The food at Scraps in Huntington Beach is ambitious, world-trotting, as though it were cooked by a young chef trying very hard to live up to her résumé and prove she had learned something from the places she has been. Chef Jamie Ngo adds Peruvian cancha to her refreshing octopus ceviche; she serves her albacore tartare fashionably on Chinese soup spoons; and her sauce repertoire includes at least four kinds of aioli. She stops short of resorting to molecular gastronomic tricks that others who have worked at Bazaar have picked up like a bad habit. In fact, her best dishes taste more like something learned from mom. The short rib bruchetta is particularly great--three slices of char-toasted baguette as a platform for shreds of braised beef seeped with a Southeast Asian flavor that whispers of anise.
The first topic of conversation that might come up when you go to Scraps will probably be the same one that came up for us: "Scraps" isn't the greatest name for a restaurant. "It's the same as calling it 'Leftovers,'" one of my tablemates... More »
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