Friday, February 23, 2018

Hoping R.T.E. Can Improve the Food Cred at the Kaleidoscope


R.T.E. 
27741 Crown Valley Parkway #329-23
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

It's hard to review a restaurant that is located in the Kaleidoscope and not mention my thoughts of what is wrong with this shopping center, which is situated overlooking the 5 Freeway in Mission Viejo. It's especially difficult now since you can see that the people that run this center, some would say cursed shopping center, are really trying.

We've made a few recent trips here and the escalators have been working fine each time, which was a big gripe I've had with this two-level shopping center. Yes, the lighting in the underground parking structure is something right out of a horror movie, and the lack of good retail stores and giant anchor retailers is something that is really holding this center back. You can still see them trying to make this ill-conceived center work.

Besides the functioning escalators, the big addition at the Kaleidoscope is, of course, Union Market, which is a collection of small, independent retailers, and more importantly to me, specialty restaurant and food purveyors. I'd guess that the biggest draw to Union Market is the Portola Coffee Roasters, and for me, a non-coffee drinker, the fantastic Mr. Holmes baked goods that they sell there. The cornflake cookie and the salted chocolate chip are amazingly good, as long as you get there early enough to grab them before they sell out. This visit to Union Market was not for coffee or cookies, but to give one of their restaurants a try and meet up with my aunt and uncle for a long overdue dinner. We decided to give R.T.E. a try.

R.T.E. stands for Ready To Eat, and this is a barbecue on a stick restaurant. With the exception of their ramen and sides, everything comes on short skewers here. The skewer portion of the menu is divided into three parts, land, ocean, and garden. Prices range between $1.95 to $4.95 for the scallops, and they do offer a combo which includes three skewers, pickles, and your choice of rice or salad. They also offer a happy hour in which pre-selected skewers are priced at a dollar off, and so are all the sides. Happy hour is every day from 4 to 7pm. Other menu items include sides like salads, peppers, rice, tater tots and more. They also have a couple of dessert items, and be sure to check the chalkboards behind the bar for other specials they are running. Let's see what we ended up ordering on this evening.





The food at R.T.E.came out to us in waves and the first group was some of the sides that we had ordered. It might have been because I was pretty hungry, but the Tater Tots ($5) really satisfied. These little barrels of potato came out perfectly, crunchy on the outside and soft inside, with a touch of truffle sea salt to keep things interesting. The House Salad ($6) was underwhelming. A spring mix of leafy greens was paired with a very mild sesame dressing. The dressing needed to be punched up a bit in the flavor department to make it more noticeable. The Shishito Peppers ($6) were a pleasant surprise. They were lightly fried, dusted with a little sea salt and had a great flavor. There were a couple peppers in there that really packed some heat. The Edamame ($4) was fine, but I did not really get my fair share of them because my cousin Chris had a big pile of the empty edamame pods stacked on his plate, almost to eye level. Thanks for sharing Chris.




The main part of our meal came out all at once on a platter. The meats, Short Rib ($3.95), Pork Belly ($2.95), and Chicken Thigh ($2.95) were all pretty solid, but I was hoping for a little more meat on these. They were very thin. The Cherry Tomatoes ($2.95) were not my favorite, but I'm not really a tomato kind of guy, even though I did try one of them. The Zucchini ($1.95) was more my style. I liked the light seasoning that they used and the grill marks added a nice subtle flavor.


Both Katie and my aunt Hiroko got a Bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen to go along with their skewers. Hiroko is a ramen expert, and she really enjoyed this version, which is not on the regular menu but was listed as one of the specials on the blackboards behind the bar. It featured a hard-boiled egg and plenty of green onion. A perfect vehicle for a rather chilly evening.




To be honest, I was not totally full after our skewers, so Katie went back up to get me a few more meat options, and she also came back with a few more things. I liked the Brussels Sprouts ($2.95) but thought they needed to be cooked a little more, as they were kind of hard to bite through. The Fried Plantains ($3.95) were mushy, but Katie seemed to like them well enough. The Hojaldre ($2) which is listed on the menu as a Panamanian fry bread was good, but it needed a little something else to go along with it. The second round of sides ended up not being as good as our first.

