This place has become my favorite restaurant in O.C. for good food, presentation, and price. This is probably the third time I reviewed this place for Chowhound, and the umpteenth time I've eaten there.
We were there on Friday and had a reservation at 7, but came late. About thirty minutes late. Unfortunately that was late enough that they gave our table away. But I thought that was fair. People with 7:30 reservations, who arrived on time, got seated right away. It's nice that reservations actually mean something here. We waited an extra 10 minutes before an unreserved table opened up. We were given this table before another couple, who came before us but didn't have a reservation. Their system worked nicely, I thought. The couple in front of us got their seats shortly afterward. A busy night, but the wait staff kept everyone happy.
We ordered one entree off the specials menu and one from the regular menu. The special entree for that night was SAUTEED MONKFISH WITH GARLIC RISOTTO AND SUNDRIED TOMATO ($15.00). We also ordered the OSSO BUCCO ($15.00).
The entrees came with their wonderful and creamy SWEET POTATO SOUP, which was light adobe red, and piping hot. A GREEN SALAD WITH GINGER MISO DRESSING came out afterward. Fresh greens, a spicy dressing, perfect for priming the tastebuds for the entrees.
The monkfish was alright. The white flesh was cooked just right, but lacked much flavor. The freakish giant bone that held the meat together was a little scary. This, as you might have guessed, was the first time we've had monkfish. The risotto was cooked correctly, but in my opinion, wasn't as creamy or full bodied as their usual mushroom risotto. My favorite fish dish there is still the Salmon Saiko.
The osso bucco was dreamy, as always. We love this dish. A big hunk of falling apart tender beef, in a pool of dark gravy (or is it a reduction). It came with a separate side of roasted potatoes and corn nibblets. The beef was perfect, eaten with white rice. I've heard some people comment that this dish was too salty for them, or too overcooked and soft, but for my money, this was the dish. Loved it!
The highlight of the night was the special dessert of the night. CROISSANT BREAD PUDDING WITH CARAMEL SAUCE AND CHOCOLATE ($5). This simply is the best dessert I've ever had, anywhere! I hope they put it on the regular menu. It came on a large plate. A mound of warm, brown bread pudding, drizzled with caramel sauce and studded with melted chocolate chips. The combination of flavors just kind of melted in your mouth and filled your senses. Simple in origin, but elegant in flavor. Sinful but suprisingly not heavy.
We also ordered a GREEN TEA BLANC MANGER ($4.00). And it was just as good as always, but since we tasted the bread pudding first, it's now relagated to our second favorite dessert at Cafe Hiro.
10509 Valley View St
Cypress, CA 90630