Chowhound Presents: Table Talk with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh of Sweet: Desserts from London's Ottolenghi | Ask Your Questions Now ›

Restaurants & Bars

Los Angeles Area

Holy Habanna! (long)


Restaurants & Bars 3

Holy Habanna! (long)

MEalcentric | Mar 11, 2006 01:50 PM

After much debate between going to either Habanna and Memphis in Costa Mesa, I rolled the dice and went to Habanna betting on the ambiance factor, and it was a GREAT choice.

Walked in on time for our 8:30 reservations and were promptly seated despite a packed house. Got a nice table in the back corner under the dim lighting and the glow from tons of romantic candles.

Started off with a killer oak aged rum mohito for her and a vodka soda for me from the bar, both nice pours.

Server came over to introduce himself and he was probably the best server I have ever had. Perfectly walked the line between being too nice and friendly and being courteous. His descriptions of the menu specials sold us on every single item, so it was a tough decision. I opted for the special flank steak and she got the pork tenderloin. Server also picked out a great bottle of Malbec to go with our food (sorry, the name escapes me).

In the mean time we munched on the two bread rolls and sweetened butter. The bread looked better than it tasted (almost resembled a challah roll), but it was decent.

Food was delivered in a timely fashion and I was blown away. My steak was beautifully presented in a cast iron like skillet, presliced and cooked to a perfect med-rare. It sat on top of a bed of purple purivian potatoes and corn. On top was a huge nest of crunchy fried leeks. The steak was rubbed in some sort of spicy chipotle rub (with a cuban kick) which was out of this world good. The purple potatoes were nicely roasted and the sweetness of the potatoes and corn went nicely with the heat from the steak. The fried leeks added a nice crunch and didnt have the slightest hint of grease, so you know they were fried at the correct temperature. Think that sounds good? You shoulda heard the server's description!!

Her pork tenderloin came with a slaw of cabbage and apples and some roasted sweet potatoes. Again a knock out dish (but it wasnt as good as mine). The pork was nice and tender and not overcooked despite how lean it was. I didnt really taste her sides since I was enjoying my food so much.

Server did a wonderful job of conversing with us as he would occasionally check in. He knew his wines and his description of the wine when ordering was spot on.

Total bill, including a generous tip was $100! Bargain. I cant wait to go back and try the other dishes to see if they can stand up to last nights performance. My only compliant is that it gets so dark its hard to see the food, but hey, wadda gonna do?

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound