Great Eats This Week: Fork It Up OC

Chefs, Restaurants By May 14, 2012

Big Bites of OC Eateries:

Slapfish, the oh-so-popular food truck has gone the brick-and-mortar route in Huntington Beach on Beach Blvd. (between Mother’s Market and Albertson’s). It’s “clean food” – fresh and flavorful. Everything from lobster quesadillas to fish tacos to clam chowder.

The Deck Plate is a straightforward option ($6.50). The fish of the day (here it’s John Dory) teams with beautifully seasoned sticky rice, grilled tomato and very tasty coleslaw that they call “virgin slaw” (love the way they respect the cabbage – really one of my favorite slaws – ‘need to get them to show me how they do it). Here the sides aren’t just some afterthought. They are delicious and well executed.

You can help yourself to sauces to pair with fish. Several tasty options.

Lobsticle®, a more playful option, is half of a South Atlantic lobster tail that is skewered, grilled and brushed with melted butter ($8.75)

Congrats to talented owners Andrew Gruel and Jethro Naude.

SlapFish is at 19696 Beach Blvd., near Adams. Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, but closed on Mondays during May. or 714-963-3900.


Tamarind of London’s – Lunch Now:

In addition to their dinner service, the Newport Coast restaurant Tamarind of London (tied to the Michelin-starred Tamarind restaurant in London) is now open for lunch Friday, Saturday and Sunday (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.).

Lunch entrees include Thali plates, each featuring a sampling of traditional Indian dishes. Combinations include Seafood Prawn Masala and Kokum Fish Curry for $19; Kashmiri Lamb Curry and Butter Chicken for $18; and Vegetarian Paneer Methi Masala and Three Greens Saag for $17.

All Thali plates are served with the vegetable of the day, black lentils, rice, naan and raita.

I’m fond of the Quinoa and Avocado Salad with cilantro and mixed citrus ($11). Vibrant flavors, toothsome textures.

As for a cocktail, I love the Pimms O’Clock, a fruit-filled drink with Pimms No. 1, fresh strawberries, cucumber, oranges and fresh lemonade. (Shoot, wish I had a photo – guess I threw it down before I got an image.)

Tamarind’s chef, Shachi Mehra, spent summers during her youth in India, travels that exposed her to a myriad of tastes. Prior to opening as executive chef at Tamarind, she cut her teeth working at one of my favorite (now-closed) NYC restaurants, Tabla. She also worked in the kitchens of the Bombay Club in Washington DC and Palo Alto’s Junnoon.

Tamarind of London is at the Crystal Cove Promenade at 7862 East Coast Highway in Newport Coast. Hours are Monday – Saturday 5 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. and Sunday 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  Lunch Friday – Sunday.


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