Monday, December 29, 2008

$30 8-Course Christmas Eve Dinner @ Cafe Hiro - Cypress

T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the county,
All the restaurants were offering a Christmas eve bounty.
But an arm and a leg, most of them would charge,
For prix-fixe menus, which wasn't that large.

At Marche Moderne, I spied a fine five-course dinner,
With a cost that'd make my wallet seventy-five bucks thinner.
Furthermore these prices were violating my rule;
Who'd want to pay money not to get full?

So off to Cypress, to Cafe Hiro we went,
Where I've always gotten the worth out of every penny and cent.
Here they offered an eight-course meal, a right merry feast,
Which combined the flavors of the West with that of the East.

And how much did they charge for the meal of a king?
Thirty dollars a head! A pauper's price; an affordable thing!
Choosing this package deal was almost a no-brainer.
Plus this way, I'd get dessert included with dinner!

So we ordered it and out courses came.
First was seared cubes of tuna on greens, called "poki" by name.
Then came mushrooms, sauteed and served with daikon.
A few mouthfuls of crunch and soon both were gone.

Next mozzarella, dribbled with miso sauce.
Along with cucumber, radish, and tomato shined to a gloss.
After that, it was beef tataki sliced thinly and pink.
Each bite was too chewy; it was undercooked, I think.

Uni spaghetti was the pasta to share.
Its egg-yolky presence seen here and there.
Later, it was some split-pea soup, colored jade green.
I had to be reminded not to lick my plate clean.

We each got our own entrees, that was always the plan.
I chose the roast beef, sliced as a thick as my hand,
And she took the scallops, all nicely sauteed.
Near them, roasted tomatoes and steamed asparagus were laid.

Dessert came last, but it was the thing we loved most.
Croissant bread pudding in a caramel sauce moat.
When all was done, we were full, ready to leave,
But not before we made reservations for this New Year's Eve.

Cafe Hiro
(714) 527-6090
10509 Valley View St
Cypress, CA 90630

Mariscos Puerto Esperanza - Orange


At 10:07 AM, Blogger Inez Valentina said...

You're kidding. That's $3.75 a course! Haha, I had to whip out my calculator for that.

I totally feel ripped off now by other prix fixe meals I've had.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Holy snikeys! You're right. I didn't think of it that way.

Though, as the menu I took a picture of first, the four apps are shared between two people (still a lot for my date and I).

The pasta is also shared.

The rest we got our own plates!

Still, we had leftovers!

At 11:33 AM, Blogger EatTravelEat said...

That is such a great deal! Great poetic style writing :). I enjoyed reading it! Food looks very nicely plated.

I used to we WSL98787 who posted comments but since now I created a blog I'm using this account. Hope you will have a happy new year!

At 11:47 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

That's amazing for such a low price. I'm very impressed. I have that place bookmarked too.

Next mozzarella, dribbled with miso sauce. Along with cucumber, radish, and tomato shined to a gloss.

Intriguing. Like a Japanese play on Caprese.

Your rhyming was priceless, by the way.

At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay this entry was freaking brilliant.

the food looked delicious especially that dessert course.

side note, Elmo have you heard about a restaurant in Huntington Beach called Kung Pao Bowl? It's on Edinger and Golden West. The name is deceiving, makes it sound like a cheap take out place but its actually more similar to like pei weis but imo taste way better. in any case i am interested in what you have to say about that establishment so if you get a chance, check it out!

At 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pei wei is not real chinese food. its "chinese" food inspired by the MAN. awesome review of cafe hiro! i'll see you tomorrow nite.

At 6:32 PM, Blogger dumplings said...


This was a great find. I read about Cafe Hiro before and never got the chance to give it a try. This will definitely be on top of my que.

By the way, I visited Ice Pan at Hollywood and had a brief chat with the owner. Apparently, all 3 Ice Pans had different owners. The Costa Mesa store was doing so well that they ran into financial and royalty disputes. The Costa Mesa store was forced to close. It is such a shame.

So, where's that review for Tsuruhashi?? Happy New Year!

At 11:38 PM, Blogger Stanielsan said...

Elmo, again a brilliant review. First a haiku on sushi and now a poem on prix fixe! You are an artist!

At 1:24 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Welcome to food blogging! You're off to a good start. I'm going to link you shortly. Hope to get some SGV tips from you! And thanks so much for the nice compliment on the poem! Glad it wasn't too corny...or maybe it still is.


Caprese! That's it! I was trying to figure out what it reminded me off, and yep, that's it! And thanks for liking my rhymes. I can manage to do it, some of the times.

(And that wasn't one of them).


No, you're freaking brilliant! Thanks for the compliment. And Kung Pao Bowl? Well, I love kung pao. And I like to eat out of bowls. So perhaps I might like this! I'll have to check it out next time I'm in HB.


My reservations are made for tomorrow night. Just please don't beat me to the last slice of croissant bread pudding!


Happy New Year! Ah! Tsuruhashi is still untried by me. It's one of those places that I'm saving for a day that I didn't have too much meat and fat for lunch...this might take a while! HAHA!

That's a shame about IcePan. Though I'm surprised that you say the Costa Mesa store was more successful than the others. I was usually the only person in there when I went.


Thanks dude! And you remembered the haiku. This one was just as fun to write (easier too!).

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Passionate Eater said...

As Passionate Eater read Elmo's post, in excited delight,
She thought to herself, "What a mouthwatering night!"
Yes, 2008 was a fine year for great dining,
And visiting Monster Munching, is my day's silver lining.