R.T.E. was good, but not really great for big eaters like me. I liked the food here, but I did not think it was a great value for what we paid. Not sure how we ended up paying $95 for our first round of food, even though it was happy hour. With the five of us it worked out to almost $20 per person, and I still had to go back and have another two chicken skewers and some of the sides that Katie got on her second go around. The sides, for the most part, were okay, but the standouts for me were the peppers and the tater tots. As far as the proteins, the red meat options were best, but the pork belly was overcooked and did not have that characteristic pork belly feel that I have come to love. One thing that did shine at R.T.E. was the people that they have working here. Service was first rate, and they made sure we had everything that we needed during our stay, even though we were seated behind the restaurant, out of their eyesight. Pretty impressed. Just like we are impressed with some of the changes going on in the Kaleidoscope Shopping Center within the past year. At least they can say that they are not the worst shopping center in OC anymore, that honor now goes to the Anaheim Garden Walk by a mile.

Out of five remote controls, (because RTE is also the abbreviation for the public broadcasting system of Ireland), five being best to zero being worst, R.T.E. gets 2.5 remote controls.

For more information about R.T.E., head to their website here: https://www.rterestaurant.com/

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Crusade for the Choicest Chilaquiles Continues


Cafe Calacas
324 West 4th Street #B
Santa Ana, CA 92701

I think my love for Mexican breakfast has now eclipsed my love for more traditional breakfast foods. Just looking over my list of breakfast spots that I want to try, it is loaded with plenty of places that tout chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, and breakfast burritos as their specialties. I used to be very partial to breakfast skillets and pancakes, but now I find myself checking out restaurants on Yelp for the best breakfast tacos and breakfast tortas.

My love for breakfast foods from south of the border has become so much an obsession, that when my friends Angel and Rebekah casually mentioned their recent visit to Cafe Calacas, Katie and I made quick plans to meet them on a recent Saturday in downtown Santa Ana and give it a try.


Cafe Calacas is situated in the West End Theater building, which is in the shadows of the Ronald Reagan Federal Building across the street. When we arrived at Cafe Calacas at 10am, there was a slow-moving line, about twenty people deep. I grew anxious that we would not be able to get a table, but these things usually work themselves out, and we snagged one of the four tables out in front of the restaurant as a family was getting up to leave.

Like the inside of the restaurant, Cafe Calacas menu is not extremely large. They feature a handful of breakfast specialties, some waffles, and then some salads, wraps, and sandwiches to round things out. They are also known for their coffee drinks, juices, and smoothies. Since we had about a half hour wait in line to study the menu, we made our selections rather quickly when we hit the register. We were given a number and waited for our food to be brought out to us. Let's see if Cafe Calacas would become one of my favorite spots for Mexican breakfast in OC.



I'm not a coffee drinker, but I really enjoyed seeing the designs that they had on top of these beverages. Some real artsy stuff here, and it was a shame that they were going to be ruined after the first sip. I'm not sure what Rebekah's drink was, but Katie had the Cinnamon Latte ($3.75) and really enjoyed it. She claims that the people that make the coffees at Cafe Calacas really know their stuff, and she would definitely swing by here for another one of their excellent creations.



When you are ordering at the register, do yourself a favor and check out the baked goods featured behind the glass. Angel and Rebekah got what I believe they called a Mexican Chocolate Pop Tart ($2.00). It had a crumbly coating with some good chocolate in the inside pouch. This kind of reminded me of a chocolate croissant that was dipped in granola. Tasty.



