Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Irvine Spectrum
71 Fortune Drive
Irvine, CA
Still playing catch-up on some old pictures.

So, as you've probably read, I don't drink (darn you pesky alcohol allergy!) but I love food from bars. They're the ultimate in indulgence - usually they specialize in greasy food, especially finger foods and burgers (after all, you gotta wash down that beer with something greasy!). So we ended up at Yardhouse after going Go-karting for my birthday (by the way, it was REALLY fun. I hate driving in LA, but put me in a go-kart and the ability to race against other people and suddenly driving is FUN again...maybe it's the competitive edge I have in me at times...)
So Yardhouse is known for their huge HALF yards of beer. Owen downed TWO of these! (making a full yard that he completely drunk on his own.) I guess the beer is really good here, I wouldn't know, but it looked good.
This is the Ginger Crusted salmon that Amber ordered: As described by their website: Norwegian Salmon with snow peas and carrots, spicy peanut vinaigrette and wasabi mashed potatoes topped with fried carrot strings. She loved it. Really tender salmon, great sauce.

I THINK this is the Top Sirloin dish- a 10 ounce steak cut with garlic mashed potatoes, grilled tomato and portabella mushroom. Bryan is quite the carnivore, so he attacked this with gusto. This plate was wiped completely clean after he was done. I'm assuming that it was a bit better than just ok.
Joel's full rack of ribs caught everyone's eye as it was set before him. This thing was MASSIVE. A full rack of smoked pork spare ribs with spicy bbq sauce, with a side of mashed potatoes and spicy beans. Really nothing much to say about it other than it looked good, smelled good, and all was left was rib bones.

Yes, we are definitely savage carnivores :)
But some of us were good! Marcie got an Ahi Crunchy salad - seared ahi, mixed greens, asian slaw and crispy wontons tossed with a soy vinaigrette. It looked amazing. The ahi was so fresh - that deep pink color in the middle, that delicate seared outside, fresh greens.

Miguel got a bowl of clam chowder - he had actually eaten at Yardhouse earlier in the day (he didn't tell me!!) and he was awesomely gracious not to stop the whole group from wanting to go. He wasn't trying to fill up too much, as he had another meal to go to. I don't think the clam chowder was anything to write home about - in my opinion though, there are 3 categories of clam chowder - crap, okay and amazing. This was okay. Crap is out of a tin that you pay 9 dollars for at a restaurant (I am talking to YOU Red Lobster!!), amazing is Legal Seafood. Okay will now be defined by Yardhouse. Not a bad place to be.

So finally - what did I get? Well, this looked pretty good to me...
A blue crab cake hoagie, with fries. Blue crab cake, with avocado, swiss cheese, tomatoes, applewood smoked bacon, and spicy cajun aioli. The crab in the crab cake was really mashed up - the lumps mostly shredded so when I got into the middle of the crab cake, the meat was creamy, smooth and savory. The outsides were nice and browned, the aioli was perfect. The bread could have been a little less thick, but it was toasted, which helped. This was definitely enjoyable sandwich. Fries were nice and crispy crunchy, with a good coating around them. Great meal.

Here's Owen's New York Steak Sandwich - with roasted roma tomatoes, swiss cheese, fried onion strings, garlic aioli with sweet potato french fries. This steak was perfectly grilled, the meat really flavorful. I switched halves with Owen so this was amazing - crab cake and steak, a great combo. The onion strings were light as air, flavorful, a great different texture that added a bit of punch to the whole thing. The sweet potato fries were superb - like the regular french fries but so more complex than the regular fries.

Yardhouse was so fun! They managed to handle such a big group of people expertly - not every restaurant can do that, but they did it well. Thumbs up on this whole place.

1 comment:

Justin said...

Owen's looked the best in my opinion. Crab cake in a sandwich sounds very interesting though. Respek.