Orange County Tongue...This is a blog of rants and raves about our culinary and dining experiences. This is the OC food blog that focuses on a variety of cuisines...everything from French to Thai...stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Mozambique, Laguna Beach - 08.31.08


The reason we went to Nirvana Grille the previous night was that I came by here couple days back and had the Peri Peri Chicken Pops for an appetizer and they were bone dry and did not want to risk dinner on that. As you will see below, that (Nirvana Grille) turned out to be an excellent choice.

Nevertheless, we wanted an afternoon of relaxation and to enjoy the cool vibe of the Mozambique patio. I gave it another shot on Sunday. The upstairs patio is an excellent selling point for Mozambique. The Sunday afternoon sun was shielded by the overhanging tarps but warm and bright enough to know why you enjoy Laguna.

What we needed to top this vibe off was a carafe of their Sangria. This was refreshing and with all the apples, oranges and berries in it, we got our daily fruit intake as well.

Appetizer: Prawns Gone Wild – Simple, butterflied prawns barbecued and served with mango salsa and peri peri dipping sauce. Sometimes the simplest things are the best. Great barbecue, smoky flavor and the peri peri sauce is unique in its savory flavor and just the right amount of tang.

Ok, what the hell, desert sounds good. Why not another bread pudding? Here though it is white chocolate macadamia and it excelled as well. So, fully satisfied we're glad we came back the next day. I would like to try dinner with one caveat. If you get reservations, know that they are for the downstairs which is a bit more different in that you can't enjoy the vibe like upstairs. For dinner upstairs, it's first come, first served.

Nirvana Grille, Laguna Beach - 08.30.08

OK then… It's been a while. But on with the review.

Nirvana Grille - http://www.nirvanagrille.com/ August 30, 2008

I actually made reservations for Mozambique for tonight but changed to Nirvana Grill at the last minute and was very happy we did, (more on that later). The décor inside was very nice, clean lines and warm lighting, so the cover of the book looked good. Onto the food:Starter: Pommes Frites w/ Blue Cheese. Simple as it sounds, but these French fries were, as Larry David would say, "Pretty, pretty, pretty good." They were crisp on the outside and lots of flavor with garlic and blue cheese prominent.
Oops, forgot about – Wine: Angeline Pinot Noir, Russian River. – Not too bad, not too great. I guess it served its purpose.

Entrée #1 - Cioppino Fish Stew – This was excellent. Lots of delicious shrimp, mussels, fish and super scallops swimming in a tomato broth that was just spicy enough to make you feel it. Also large enough to take home for leftovers and an excellent lunch the next day.

Entrée #2 – Pistachio Crusted Chilean Sea Bass – We saw this on the menu and it became apparent that it was mine. The sea bass was tender and the pistachio crust gave it just enough texture to contrast with the softness of the meat. The yukon gold potatoes sat directly underneath the sea bass and one had to take a piece of both the fish and the starch to get the full effect. It was decadent. The dish was balanced out by asparagus spears that were simply sauteed.

Desert: Chocolate Bread Pudding w/Raspberry Compote. – Whoa this was rich. Excellent for two though. Also had a good port of which memory fails me. Our tab for two would have been around $120, but due to a minor problem they comped us quite a bit, actually much more than they certainly needed to and needless to say it was appreciated. There is no doubt that Nirvana Grill now jumps into the restaurant rotation and rightfully so.