My Chilaquiles obsession must be spreading, as Katie got this Chilaquiles 2.0 ($12.00). At Cafe Calacas they have two versions of chilaquiles, one is regular, without an added protein, while the other is with your choice of meat added. Katie had the chicken, but chorizo and carne asada are also options. This breakfast dish is made with layered fried tortilla chips, red or green salsa, queso fresco, cilantro, two eggs cooked to your liking, and finished off with a drizzle of crema. Katie selected the green salsa, which had quite a bit of flavor. I was lucky enough to be able to have her leftovers the next day, and I liked hers better than what I had. The chicken was not too dry, and the green salsa had more of a depth of flavor than the red did.



My version of Chilaquiles 2.0 ($12.00) featured steak instead of the chicken and I got my eggs sunny side up because I'm always partial to having as much runny yolk as possible. I really enjoyed the first ten or so bites of this, but then it kind of became boring to me. I think the reason for this was that the ratio of eggs and meat to the fried chips was overblown by a lot. There were lots more chips here as compared to anything else. The red salsa did not really have as big of a flavor profile as the green that came with Katie's chilaquiles. Not awful, but not one of my favorite versions of chilaquiles in OC.


Mixing sweet and savory at breakfast has become a tradition with me when we eat breakfast out, and for my sweet item on this particular morning, I tried the Bananas Foster Waffles ($7.99). For this, they top a Belgian waffle with caramel, sliced banana, and granola, and then garnish the plate with whipped cream and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. This had some winning bites, but most parts of this were devoid of caramel and did not taste like anything. A very boring sweet breakfast item that could have been made much better with some extra caramel or maybe even some maple syrup.


Rebekah had the lone savory waffle on the Cafe Calacas menu, the Puerquitos In A Blanket ($8.99). They use their Belgian waffle as a base and then top it with chorizo, queso fresco, refried beans, cilantro, and is then finished off with a sweet and spicy sauce. She could only finish three-quarters of this, so I obliged her by finishing the rest. It fell in line with most of the other entrees I had here, it was lackluster. I think this also needed a sauce to bind it all together. The chorizo was fine, but a little on the dry side, and there was not enough beans or sweet and spicy sauce on this to make much of an impression. Even though the menu made no mention of it, the crema was a welcome addition here.

Cafe Calacas was fine but did not really stand out other than their coffee drinks and the pop tart thing we had to start. I kind of felt that each of the entrees needed to be sauced a bit more, and needed a little extra pizazz. The setup here was also a little unnerving, as people were grabbing tables before they had even ordered. I was also curious as to why it took so long to order at the register. It took us 25 minutes to just stand in line to place our order. Maybe go to a full-service restaurant where you place orders with a server and then also check in with a hostess when you arrive. The girls running food and clearing tables were definitely hustling on this particular morning, and they were not part of the issue here. My search for the best chilaquiles continues, just as my love for Mexican breakfast grows. Can't wait to tackle more from my list.

Out of five skeletons, (because the word calacas translates to skeletons, and they lend to the decor of the inside of this restaurant), five being best to zero being worst, Cafe Calacas gets 2.5 skeletons.

For more information about Cafe Calacas, head to their website here: http://www.cafecalacas.com/index.html

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Hip Hip Hooray for Humphry's


Humphry's Sandwiches
800 Avenida Pico
San Clemente, CA 92673

Well, I had some unexpected time off due to a small health issue, and I decided to make use of my time off by writing up some restaurant reviews, and of course, going to try some new places. After a week and a half of being in bed, it was time to get out and get moving again. I decided it was time for a stroll along the beach in San Clemente, and enlisted my parents to accompany me. After our three mile walk, or more precisely, stroll, we definitely had worked up an appetite. We made our way across the freeway, to Humphry's Sandwiches.

Humphry's is situated right across the street from San Clemente High School, in the Albertson's anchored shopping center. They have been around for coming up on eight years now, and are owned by former San Clemente High School graduates, Tim and Nicole Humphry.

Arriving here a little before noon on a Friday, I was a little nervous that the place would be overrun with obnoxious high school students on their lunch hour, but when we walked in the door we pretty much had the run of the restaurant, but it became quite busy as our visit went along. The inside of the restaurant was clean and comfortable. Ordering is done at the register, you are given a number, and the food is brought out to you. I was a little surprised to see that they have a bar here, and they seem to specialize in craft beer, which we saw more than a few people enjoying at this early hour. No judgments, I also needed a drink after being with my parents for a few hours. Kidding.

