Eatery - Gabbi's Mexican Kitchen (CA)

141 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866
Pricing - $$/$$$ | Dining - Casual, Dressy Casual | Cuisine - Mexican 

Oh my love, love, love. My friends and I wanted to get together for a dinner, and one had raved about this place for a long time. I had seen the name pop up through various other venues of media so I knew that there was something special here. What I didn't realize was that it was the unmarked restaurant in Olde Towne Orange that I've always passed. Who would have thought it to be so covert? I really enjoyed the decor inside as it highlighted brick, glass, and metal - a fusion of materials possibly likening to the style of food. All of the authentic Mexican flair was there without any of the street food fuss. Be warned, however, that your price set here is nothing like a $2 midnight taco run.

My dish of the evening was the camarones en mole verde (pan seared shrimp in mole verde de Veracruz, garlic white rice, vegetables, platanos, crema) for a cool $22. See? Not for the casual Mexican food eater. My regret is that we had had dinner there so my lighting was horrid for any decent pictures of the amazing presentation (with taste to boot!). However, that's just motivation to come back during the daytime so I can have ample sunlight to properly document the beautiful dishes. The shrimp was just perfect. That mole verde was nothing like I had tasted before, and not only did it go very well with the shrimp, it pulled out complexities in rice that I wouldn't have thought about. I was in love. I know I shared some with my friends but I was a little glad they didn't ask for more (well how could they when their dishes were just as mindblowing?). I was actually sad to have finished off the plate.

Though feeling sated, I couldn't resist asking for a dessert menu just to peek at what was in store. What was in store caught my eye though so we quickly decided to split a dessert between the three of us. For $9, we snagged their strawberry horchata tres leches cake (Grand Marnier Chantilly, candied hazelnuts, cantaloupe-jalapeno sherbet). I had vied for this because the sherbet sounded interesting. The cake was very moist and subtly flavored with the horchata. What sealed the deal for one of my friends was the whole hazelnut on top. I particularly enjoyed the sherbet as it was a very good palate cleanser. It was a great night out and I'm eager to come back to Gabbi's.