Sunday, January 21, 2007

McCormick and Schmick's Pilsner Room - Irvine

Through a clandestine entryway in a hidden corner of an office tower parking garage, we enter McCormick and Schmick's Pilner Room. Inside it is dark, space is cramped, and the patrons are loud, but that's just how we like it. This is a bar after all -- a place to tick off another work week gone and celebrate a weekend that's just begun.

Beer is brewed in-house in towering stainless tanks as tall as rocket boosters, but one can choose to imbibe on any number of bacchanial delights here.

As I don't normally drink, and dislike the taste of alcohol, I order a sweaty glass of their lightest ale: the Beach Blonde ($5.10). And it is always particularly refreshing and liberating on a Friday afternoon, especially when paired with bar food from the $1.95 Happy Hour Menu (offered Monday through Friday 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm and 9:30 pm to midnight).

When I'm feeling peckish, and in need of protein, the Cheeseburger -- a half-pound beef patty grilled medium, served with crisp steak fries, leaf lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a dill pickle -- is just the type of thing to fill my belly for the rest of the night. It's man food for manly appetites, and a ridiculous bargain since the same burger will cost $7 at the restaurant upstairs.

There's also jambalaya, shrimp quesadillas, chicken satay, and spicy tuna roll -- all for $1.95 while supplies last.

But on this visit, we settle for some finger food. The Spinach Dip is chockfull of tender artichoke hearts and gooey cheese, while the Buffalo Wings are meaty but dry, served with crudité of carrot and celery. The Ahi Poke, however, contained no ahi at all, just lots of salsa over wonton chips. It was an oversight by the kitchen which I excused since it's Friday after all.

McCormick & Schmick's Pilsner Room
(949) 756-0421
2000 Main St
Irvine, CA 92614

22 Comments:

At 8:40 PM, Blogger Passionate Eater said...

Ahi poke that contained no ahi at all? And I thought McCormick and Schmick's was a seafood place! Sorry, but that conduct (of omitting seafood in a seafood titled dish) by a reputable restaurant (or even a dive) is simply unacceptable.

 
At 10:18 PM, Blogger KirkK said...

Say what! Ahi Poke with no Ahi...... Elmo, my man, you are such a nice guy. MaS has a pretty good Happy Hour...but having Ahi-less Ahi Poke is like having Won Ton Mein with no Won Tons, or Beef Noodle Soup with No Beef.....just salsa and chips? WTF! You are always so positive.

 
At 11:06 PM, Anonymous jane said...

Thanks for the info! I work on Von Karman and Michelson so it's nice to know of places in the area that have good happy hours.

 
At 1:31 AM, Blogger Melting Wok said...

oo, reminds me of jack daniel's wings at Chilis hehe ;P You know all the great deals, don't you :) Nevermind bout the food, I hope you had great company and enjoyed the ambience ? :)

 
At 6:56 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

PE and Kirk,

Yeah, I would've burned a path to the kitchen normally if I wasn't such in a good mood last Friday. Also since it was so dark in there, and it only took one bite to eat the whole thing, the evidence was gone by the time I realized there was no ahi. It would've been easy to get comp'd for it, or get another...but our Zen-like state of being kept us from complaining. Next time though, they won't be so lucky.

jane,

It's a great deal. Just be sure there's ahi in your ahi poke!

Melting Wok,

The company is always great! TGIF! Too bad it's still Wednesday now.

 
At 10:16 AM, Blogger The Bill said...

WTF no ahi....I think this place is great for Happy Hours not sure about other times though.

 
At 2:36 PM, Anonymous ELMİN said...

We wish you a happy day with your blog :)

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger natalie@theliquidmuse.com said...

I love Mc-Schmick! Pretty reliable food, service, etc. Indeed odd regarding the ahi, though.

Anyway, you mention you don't like to drink... but if you are ever in the mood to peruse cocktails for the fun of it (or maybe check out a Celebrity Sips - assuming you like celebrities...) stop by and say "hello!"

I will check back with you often for dining ideas... and probably link to you, as well!

 
At 2:03 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

The Bill,

I tried the restaurant once, long ago. It wasn't worth the price they charged. Fresher, better seafood at King's Fish House and at better prices.

elmin,

And same to you.

Natalie,

Thanks for stopping by! I'll be linking you too. I've always been ignorant about drinks, but endlessly fascinated at all the varieties of spirits, cocktails, even if I only occasionally imbibe. Hope to learn more by your blog.

 
At 4:53 PM, Blogger henrychan888 said...

I guess the food looks better than it tastes...a usual case for happy hour food in my experience... arghh.

thanks elmo!

 
At 7:01 PM, Blogger Deb said...

No Ahi in the Poke is unacceptable no matter the night! You are too kind!

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't eat there. Check out this article. It happened at this restaurant.

Woman Claims Condom In Soup, Sues

http://www.10news.com/news/2629607/detail.html

http://www.nbc4.tv/news/2623884/detail.html

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Henry,

The burger at MaS is pretty good. And a good deal at $1.95, but since you have to buy a drink (a soda costs $2.50) it turns out to be a $6 meal anyway (after tax and tip). But in general, yeah, the food is never as good as the bargain.

Deb,

I am too kind! ;-)

Anon,

I heard that story a while ago also. I think I also heard a follow up about it being a finger cot. Either way, I don't think I'll be ordering the clam chowder. BTW, I once found a grasshopper in my clam chowder at Soup Plantation. Not as freaky, but still, pretty FREAKY!

 
At 12:52 PM, Blogger Kathy said...

Hey Elmo!
lol, that was a huge mistake on the part of the kitchen - how could they forget the ahi! Alas, you are way too nice, hehe, perhaps the artichoke dip made up for it? :)

 
At 4:23 PM, Blogger Juliet said...

Bad me! I somehow missed this post.
I don't usually drink either (and never right now). I just like wussy girl drinks an dplum wine. LOL It will be a few more years before I can do that again, though. No big loss. I never even tasted alcohol until last year.
The spinach dip sounds good. Bet the buffalo wings would taste good dipped in it.

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Kathy,

The artichoke dip was the best dish that night. The Ahi Poke had potential though...if only it had ahi!

Juliet,

We're lucky not to have developed a taste for alcohol. Alcohol is expensive!!!

 
At 12:37 AM, Anonymous Crystal said...

Don't get the gazpacho from the Happy Hour menu either. My friend got it and when it came it didn't look too appetizing and she said it tasted like water down salsa...I didn't want to try and taste for myself

 
At 10:08 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

crystal,

They seem to change the Happy Hour a lot nowadays. So the gazpacho is nowhere to be found...but yeah, I wouldn't order that either. Even for $1.95. Stick to the burger. It's the one constant that will never disappoint.

 
At 6:45 AM, Blogger Chubbypanda said...

One of my favorite watering holes since it's right by our data center. Waitresses dressed as schoolgirls make panda happy.

 
At 10:17 PM, Blogger Jay said...

Great post...can't wait to check it out!

 
At 10:19 PM, Blogger Jay said...

Great review, can't wait to check it out!

 
At 4:41 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

CP,

Those waitresses are exactly as you say, but they always seem to treat me like the nerd that I look like (and am). The fact that I order their wussiest beer must not help.

Jay,

Check it out you must!

 

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