Valentine's Prix-Fixe at Cafe Hiro - Cypress
OC Restaurant Week begins soon, but I believe I've already eaten the best prix fixe deal of the month. And on Valentine's Day, no less.
Last Friday, I treated my better half to Cafe Hiro, the restaurant that I've blogged more than any other on these pages and the only place that I will willingly go during Valentine's Day--a day which usually becomes an excuse for other restaurants to gouge naive couples trying to force a romantic evening. Believe me: I've been a gougee.
But no matter whether it is New Year's Eve, Christmas Eve, or Valentine's, Chef Hiro Ohiwa has never disappointed with his prix fixes. He has always charged a fair price for these meals that often turn out to be discounts if you do the math on what you usually spend on a normal night. It is because of this that I've spent many a New Year's Eve, Christmas Eve, and yes, Valentine's Day at his restaurant--it is the best time to visit.
Last Friday was no different.
The price was $39 per person for 4 courses, and it went like this:
There were two choices for the first course: either beef tataki, over sliced red onion, garnished with a crispy garlic chip, and grated daikon, finely diced scallion and a jellied ponzu sauce for dribbling; or seared ahi tuna steak piled atop soft planks of fresh mozzarella cheese, over Asian herb mix and tomato, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and ginger miso sauce.
Second course was either a scallop spring roll stuffed with mushrooms, served over mesclun salad dressed with yuzu vinaigrette; or crispy fried chicken thighs served on sticks of sautéed daikon with green onion and decorated with squirts of Asian pesto sauce.
For the entrees, he sautés Scotch salmon with black mussels, red bell pepper, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and an au jus broth that came from cooking the mussels. He also offered a roast beef with mashed potatoes; or a beautifully roasted pork plated with the same silky spuds.
We chose the salmon and the pork. Both were cooked perfectly. The salmon was as crisp as creme brulee on the outside, creamy at the center. The pork was as supple as the softest part of my inner cheek, and as juicy and as flavorful as a steak.
For the fourth and final course, we had free reign on all the desserts they offered. We asked for a slice of the homemade pear tart, a tall, slightly dense cake of sorts that had a crumbly crust and was packed full of pears. And of course, we also had to have a wedge of Chef Ohiwa's incomparable croissant bread pudding in a sea of bitter caramel sauce.
And for you who are fans of this restaurant already, I've saved the best news for last: we found out that night that Cindy, Cafe Hiro's best front-of-the-house manager and server who left to take care of her growing family, is now back! She was the one that cut out all those construction paper heart garlands they hung for the occasion: the best restaurant deal of the month.
10509 Valley View St
Cypress, CA 90630
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