Hmm, that didn't really make sense. I am just trying to say that you rock and are an amazing food blogger! Have a great New Year Elmo!

At 3:12 PM, Blogger ila said...

elmo, that was a very cute post. of course you'd have christmas eve dinner at your favoritest restaurant!

cheers to many more delicious noms.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger Melissa said...

Har har. ;)

Happy New Year to you!! I am happy to be able to call a foodie friend. Hope you have a fabulous start to 2009.

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Eddie Lin said...

Clement Moore's stomach is rumbling with hunger pangs in his grave. Great post and Happy Holidays!

At 2:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is it with Asian bloggers and wanting to prove they can mimic English poetry?

I kid, I kid.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Frequent Traveler said...

Very happy New Year 2009 to you, Elmomonster :)

Much delicious dining ahead :)

I'm going for lunch at Marche Moderne on the 17th of this month
Would you like to join me as my guest ?
You've got my e-mail...

At 11:29 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Are you kidding me?! That was great! You had me LOLing at your first rhyming couplet!


And to many delicious noms to you too! Happy new year!


Happy New Year foodie buddy! Your cooking posts continue to inspire me!


Hope Mr. Moore likes croissant bread pudding. No sugar plums, but lots of caramel! Happy new year to you and your family!


The answer: There's no such thing as a NON-Asian food blogger. So if we don't do it, who will? HAHA!


And another year of amazing travel treasures (and dining) to you too! I'll e-mail you.

At 6:33 PM, Blogger KirkK said...

Now that's a bargain!

At 1:02 AM, Blogger EatTravelEat said...

Thank you Elmomonster! I'm based where Din Tai Fung is so you'll find most reviews in that city as well as nearby cities.

You truly did a great job with the poem! I am wowed that you even have rhyme in the entire poem which is really hard to do for people like me.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger V said...

Holy Moly! Sounds amazing. Will have to try that for sure. Loved your verse.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...


It was such a bargain, we went again New Year's Eve! And I'm still STUFFED!


Speaking of DTF, I need to get another dosage of xio long bao soon. I'm starting to suffer withdrawals!


It's an awesome value. But keep in mind they only do it during the holidays, like Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. The next one just might be Valentine's Day. I hope they do the same thing as this for that holiday.

At 9:23 PM, Blogger Right Way to Eat said...

Hey Elmo,

I would give you major bonus points if you have done it in Haiku! LOL

This is a pretty good 8 course meal (for just only $30). Considering two plates would have cost more than that on any given night. Great round up to the always dependable place!

Did you took advantage of that free slider at Morton's two weeks ago? I'm still on the hunt for that cheap burger search!

At 3:17 PM, Blogger shavedicesundays said...

I'm gonna have to throw this idea to hubby when Valentine's comes around. Thanks, Elmo!

At 4:40 PM, Blogger polar said...

AHHHHH I wish I knew that Cafe Hiro was having an x-mas special.. I would go simply for the Croissant bread pudding in caramel sauce. Best Dessert EVA.. I always get this dessert if they are making it.

Btw, Kung Pao Bowl as Anon mentioned isn't all that great. I frequent this place almost 2 times a month, due to our co-workers liking this place. There isn't anything that they serve that stands out as unique. I would rather drive a bit further for Lotus Chinese Eatery or garden grove for Koreanized Chinese food.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Bill said...

I miss this place alot...

At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haha yea I agree with what you said about Pei Wei, I was just trying to be nice =p. Orange County needs more authentic down to earth hole in the way Chinese eateries like those found in Rowland Heights, Diamond Bar, blah blah...etc.

I admit they're not like distinctly spectacular as a whole. But compared to what other Chinese places HB has to offer, I'd say they do pretty well. Though they're food really isn't geared to satisfy those of us who seek out authentic flavors, they do take care of what most folks around the area want. With that said, I am a big fan of their hot and sour soup. And though its a super cholesterol bomb, the walnut shrimp is also pretty good. I think I'd like their kung pao dishes more if they put a little less scallions in and upped the kick just slightly but even then, still pretty good too.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...


I debated haiku (it would've been much easier), but then the Christmas spirit gave me inspiration!

And yep this is the deal of deals! I weighed what I was going to pay for an entree and dessert, then compared it to the special -- and even I can see the math adds up to my advantage!

Unfortunately, no I didn't hit up Morton's for the free sliders. I did go to Fatburger's for the first time in a long time for a Baby Fat. Those things might as well be sliders...and relatively cheap too!


I'm going to go there Valentine's Day too, if I'm in town. I'm hoping to get a heads up on the menu before the date. Of course, I'll post it either here, or on Stick A Fork In It, if and when I do get the entree list and prices.


Best. Dessert. Ever. Is. Right!


It'll be around a long time (I hope). So you can come back anytime, where ever you are.


Thanks for the comments! You present a great case for it. I'll keep this one in my breast-pocket if I'm ever in the area.

At 8:54 AM, Blogger Exile Kiss said...

Hi elmomonster,

Great post. :) Thanks for the holiday cheer and good highlight of their special menu. I'll have to try and make it out next year for this. :)

At 7:26 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...


Thanks for the nice comment! But you don't have to wait all year, just a month...on Valentine's!

Except maybe he'll change it up then. I doubt 8-courses of gluttony counts for romantic! HAHA!

At 7:37 AM, Blogger Juliet said...

Don't know how I missed this one. What an awesome deal!


Post a Comment

<< Home