Friday, March 08, 2013

Gulliver's - Irvine

How have I not been to Gulliver's till now? It reminds me of the old Cask n' Cleavers, the Whale n' Ales, and all its variants...decked out with copper, wood, B&W photos, and a hearth--the kind of old English pub that actually looks like it came from old England.

The John Wayne Airport-adjacent restaurant is, in fact, almost as old as I am. But as I lose my charm as I age, this restaurant gains it.

We initially came for Happy Hour, where they put out plates of complimentary hors d'oeuvres with actual burgers (cut into quarters), deviled eggs, crudites, smoked salmon dip, and a chafing dish of what tasted like Sloppy Joe meat made from chipped beef (if anyone knows what it is I ate, let me know).

And it's all free...yes, I said free.

But then, we started ordering stuff, because you kind of have to when you start seeing the prime rib platters that your fellow pub patrons were tucking into.

These are slabs of pristine pinkness still attached to bone--prime ribs of beef as I've never seen it served before, complete with real grated horseradish, a pour of thick-as-syrup au jus, hot creamed spinach and a crackle-crusted, amorphously large Yorkshire pudding that became an edible bowl for creamed corn the bar wenches doled out of a steaming ramekin with a gigantic spoon.

And while you're waiting for your prime rib, you also need to order the crab-stuffed mushrooms, four cheese-draped caps containing more crab meat than most crab cakes possess.

Then for dessert, a real English trifle, a Sherry-soaked cake layered with custard and berries, which I have now decided is the second best thing I've eaten in a meal I should not have been eating...because as I get older, charming food like this will ultimately make me significantly less charming the more of it I eat.

18482 MacArthur Blvd.
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 833-8411

Xa Sweet & Savory Cafe - Orange


At 8:43 AM, Anonymous nhbilly said...

Must try this place when I'm in SoCal.


At 4:59 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Yes, you must! I was quite pleased!

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Blake said...

I used to love this place as a kid. The ambiance, the waitresses, the prime rib...but I went a year ago for my birthday and it was horrendous. The sides were mushy, my dad ordered the fish & chips and was charged an arm and a leg since I guess it's only on the lunch menu, so for dinner, they added $10 or $15 for the same thing. We all vowed to never go back. I'm glad some people are still enjoying it, as I have fond memories. I just won't be back.

At 4:21 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Aw, that sucks. Well, I liked it and it was the first time for me. But I can understand how a place that you grew up with can disappoint you. I've had many restaurants that fit that category.

At 11:29 AM, Anonymous cid404 said...

I remember this place from decades ago, when they used to have a few of them (Marina Del Ray, others I forget).

It was good then, and Its nice to see that its held up.


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