Saturday, March 13, 2010

Lucca Cafe, Irvine, CA

Last night, I was originally going to visit Lucca Cafe in Irvine, CA with Kchan from AniMaid Cafe, unfortunately, she had to cancel so I asked one of my regular dining friends to join me.

Amuse Bouche

Toasted Bread with Green Olive Tapenade

Judgment: The tapenade was made with sun-dried tomatoes, olives and other herbs and seasonings in a refreshing manner to start you on your food journey in the quaint little restaurant. The bread was toasted to a crispy texture and paired well with the Tapenade. 8 / 10

Charcuterie Platter

Porsciutto, Speck and Salami with Pickles and Marinated Garlic

Judgment: The platter consisted of 7 slices of the meats that the restaurant offered in their deli. Among the 3, the Speck was my favorite of the 3. Well cured and plenty of fat on the meat. It stood out more than the Porsciutto on the dish which was quite surprising. The Salami was your typical Italian Salami that you would find in any deli. 9 / 10

Certified Angus Beef Hanger Steak

Beef Hanger Steak in a Sage Mushroom Sauce with Grilled Shrimp, Crab Cake and Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes

Judgment: In this entire plate of food, the Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes were the boring item. There was no twist, no creativity in it. It was simply just a Yukon Gold Potato, mashed up, not even butter or salt was added to it. I felt I would've enjoyed it more if it had ANYTHING else done to it other than being boiled and then mashed. The Crab Cake was average, it broke apart and flaked very well and it was easy to eat with the onion straws they topped it with. I wished they had a little more sauce with it because after eating about half of it without sauce, it felt really dry. The Shrimp was delicious. They were prepared with a spicy sauce and paired with sun-dried tomatoes and the two complimented each other very well. The steak was also just average. This was probably because it was not Prime grade beef, and the sauce was a little overwhelming. 7 / 10

Belgian Dark Chocolate Cream Brule

Chocolate Creme Brulee topped with Strawberry and Whipped Cream, Garnished with a mint leaf

Judgment: The Creme Brulee was amazing. You would expect it being a chocolate Creme Brulee to be very dense and rich, but this one hit the mark. If you were to imagine it, it was like eating a Creme Brulee made out of Hot Chocolate. After I had finished eating the dessert, my friend had to tell me "There's no more Gilbert!" while I was trying to lick the bowl clean. 10 / 10

Conclusion: The restaurant is an interesting experience, as it was designed to be eaten like an European family meal. Meaning every dish that was ready was served immediately, and they're small dishes that people were encouraged to share. Unfortunately, I wasn't planning to share my food but have it all for myself. I regretted sharing a slice of Speck with my friend because I wished I had a second piece. However, most of the food there was delicious and I would definitely visit this restaurant again. Just maybe choose a different Entree.

This Restaurant gets an A-Rank.

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