OC Restaurant Week 2013 - Seasons 52 (Costa Mesa)
A sunny day in southern California makes for a good hankering for spending time at the beach...or remembering that you need to trim down for the imminent beach trips. If you're worried, don't fret; Seasons 52 has got your back. I've been meaning to drop by here for a while now but it wasn't until OC Restaurant Week that I made it to this seasonally fresh and health-conscious restaurant. Our courteous waitress Natalia informed us that each order was 475 calories or less. That sounds like a good place to be! I dined with the ever-awesome Ryan, Yelp OC Community Manager, and we had a blast tasting different parts of the prix fixe menu ($20/person for lunch).
We begun with one of each offered starter; they were the Ripe Plum Tomato Flatbread (roasted garlic, fresh basil, and melted Parmesan cheese) and the Chilled Lobster & Shrimp Spring Rolls (crisp vegetables, fresh mint, cilantro, bean thread noodles, and trio of dipping sauces: cool salsa verde, aromatic lemongrass, & sweet-hot-red chile). The flatbread, though so large that I couldn't even capture its whole size in my camera frame, was only a slender 275 calories despite being powerful in flavor. Attribute it to the thinness of the bread itself if you will - the crisp bread portion was more cracker-like than doughy. The ingredients on top were very fresh and was a good crunchy starter. The spring rolls were easily both of our favorites as each half that we ate was bursting with flavor from the sauces internally (a little sweet, a little spiced) and well-complemented with each of three available sauces. My favorite was the "cool salsa verde" for its heavily and heavenly included ratio of cilantro to everything else.
Though we had the option of choosing their Rocky Mountain Buffalo Burger during our prix fixe menu, we both opted for the two salad options: the BBQ Chicken Salad (organic field lettuce, fresh corn, grilled red pepper, jicama, pumpkin seeds, and crumbled Bleu cheese) and the Lemongrass King Salmon Salad (organic greens, cucumber, pineapple, mango, jicama, and toasted sesame dressing). The salads came out in a partially interactive way, housed in a transparent cylinder that was promptly removed once the plate was on the table and shaken gently to allow all the beautiful ingredients to fall together perfectly. How is that you say? Well I didn't move anything in the pictures I took of the salads so that's how good it looked once served. Of the two, I preferred my order of the chicken salad as it was a bit more of my style. The chicken was aromatic and covered in just the right amount of sauce - not too salty and not too sweet. It was also slightly blackened which lent a good flavor amongst all the bright vegetables. The salmon salad featured a juicy, grilled hunk of salmon which had been skewered by a thick stalk of lemongrass. How perfect is that? It allowed for the essence to seep through into the fish itself. Tasty stuff!
Lastly, we got to pick from their Mini Indulgence Desserts list which consisted the likes of mocha macchiato, chocolate peanut butter mousse, tropical fruit cheesecake, pecan pie with vanilla mousse, Meyer lemon pound cake, Ghirardelli chocolate Rocky Road, raspberry chocolate chip cannoli, and market fresh fruit. Whew, that's a doozy of a list! Luckily, they were all more like dessert shooters than any intimidatingly large portions. After all, it has to be under 475 calories right? I opted for the tropical fruit cheesecake and he the pecan pie. The cheesecake was presented a little unexpectedly for me as it looked like a miniature slice had been inserted sideways into the cup. As you can see in the picture, one full side was the crust! Therefore, I had to eat the thing at an angle to make sure I got cheesecake filling and crust while also trying to ration out my delightful baby chunks of tropical fruits. It was a lovely light dessert albeit oddly cupped. The pecan pie was very nice as well as its filling was not overly sweet. There were plenty of pecans and a healthy dollop of vanilla mousse to balance out any potential saturation of brown-sugariness. Overall, a fantastic meal and definitely a nice preview of what deliciousness to look forward to. I'll be back Season 52...I'll be back.
Photography by Minerva Thai.
Looking for other bloggers chowing down during OC Restaurant Week 2013? See who's writing at http://www.orangecountyrestaurantweek.com/OC_Food_Blogs_That_Rock.html!