there for lunch and opted to try the $20.00 lunch special to share between the two of us since we weren't very hungry. The special included soup of the day, a choice of salad, appetizer, main entree, dessert and a soft drink.
The soup of the day was pumpkin. This was a smooth textured soup made from a puree of pumpkin with a few strands of wonton skin thrown in for crunch. The flavor of the pale orange soup was creamy and subtly sweet but not too rich. I wished I had ordered more!
We chose the tofu salad served on mescalune greens, which was dressed in a complex dressing of miso and soy, decorated with some thin slivers of seaweed. Awesome! I really need to figure out how to make this dressing on my own!
The appetizer was "creamy" crab cake. The single crab cake was deep fried in panko and placed daintily on top of a seasoned tomato sauce. The presentation was something you'd expect at a more expensive eatery, but was pretty much inline with what Chris G. has described at Cafe Hiro's tendency to surprise you. In any case, I couldn't wait to dig in. Cutting into the crisp coating with my fork, I realized that I needed a spoon to scoop up the oozing filling. We destroyed this dish; every last drop of filling and sauce sopped from the plate.
The main course was seafood risotto which was served in a deep bowl. Surprisingly, the dish was predominately more seafood than risotto. Two clams, two mussels, a few shrimp, and lots of calamari became the bed of perhaps a few spoonfulls of risotto. This was excellent, eventhough I think they could have easily gotten away with less seafood and more risotto and saved themselves some money, but as a customer, I wouldn't have it any other way. The texture of the risotto was perfect, al dente, but still very creamy. The seafood was also not overcooked and perfectly fresh. I only wished the flavor was more cheesy, but I was still quite content for what the dish was.
Dessert was the pot de chocolat, which was as the waitress described "a chocolate custard." Really simple, but really good. It reminded me of chocolate pudding but with more body.
The service was very warm and friendly. Eventhough we ordered one lunch for two, the waitress was still very gracious and even gave us each small plates with which to use to spoon our shared dishes onto.
I love this place, and will be back this week to try dinner. Thanks hounds, for getting me in the know of this hidden gem.