This restaurant is part of my childhood. There’s no longer a cigarette machine, but not much else has changed. It’s “Mexican Food” as it was understood by Anglos in 1972 Costa Mesa. Hard shell tacos, refried beans with rice with every entrée, no surprises, and literally deadly quantities of cheese.
For adults there is a great emphasis on margaritas.
Mi Casa is not Mexican food. Most people who are aficionados of good food would not consider it to be worth considering at all. I like it. It’s my childhood, and there is nothing modern about it. No authentic cochinito en pibil, but no Chili’s waitresses with flair upselling me on the Chi-Chi-Tastic Balsamic Nacho Wrap, either.
They never lost the red leather booths or the hanging baskets at Mi Casa, or the sixty year old women in miniskirts and tights serving food, or even the original tables, which as you can see were from a Roy Rogers steakhouse circa 197… 1971, I bet.
I had one of the great meals of my life last night at Pescadou Bistro. They put on a holiday prix fixe, and mom and I went to the early seating, which was cheaper and also got us home before the… stuff started down on the peninsula.
Three courses, choice in each. I had the quail and foie gras over baby lettuce, with pears. Entree choice was filet mignon with peppercorn sauce, mashed potatoes, and endive. Dessert was a warm chocolate cake with creme fraiche. The other options were a first course of lobster bisque, a second of seabass or venison, and a third of an apple/camembert tart.
Pescadou is serious French food, which doesn’t mean stuffy or expensive or pretentious, but it does mean attention to detail and tradition. It also means reasonable portion sizes, unlike the U.S. tradition in celebratory meals of forcing an entire farm down your throat.
Everything was made… just… perfectly. The owner and staff are friends after years of going there. It’s more like showing up to someone’s house in a medium sized southern French town for dinner than it is like a restaurant. It’s nothing like any other restaurant around here, that’s for sure.
The three course prix fixe was $52. With tax and tip and two glasses of wine for mom and some fizzy water for me, $80/person. That’s about as expensive as a meal can get there. The usual dinner prix fixe is $25.
The huge restaurant chain that owns Outback, Fleming’s, and various other Tchotchke’s/Flingers type places has brought their expensive seafood joint here, “”Blue Coral.” Best quote from the Register article is:
That was evident Tuesday night, as diners such as Stafford – clad in khaki shorts, an Oxford shirt and a Crevier BMW cap – admired Blue Coral’s high-back booth seats, iridescent-blue mosaic tiles and teak floors. The Fleming’s regular said he plans to cruise among Roy’s, Fleming’s and Blue Coral on a weekly basis.
“This is what Newport Beach is all about,” Stafford said.
Um. No. Newport beach is all about the Crab Cooker, the Villa Nova, Dad’s Donuts, the Blue Beet, and Original Pizza. Among others. There’s an actual town here and we don’t need any more chain restaurants for the guys in polo shirts and pressed khaki shorts and pressed executive hair.
I bet he has a Duffy electric boat, too. Snark. 😀
The full article is interesting, especially in the detail that America’s shitty chain restaurants are getting their profits ground to bits by high energy costs.