The following are summaries of recent Times...
The following are summaries of recent Times restaurant reviews.
1520 AD, 821 S. Beach Blvd., Anaheim. (714) 995-5464. Seatings are Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m.
The food at 1520 AD may not be authentic Tudor, but who cares. When you eat with your fingers, everything tastes better. The opening course at this re-creation of a Merrie Olde England roadhouse is a hearty lentil barley soup, drunk from large draughts and eaten with hunks of brown bread. There is a choice of four entrees: slow-cooked chicken, lamb shank in a white sauce, steak kabob, and a most modern filet of halibut with a heathen Spanish sauce on top. The abundant platters of rice and vegetables, the fine, lemony pound cake, and the bottomless mugs of ice cold beer make for a dinner that King Henry himself would have enjoyed.
Granville’s, in the Disneyland Hotel, 1150 W. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim. (714) 778-6600. Open Tuesdays through Saturdays 6 to 10 p.m.
The Disneyland Hotel might not immediately spring to mind when the subject of restaurants comes up, but it ought to: Granville’s, its flagship restaurant, is one of the best around. The room is designed for elegance, with mahogany sideboards, Regency-style chairs and overwhelming shades of burgundy. Chef Tim Owen trained with Boston cooking teacher Madeleine Kamman, and his cuisine is original and delicate. Such appetizers as Little Neck clams steamed in Pernod with spinach are wonderful, as are such entrees as loin of lamb in an anise crust, oven roasted with thyme and rosemary. There is an extensive wine list (featuring American wines only), and the service is impeccable.
Spats, 901 Civic Center Drive, Santa Ana. (714) 558-1883. Open Mondays through Fridays 11:30 a.m to 2 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays 5 to 9:30 p.m.
Spats is one of those maddeningly confusing little restaurants where it is impossible to know what you are supposed to be eating. The chef is Japanese. The menu is Italian and Japanese. The ambiance is pure California. Best to try are the more Japanese dishes like broiled beef on bamboo skewer, fresh oysters in the shell with Japanese dipping sauce, and soba , handmade buckwheat noodles treated with a simple respect. Avoid the gummy pastas and the pretentious Western concoctions. Most of them are better left to the concept stage. There is an adjoining disco if you get too impatient waiting for service.
Los Alamitos Fish Company, 11061 Los Alamitos Blvd., Los Alamitos. (213) 594-4553. Open Sundays through Thursdays 11 a.m to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays until 11 p.m.
Order mesquite broiled fish from the restaurant’s giant circular grill, or enjoy a brace of other dishes such as steamed Dungeness crab, smoked albacore tuna or simply flavored steamers, all of which go beautifully with the restaurant’s standout sourdough bread. Desserts are all homemade. The best of them are a superior blackout cake and a soft, tart, lemon mousse pie.
Soup Exchange, 151 E. Orangethorpe, Fullerton. (714) 992-5522. Open daily 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Salmagundi, South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa . (714) 549-9267. Open Mondays through Saturdays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays noon to 5.
Eat soup, live longer at these two emporia for our favorite comfort food. Soup Exchange is the slicker and less expensively packaged of the two, a soup and salad bar with such extras as frozen yogurt and muffins and a nacho bar to boot. It’s all you can eat and every man for himself. Salmagundi is homier and even a bit trendy, with such exotic soups as tortilla, wild rice and country Cheddar; they change daily. Salmagundi also has a dessert bar where you can indulge in such goodies as trifle, apple brown betty and chocolate mousse. Either restaurant redefines the word excess.