Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Opah Restaurant
The Marketplace, Irvine, CA

There was some great food adventures this weekend, as I knew there would be, because I had good friends visiting me this weekend (yes, you Brian!) And what better way to celebrate them being in town by going to some awesome new places to eat? We cruised over to Irvine, to meet up with another friend, and walked around Laguna Beach. We initially were going to try for sushi, at a place called SushiTime, but for some reason, it was closed! On a Saturday night, at 7pm! They must have had a kitchen malfunction...or some shady deal going on? Who knows? We moved on...checking the wait time at BJ's Restaurant...(an HOUR!) we decided to give a gamble on this new place, Opah.
The thing we all noticed straight off is how much their name and logo looks a lot like what the show, "Oprah" uses. Since they're so close to the name "Oprah", heck, I'd ride off her popularity too! But I guess an "Opah" is a real thing - off their website - "THE OPAH OR “MOONFISH” ONCE WAS VIEWED AS GOOD LUCK WHEN CAUGHT BY OLD-TIME FISHERMEN AND OFTEN GIVEN AWAY AS A GESTURE OF GOOD WILL." Well, that's good to know. In capital letters. "Once was," huh? I guess not anymore? Poor Opah. Least it lives on in restaurant form. I wondered if they served it here? (After a glace at the menu, I saw that they DID! Good luck, ha!) We were immediately seated at a table close to the front. Fresh bread in the pictured bread paper bag and a light, delicious whipped sun dried tomato butter was set before us. We devoured every bite of bread and asked for more. I was looking for something simple to chow on, so I decided on the same thing that Jared got: Kobe Beef Burger with sweet caramelized onions, and added aged cheddar. You guys seeing what I'm seeing? Yes. A huge huge burger. With double onions, grilled and raw! The burger itself was meaty, no gristle, definitely hearty. As I chewed, I tried to taste the difference in this burger than in other burgers that weren't made with Kobe Beef...but to tell you the truth, I thought the meat was just as good as an angus beefsteak burger. It was good, yes, but extraordinary? Did I taste the fact that the cow got fed grains and beer and got massaged daily? No. I didn't. I guess one would taste the difference more if I had something like carpaccio. But I wouldn't dare have that - raw fish I can roll with. Raw beef is something else entirely. Like playing russian roulette with your stomach. The roll that this massive beef-attack sat upon was fluffy, toasted, substancial to hold the burger in and sop up the meat juices that were emitted as you bit into the burger, but didn't fall apart on me. The cheese, melted and gooey good. The mountain of fries that accompanied my burger were good and salty, thin and crispy. I was glad when the waiter asked if I was done, with half the fries left on the plate - please please take the plate away, as I would have kept eating the fries until they were gone.
This was Christine's Rotisserie Chicken Salad Sandwich - Tossed with grapes and sprinkled with toasted almonds. She seemed to enjoy it and finished it all.
Brian decided to go with the healthiest thing he could find (LIKE USUAL!!) and went for the Blackened Atlantic Salmon Sandwich With saffron aïoli. I tried a tiny corner of it and it tasted amazing - flavored properly, a good amount of fish, and yes it tasted healthy. Brian ended up demolishing the sandwich and eating it with his fork and knife.

Service and decor was great, I'd say I'd go again if I was in the area. Opah!


brian said...

Here's to more food adventures with leong!!

heysandra said...

Ahh, love the adventures...when are we going again?