Reunion Kitchen and Drink
5775 E. Santa Ana Canyon Road
Anaheim, CA 92807
It was that time of year again, one of the two times that I trudge my way up to Yorba Linda to get my teeth cleaned, and fit in a lunch with my mom. I always enjoy these outings because it gives me some one on one time with my mom, and also because it gives me a chance to try a restaurant up in North OC that's usually been on our list for a long time. This trip we had the chance to cross Reunion Kitchen and Bar off of our restaurant bucket list.
Reunion has gotten a lot of positive press from Orange Coast Magazine, and I have seen many of my North OC friends posting pictures of their experiences at this Anaheim Hills hot spot. Reunion comes to us from Scott McIntosh, whose pedigree includes stints at Claim Jumper, French 75, and Nick's. The menu here can be described as American comfort food, with only one item over the $25 mark, (the filet mignon goes for $37). There's only one menu for both lunch and dinner, and the portion sizes are reported to be very generous.
I met my mom here on a Thursday, just before noon. The lunch rush started with a trickle, but then it exploded, with people filling up the restaurant and the patio out front. This spot used to be home to Rick Mead's Canyon Restaurant, and before that, when I was in high school it was a Sizzler.
My high school self would not recognize this space now though. Lots of woods dominate here, and some yellow walls liven up the place. The prevailing feeling of this restaurant was kind of like the Ranch in Anaheim, but without a dance floor, and a little less stuffy. A good many of the seating areas are booths, which is always nice. I came here hungry, so I was definitely keyed up to experience the cuisine at Reunion.
Of course I did a little research online before coming here, and these Cajun Tater Tots ($8) made quite an impression on a lot of people, so of course we needed to start with them. I was pretty impressed with these. They weren't greasy, fried nicely, and the sour cream sauce paired up well. I also enjoyed the serving size here, more than enough for my mom and I to share while waiting for our entrees to arrive. A great start.
My mom has been craving a BLT, and they just happened to have one on the menu at Reunion. Their version is called the Awesome BLT ($14), and my mom added avocado to this to make even more awesome. All of the usual suspects are included here; applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo, salt and pepper, all on a Parmesan grilled sourdough. This was very good sized for my mom, who actually took half of this home to my dad. The bread did a great job of keeping things together, while there was plenty of bacon included on this. My only compliant would have been that there was way too much lettuce on this, and not enough mayo for my taste. Still one of the better BLT's we have had though.
Even though I was going to be sitting in a dentist chair in a few hours, I could not resist having a big lunch. This Barbecue Glazed Meatloaf ($17) filled the bill perfectly. This classic meatloaf was wrapped in bacon, and sauced with a sweet, but not overpowering barbecue sauce. The BBQ sauce complimented the tender meatloaf wonderfully. Definitely not your mother's meatloaf. This came served with grilled vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, and garlic cheese toast. American comfort food at its best. The vegetables were grilled nicely, with a lot of flavor. The mashed potatoes were just left lumpy enough to add some texture, but the gravy kind of got lost here. The cheese toast was probably the weakest link on the plate, but with such a big portion size, the last thing you need are more carbs.
If there's one dessert on a menu that I can't refuse, it's Warm Butter Cake ($8). I had a feeling that this version would be as great as Scott McIntosh's last place of employment, Nick's. I was correct in my assumption. For those of you that have never had this dessert before, I would describe it as a Twinkie on steroids. Soft, rich yellow cake is topped with vanilla ice cream, and served alongside a couple of berries and whipped cream and a smear of raspberry sauce. The perfect bite for me involves the ice cream, the cake, and the raspberry sauce. So good. You must save room for this dessert when eating at Reunion. A great end to a wonderful meal.
I was pretty pleased with everything we had at Reunion Kitchen and Drink. It's easy to see why all of my North OC friends have been raving about this place in their Facebook and Twitter posts. The food here is really good, and reminiscent of the great food at Claim Jumper, back when they used to be good. With ten sandwiches and ten entrees to choose from, I look forward to trying more of their menu in the near future. I'm looking at you turkey pot pie and bacon avocado cheddar burger. The service matched the comfortable ambiance here. Our server was very steady, and answered all of our questions. Reunion was so good, I almost am looking forward to going back to the dentist in another six months.
Out of five cowboy hats, (because Reunion Tower is located in Dallas, and people there sometimes wear cowboy hats), five being best to zero being worst, Reunion Kitchen and Drink gets 3.5 cowboy hats.
For more information about Reunion Kitchen and Drink, go to their website here: http://reunionkitchen.net/ReunionKitchen/