Andrei's Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails
Irvine, CA 92614
OC Weekly's Description
The website for Andrei's does just as those other environmentally sensitive restaurants do (the word "sustainable" is repeated five times on one web page). Its full title (Andrei's Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails) breaks it from the pack. But don't expect to be accosted by unshaven hippies flashing peace signs. The servers - young, uniformed, clean-cut and professional - could be flight attendants. The restaurant itself is very corporate. Constructed with a surplus of marble, it's unwaveringly rectangular and as sterile as an executive boardroom. And the food ain't exactly vegan. If you've seen clams bigger and plumper than in the Manila clams appetizer, you were gazing at Botticelli's Birth of Venus. And the thick burgers come with homemade fries tossed in truffle salt. Ask for them, but don't expect any "herbal" brownies for dessert.
Pommes Frites are hand-cut Kennebec potato fries with a truffle aioli. They were cooked the Belgian way, twice fry blanching to lock in the flavor and then frying at a higher temperature for a crispy golden brown exterior. The exterior was crispy and had a blister like texture, like kettle chips. The interior was fluffy and tasted like a freshly baked potato. The truffle aioli... More >>
Pommes Frites are hand-cut Kennebec potato fries with a truffle aioli. They were cooked the Belgian way, twice fry blanching to lock in the flavor and then frying at a higher temperature for a crispy golden brown exterior. The exterior was crispy and had a blister like texture, like kettle chips. The interior was fluffy and tasted like a freshly baked potato. The truffle aioli was fabulous! Rough chopped truffle in a perfectly creamy aioli. Thumbs up, way up!
Octopus Salad is slowly braised & sautéed Moroccan octopus, fingerling potatoes, bell peppers, La Española Chorizo, celery leaves, cilantro, and topped with lemon vinaigrette. This dish was a party for the mouth so many different flavors and textures. The octopus was the most tender I have ever had. The braising makes it just melts in your mouth. It has a smoky flavor from the grilling process. The chorizo slices were like the best pepperoni slices youll ever have. It was lean and had all of the robust richness of chorizo. The fingerling potatoes were perfectly cooked tender but not mushy. The bell peppers were sweet and added a fresh, sweet flavor. The vinaigrette was refreshingly light and tied everything together. Thumbs up, way up!
Beef Short Rib is orange-infused all natural boneless braised beef short rib, Cipollini onion, baby carrots, extra virgin olive oil, served with roasted garlic crushed Yukon gold potatoes and horseradish cream. The short ribs were marinated for a day in a burgundy wine marinade. Chef Yves says that the whole restaurant can smell the aroma when these are being made. No knife was necessary, seriously! The braising process made the short ribs incredibly tender. The aroma and flavor of burgundy wine permeates through your senses as you eat it. The sauce is robust and full of beef flavor. The potatoes were not your run of the mill mashed. They were mixed with garlic and olive oil without any dairy. You can really savor the flavor of true garlic mashed potatoes. They were lighter and tasted fresh. Horseradish sour cream was served on the side if you really need the dairy. It complemented the beef as well. Thumbs up, way up!
Goat Cheese Cheesecake is cheesecake made from goat cheese, balsamic caramel, and orange pecan tuile. This was my first experience having cheesecake made with goat cheese. It was really good! It was creamy but not heavy and dense like your typical cheesecake. The flavor did have a slight gaminess but it was not unpleasant. The balsamic caramel sauce was slightly sweet with a rich caramelized flavor. The pecan tuile was like a thin praline, delicate and delightful. Thumbs up, way up!
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