Eatery - Sue Ann's American Kitchen (CA)

Sue Ann's American Kitchen on Urbanspoon

1450 N Kraemer Blvd, Placentia, CA 92870
Pricing - $/$$ | Dining - Casual | Cuisine - American

I first got the tip-off about Sue Ann's American Kitchen from a reader of mine, Phyllis, back in late May. It stayed on my list of places to check out for a while before we finally made our way over on a Friday night. We try to keep those our "date nights" when we eat in but actually, eating at Sue Ann's kind of felt like we were eating in. The environment and decor inside was, as I phrased it, "too stinkin' cute" and well laid out. It carried over a romanticized (or truthful?) theme of Americana in the life of a home cook. The whole restaurant paid homage to 1970s' celebrity chef Sue Ann and is helmed by Chef Gillian Clark. I could not stop staring and taking delight in the artifacts collected from Sue Ann's own kitchen that were up on the walls and all around such as her stove tops, cookie cutters as curtains, silverware, and even oven. The TVs on the front wall right where you walked in were a nice touch and were playing episodes of Sue Ann's old television shows.

We were seated quite promptly because we had set a reservation; it seemed necessary since the restaurant was nearly full though just taking a glance, it doesn't look like the type that really needs reservations (it's quite casual). Instead of getting pieces of bread and butter to tide over our appetite for the time being, we got housemade diamonds of scones that were drizzled with a tad bit of honey. My goodness were these delicious. How could they just be a starter? I wanted to take a whole dozen home with me as they broke in my mouth and nearly melted away. Old-fashioned sodas were also on the menu so we opted for the Olde Brooklyn Cream Soda and Sprecher Red Apple.

Whenever we go somewhere, we get a little greedy and try to order everything. Luckily it wasn't too difficult to manage as the portions weren't modern American-sized. They were actually what I think was reasonable then and now. We ordered, to start, Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Bermuda Onion Rings, and Chicken Strips. The soup was to satisfy our desire for comfort food, and that it did. It may not look like the most presentable of dishes as it was dished out without aplomb in a shallow bowl but the flavors made up for its lack of decoration - we really enjoyed how the Cheddar did not overpower the broccoli puree. Simple but good. The Bermuda onion rings were named so because they weren't the traditional white onions that we're used to but red onion. I liked that usage because it lent a sweeter taste to the onions rings and being sliced so thinly, they maintained the perfect crunch. The chicken strips threw us off a little because they just looked like chunks of chicken dipped into batter and deep-fried rather than the strips we were expecting. They came out nice and moist inside but other than that, a little bland. The dipping sauce was not well suited to the dish but necessary for a semblance of flavor.

Now onto the juicy part of the story - the entrees. We happened to go during their birthday celebration of the restaurant's namesake (she turned 75!) so there was a special for pot roast and all its trimmings. It was listed at just $6.50 and came with a slice of traditional birthday cake (think elementary school, out-of-the-box cake with too sugary frosting). However, we weren't there for that as much as we were there to try out the much-acclaimed Crab Cakes. Let me tell you. It certainly deserves its praise because these crab cakes were just pure crab with barely enough filler to keep it all together. That's quite impressive in itself but then comes the taste. We really liked the richness of the crab, the crunch, and the corn it came with. The pot roast was too dry despite the gravy it came with so that was definitely a miss. If you want to snag something, go for the crab cakes! We'll have to come back another time to see what it's like during the day.

Photography by Duc Duong.