Yes, I know I write about this place a little too much. And I dine here, a little too much.
By now, I've brought just about everyone I know to this place. Perhaps, at times, I build up their expectations so much that I think some of them don't end up absolutely loving it like I do.
I shouldn't take it personally, I know. It shouldn't come as a surprise that everyone has individual and distinct tastes in food, just as they would in movies. As I cannot expect everyone to love one of my favorite films, "Tampopo", a quirky Japanese food flick, I should not expect them to like every restaurant that I like. After all, I don't think any amount of cajoling will ever get me to like Star Trek movies either.
As I accept this fact, I am unswayed from my opinion that Cafe Hiro is one of the best values for fine cuisine in Orange County. For $15, not only do you get an entree like the shown in the photo (Seared Diver Scallops on Risotto), but also a refreshing salad of greens in a ginger-miso dressing *AND* a sublime, creamy homemade soup of the day.
The seared scallops dish itself would probably set you back twice as much at restaurants in Vegas. And after spending exactly that much at such restaurants for mediocre food, I always come running back to Cafe Hiro, thanking my lucky stars that it is here in my backyard.
Sure, there are misses at Cafe Hiro, along with the hits. Their duck breast and the hamburger steak are the weakest and most disappointing dishes of the bunch, but everything else, in my humblest opinion, is spot on and perfect.
Their Steamed Wild Salmon, which seems to be permanently on the "specials" board, is almost Zen-like in its simplicity. Presented nakedly on a stark white plate, the pink salmon steak is flanked by four condiments, set neatly in a linear arrangement.
A wedge of lemon.
A dab of mayonaisse.
A lump of grated green horseradish.
A saucer of yuzu dressing is also provided in case you require any extra "oomph".
The salmon is delicate and pristine; its essence and flavor unobscured. This is, perhaps, a calculated move by the chef. The other salmon dish they offer (Salmon Saiko) is, by contrast, bold and deeply infused with a dark marinade.
So there it is, my third and probably not the last post on Cafe Hiro.
Thanks for listening.
10509 Valley View St
Cypress, CA 90630