Savoy at The Hotel Hanford - Costa Mesa
But aside from the cosmetic and that the word "Hotel" precedes the name of the place (which somehow lends them their immediate boutique credentials), locals like me will always know it as the Holiday Inn. It's almost the same as how car buffs know that the Lexus ES 300 is really just a Toyota Camry underneath the leather and polished wood trim.
Yet these hotels do have a differentiator that matters more to me than the posh furniture--they have restaurants that are marketed as destinations in and of themselves.
The Hotel Menage's eatery, k'Ya, I reviewed a few years ago and then again on this blog when they decided to revamp their menu to "street food". And it is a good and decent restaurant that I visit every year for their cheap-but-surprisingly-good Thanksgiving turkey dinner.
Recently, I tried Hotel Hanford's Savoy not to necessarily compare it to k'Ya, but rather to propel our Open Table point count over the 2,000 mark. 2,000 points, of course, is the magic number where you get a $20 voucher from the reservation site. Ours had been stagnating at 1,200 points, even as we were putting down major coin at Mastro's to celebrate birthdays and such.
So when we saw that Savoy was a 1,000 point restaurant, we made the reservation (although the place is always empty). It's the oddball out of a list that includes more expensive restaurants. Compared to those, Savoy is a 1,000 point restaurant that almost can pay for itself. A dinner for two with the two entrees you see above (which included a salad or a soup and one dessert) amounted to somewhere around $60 with tax and tip.
Even without the earned OpenTable points, I thought the entrees themselves were reason enough to go. The chicken was a Frenched breast, cooked well with skin rendered down to crispy flecks. The pan-seared sea bass was large, easily twice the size you'd normally expect at places that does sea bass. There may have been a squishy asparagus here, and an over-reduced tortilla soup there, and the place was deserted save for the occasional out-of-town guest saddled up at the bar; but overall, it has proven to me that in former Holiday Inn's there are some decent restaurants.
Savoy at The Hotel Hanford
3131 Bristol Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
THIS WEEK ON OC WEEKLY:
Early Bird Cafe - Fullerton