Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Corner, Huntington Beach, Orange County, CA

 Ah, the moon overhead shown brightly over one of the Orange County's many strip malls as my wife and I exited the car.  It was date night and I was attired in a shirt with actual buttons on it.  My wife, as always, looked beautiful in jeans and black blouse.  We made our way to one of the few non-chain restaurants in Orange County.  A little place hidden in the depths of Huntington Beach that served small portions but with big taste.  We had decided to go out to... The Corner.

Housed in what was once a Chinese Restaurant, if you look up you will see the original red tiling along the ceiling, is a hip retreat from the mainstream.  In a slightly darkened room with no windows, is a series of tables and booths have been placed for maximum comfort and my guess to focus on the main attraction of the restaurant, the food.  The atmosphere was loud but friendly that night.  The waiter just having finished talking to the table over and receiving a few belly laughs.  My wife and I took a seat and only had to raise our voice a few decibles to hear one another.

The wait staff, we had a bearded waiter that could have doubled as an action star, came to our table with a smile and a laugh.  I was already in a good mood when he asked us if we want anything to drink.  As it is date night I break my usual taboo about ordering whiskey with ice and decided on a Whiskey Sour Julep.  My wife ordered a Dark and Stormy, which has rum, lime, and ginger beer, on the rocks.  My wife has a weakness for ginger beer.  Our drinks arrive and we decide to try a couple of meatball sliders while we peruse the menu.  They come out fast and are just as advertised, chunks of meat and cheese on a french roll.  They are also delicious.  We also get some bacon wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese.  They are melt in your mouth good, and I don't even like blue cheese.

Best of all though was one of the special appetizers, poutine.  I don't see it in a lot of places but when I do I almost always order it.  This is usually a concoction of fries, cheese curds, and occasionally something other ingredient, a protein most of the time.  It came out in an oversized bowl and at first I didn't know quite what to do with it, but then I grabbed a potatoe skin, dipped it into the cheese sauce and luxuriated in the taste of pure unhealthy food.

My wife and I finally decided on our "Not Entrees" as the amount of food is not quite an appetizer and not quite an entree.  It is a great amount of food if you are not that hungry, or if you are like us and want to try a bit of everything.  I order the Block Cut New York Steak in a wine sauce reduction.  I'm curious to see if it is as good as the one I make at home.  Usually they are not, but with this place I decide to give them the benefit of the doubt.  My wife ordered the Korean BBQ Chicken.  They make a point of telling you it is "non-traditional" and when you see it you know why.

My wife and I engage in idle chatter as our food is prepared and I decide to get a Dark and Stormy for myself.  I normally don't do drink reviews and I'm not going to start now.  Let me just say if you come to The Corner you have to get one.  A few sips later our food came out.  My steak was cooked perfectly.  Medium Rare as I believe all red meat should be cooked.  The wine reduction was really good but the steak barely edged out something I would have been able to accomplish in my own kitchen.  Still it was tasty enough that I did not need a doggy bag at the end of the meal.  My wife's chicken was a very interesting mesh-mash of flavors.  I liked it.  The chicken was cooked perfectly but the whole lettuce wrap delivery left a bit to be desired by me.  My wife on the other hand really enjoyed it.  I will say that the cilantro-lime emulsion that came with it was so good I would have put it on just about anything.

Overall this place was an amazing find.  And with that... all credit for finding this place goes to my wife, and her monthly AAA Magazine, but Shhhh!  Don't tell anyone, as most of the hip places in Orange Country are quickly changed into chain eateries, or Starbucks.  I think it has something to do with the city charter.  I kid! Check this place out the next time you are in town.  I promise you will not be disappointed.

The Corner
8961 Adams Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646
(714) 968-6800