Friday, February 8, 2013

Untying Our Thoughts About Twisted Gourmet

The Twisted Gourmet
163 W. Ontario Ave.
Corona, CA 92882

It was another night out with our good friends Anthony and Sabrina in Corona. We were out here to see their new backyard. They poured concrete and now have a very nice area to hangout when it gets a bit warmer. At least this was the under current of the reason they wanted us to come over. I really think they just want us to show them a new place to eat in the city that they live in. Some restaurants I have chosen for our dinners together have been hits, and some have been misses, so lets see how The Twisted Gourmet  turned out for us.

We have been out to Corona numerous times, and have driven by Twisted Gourmet almost every time we come out here. I have had this place written down on our list of restaurants to try in Corona for almost six months now. They average about four stars on Yelp and an 85 percent approval rating on Urbanspoon, but when this gets posted they will be closed down at this location for good.

Yes, it is true. They had some landlord issues, and as of the last weekend of January they have now left their original Corona location. They are going to be opening at a new location, still in Corona, in the middle of February. The new location will be on Hidden Valley Parkway, in the Kohl's Center. Back to this original location though. We got here on a Saturday night at about 8, and were sat right away. They have live music on Saturdays, but it was not too loud where we were sitting. The twenty or so tables here were half full, with people eating, drinking and listening to the music. Sabrina took a few shots of the interior of the place, but true to form, they did not turn out. Ansel Adams, Sabrina is not. Good effort though Sabrina, (Stevie Wonder would have taken better pictures).

The menu at Twisted Gourmet is dominated by Italian options; including pizzas, pastas, salads, and sandwiches. The menu is not huge, but some of the offerings are interesting, thus the "twisted" name. It took us very little time to decide what to have, so we ordered, listened to the guitar player, and waited for the food to come out. This is what popped out of the kitchen for us.

We started off with two of their appetizers, The Pepperoni Chips ($5) and the Bread Knots ($5). The pepperoni chips were pretty solid. The pepperoni is baked in the oven to make it crisp, then served with a marinara and pesto sauce. I liked this simple starter. The serving size was not huge, but the pepperoni had a little spiciness to it, and it worked surprisingly well with the pesto sauce. I also liked that these were baked, so there was not any of the greasiness that I expected. The bread knots were a much more generous serving size. These were pretty good as far as bread knots go. I'm pretty sure this is the same dough that they use for their pizzas. These had some decent garlic flavor, but could have been a little softer for my taste. 

Anthony actually selected my first choice for dinner here, but I was gracious enough to allow him to order it. What a giver I am. The pizza we were fighting over ordering? Vinella's Pugilist ($9.50). This pizza came with spicy sausage, garlic, tomato, and a blend of cheeses. When this pizza was first sat down in front of Anthony, I was surprised by the size of this. It was a lot of pizza for under ten dollars. Anthony seemed to like this pizza, and Sabrina was a fan of the crust that he gave her. I had a slice of this and thought that the cheeses were pretty good, but the sausage needed to be spicier and more of it was needed on this pie. Not a bad pizza, but nothing that woke up my taste buds.

Both Sabrina and Katie ordered the same pasta dish, which helps me write this review up quicker. They both got the Baciata Dal Sol ($10 or $14.50 with chicken). This pasta dish featured spaghettini, olive oil, basil, garlic, capers, sundried tomato, and chopped tomato. Again, this was a large serving of pasta that both girls found hard to finish. They both liked this, but were not wowed by it. Katie liked the freshness of the ingredients, but did not like the shaved chicken that was added to hers. She would have been happier with bigger hunks of chicken on this.

I am a sucker for anything on a menu that says it is their most popular item. If a menu item says this, I will probably get that item 90 percent of the time. This was the case with this Love Potion Pie ($10). This pizza came with an unusual assortment of items; diced tomato, dried cranberry, chicken, Gorgonzola, and white sauce. Not even close to anything I would usually order. Needless to say I was not too happy with my selection. All of the items of this pizza did not go together for me. I really needed a big pop of flavor which this pizza did not provide. It was a very mellow pizza. I am not sure why they use shaved slices of chicken here, but bigger hunks would have worked out a little better. The white sauce was okay, but I have now made a vow that I will not be having any fruit on my pizzas from now on. No, not even pineapple. This was not the pizza for me.

Dessert time, and we ordered the Lemon Glaze Cake ($4) and a Peanut Butter Bar ($2.50). I am not too big of a fan of lemon, but this cake had a subtle lemon flavor. It was not over the top with citrus flavor. The cake was moist, but could have used some more icing, The peanut butter bar was described to us by the waitress as a Reese's on steroids. She was right. The peanut butter in this bar tasted just like the candy bar. The chocolate was a little tough to get a fork through, but this would be the dessert to get at Twisted Gourmet if you enjoy peanut butter and chocolate like I do.

Twisted Gourmet has some good going for it, and then some not so good. First the positives. I thought that the prices here were very good for the portion sizes you receive. For the four of us our bill was under $70, and that included the two appetizers, four drinks, two desserts, and four entrees. We definitely left Twisted Gourmet feeling full. I think almost all of us would choose something different to eat on subsequent visits to their new location. I would like to try one of their red sauce pizzas with some meat on it next time. The service on the night we were here started out really well, but they seemed to forget about us as the night went along. Everyone we encountered here was very friendly though. On one of our next visits to Sabrina and Anthony's we will have to check out their new location once it is open.

Out of five circles, (because the city of Corona is also known as the Circle City), five being best to zero being worst, The Twisted Gourmet gets 2.5 circles.

For more information about The Twisted Gourmet and their new location, click here:

Twisted Gourmet on Urbanspoon

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