Another great date night! I love dressing up once a week to go have a nice meal with Matt. And last night was just that, a nice Happy Hour meal! (Hey, I'm unemployed here...it's about conservation of money!)
AnQi is located in Bloomingdales in the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, next to Charlie Palmer. It's run and owned by a family of 5 women from 3 different generations. I think they have a great concept here, however, it is a bit over priced when it's not Happy Hour. Which is why we took full advantage of their "Red Hour".
Ahhh, the highlight.
Wagyu carpaccio with a yuzu truffle emulsion and chives and a side arugula salad with yuzu dressing Reggiano shavings and edamame.
Loved the salad! I felt like the emulsion atop the wagyu took away from the sweetness of the meat--it was probably the truffle that was too over powering. I think if there were more yuzu on the meat, it would have been to die for!
In a word--"disappointment". It was just chow mein noodles with a robust garlic sauce that tasted heavily of MSG. Sorry yelper, these "must try" garlic noodles were nothing more than a grave disappointment.
Steamed mussels in a coconut milk, kaffir lime leaf, and lemon grass broth
The mussels were perfectly cooked--tender and sweet, you could tell that they plated them immediately after they opened. And don't be scared by the red peppers, they were sweet rather than spicy. And as Matt said, "American restaurants know better than to put that much hot pepper in one dish." Sad, but so true.
The basil croûton was also very bold in basil flavor and delicious.
Pork belly buns
SO GOOD. Probably the best part of the meal.
The pork belly was extremely tender and had a delicious caramelized roasted flavor that went well with the sweet hoisin sauce and the soft fluffy steamed bun.
Salt and pepper calamari
Reminiscent of calamari that you get at a Chinese restaurant but dressed-up
Fancy bottle, no?