Santa Ana, CA / September 23, 2011
Beef Culotte (bacon-wrapped, coffee & chocolate crusted, dijon smashed potatoes)
I don't know what's up with the name Chapter One: the Modern Local, but I don't really care. I love good gastropubs and this is a good gastropub. The Beef Culotte was perfectly cooked (though maybe a tad cold) and the whole thing just tasted solid. Though it's hard to mess up bacon-wrapped steak. You could serve bacon-wrapped steak on a pile of dead rats and I'd still lick the plate afterwards. And by plate I mean the dead rats. Get it? It's that good.
One complaint about the ambiance though: they had a live DJ and the music was crazy loud. I love a good beat as much the next person, but not when I have to scream "What was that?!" every time I'm trying to reply during a conversation. And it's not like there's dancing going on, so I'm really not sure what's up with the live DJ.
Mac & Cheese (white cheddar, fontina cheese, smokey bacon, fried onions, toasted panko) - One of the better macaroni and cheese I've ever eaten that didn't involve the use of truffles. Truffles are so played out, man. What is this, 2009?
Southwest Salmon BLT (southwest rub, sweet corn aioli, bacon, lettuce, tomato, cilantro, ciabatta roll, duck fat shoestring fries)
Italian Burger with Portabella (our special beef blend, Italian herbs, roasted tomato relish, provolone cheese, parmesan cheese crisp, portabella mushroom, basil aioli, duck fat shoestring fries)
Homemade ketchup - Not as sweet and salty as you're probably used to. Tastes more like fresh pureed tomatoes.
Chocolate, Coffee, Rum (soft chocolate ganache, coffee soil, brown, rum butter powder, basil) - This thing was strangely salty, though I couldn't place where the salt was coming from. It was either from the ganache, or from the rum butter powder, or from the "coffee soil", or from the salt shaker I kept dumping in my mouth. But wherever it was coming from it rubbed me the wrong way. I'm all for desserts, but I'd probably never order this again.
Chapter One: the Modern Local
227 N Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701