At the Blind Pig Kitchen and Bar in Yorba Linda, a new dining experience allows you to get so close to the cooks, you might literally rub elbows with them and feel the heat of the grill.
They call it the Chef’s Counter.
With advance notice, up to four diners can sit at a specially installed counter right next to the busy kitchen for a customized meal, spearheaded by chef Karl Pfleider, that can include off-the-menu items or items slightly tweaked from their regular menu.
It’s a new offering from the Blind Pig, which first opened in 2013 in Rancho Santa Margarita. The 3,000-square-foot second location in Yorba Linda has been open for about two months.
The Blind Pig, which offers New American fare, is Prohibition speakeasy-themed, with trendy industrial touches dreamed up by Malibu-based Bitton Design Group.
During my recent Chef’s Counter visit, we were delighted by the offerings presented by Marco Carmona, the sous chef.
An unexpected highlight was Carmona’s take on cauliflower hearts.
He prepared them in the same fashion as a sous-vide cooked protein — kind of like a meat, I was told. They were vacuum-sealed (in a concoction that included oil, butter and beef fat), then cooked in water and pan-seared.
The cauliflower hearts were accompanied by a sauce of citrus and sauvignon blanc, with toasted pistachios as garnish. Life-changing stuff, really.
I also recommend the 30-day aged New York steak, with a celeriac dauphinoise and chimichurri sauce.
For dessert, don’t miss out on the beignets, which come drizzled in a bourbon chocolate sauce and topped with powdered sugar. They’re light and just a tad crispy, as they should be.
Though the Chef’s Counter primarily shows off the food, it doesn’t mean you should slouch on the drinks. Be sure to find your favorite from the award-winning bar menu.
I recommend something different, like the Gentleman (peanut bourbon, bonded rye, bitters and strawberry).
IF YOU GO
What: The Blind Pig Kitchen and Bar
Where: 4975 Lakeview Ave., Yorba Linda
When: Monday through Wednesday 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Thursday from 3 p.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: Price varies for the Chef’s Counter experience
Information: (714) 485-2593; theblindpigoc.com/yorba-linda