The menu at Humphry's was bigger than I imagined it would be. Predictably, it is sandwich-focused, but they also feature a good selection of salads, burgers, hot dogs, and a breakfast burrito which I hear some good things about. Prices hover around the ten dollar mark, with nothing eclipsing that price point. Enough talk, let's check out the food at Humphry's.



As my dad has gotten older, he's getting a little less predictable when it comes to guessing what he will order at restaurants. I thought for sure that the Reuben would be his choice here, but he threw me a curveball by getting this Frisco Burger ($9.95) instead. Good choice. This half-pound burger came with lettuce, tomato, swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing on a sourdough cheese bread. Way better than the version I get frequently at Marie Calendars. This was not as greasy, had a good amount of thousand island dressing on it, and the beef patty was seasoned nicely. Very rare to find a sandwich shop that does burgers well.



Not really the most photogenic of sandwiches, but my mom was very pleased with this Half Chicken Salad Sandwich ($5.95). She had wanted this sandwich on wheat bread, but the girl at the counter told her they did not have wheat and steered her towards the squaw instead. No worries, my mom went with the flow and ended up really enjoying this chicken salad sandwich, with light mayo. My mom claimed that this chicken salad was fresh, and had a good flavor to it. She loved the fact that you could get a half sandwich at Humphry's, which was great for light eaters like herself.



Before coming to Humphry's I did a little research about what the most popular items on their menu were, and two kept coming up, the meatloaf sandwich and the one that I ultimately got, The Rachel ($9.95). For those of you that are not aware, a Rachel sandwich is a Rueben, but instead of sauerkraut, it employs the use of coleslaw along with sliced pastrami, swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing. This sandwich was pretty awesome. It utilized the same parmesan grilled sourdough bread that came on my dad's Frisco burger, and the inside of this sandwich was excellent as well. Plenty of coleslaw and thousand island dressing kept me interested throughout the short life of this sandwich. The pastrami was sliced nicely, and they included plenty of it on here. A very well balanced sandwich, and one that I can see myself getting again. I also wanted to make note of the chips here, which reminded me a lot of Kettle Brand chips. They had a good crunch and went well with the sandwich.

When I was driving home from San Clemente, I could not help but feel a little touch of jealousy that the people of San Clemente have this great sandwich shop so close by to enjoy whenever they want. I was pretty impressed with Humphry's. The Rachel and the Frisco burger have got me excited to try their meatloaf, cheeseburger, and their famous BLT, which features eight pieces of bacon, on future visits to this sandwich shop. Prices seemed to fall in line with the portion sizes that you get here. Service was fine on this visit. Glad I finally got out and about, but even more excited by the sandwiches at Humphry's.

Out of five Tritons, (because that's the mascot of San Clemente High School located across the street, and also the alma mater of the owners of this restaurant), five being best to zero being worst, Humphry's Sandwiches gets 3.5 Tritons.

For more information about Humphry's Sandwiches, head to their website here: https://www.humphryssandwichshop.com/home.html

Monday, February 12, 2018

Playing Tourist at Summer House for Newport Beach Restaurant Week


Summer House
2744 East Coast Highway
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

The first of the year not only brings a more relaxed time at my place of business, but it also brings some much needed time off. Gone are the days of working six days a week, and getting all the overtime that you can handle. The first of the year is the time of the year when I get a chance to breathe. It's also a time of the year I look forward to because it's within these first few weeks of the year that one of my favorite food events take place, Newport Beach Restaurant Week.

Restaurant weeks are pretty exciting to me. There are no coupons to clip, you just have to check out the prix-fixe menus, see something that piques your interest, and go. I usually cross reference my selections with my restaurant wish list. Even though this particular restaurant week was spread over two weeks, we only had one night available to head to Newport to take advantage of this year's restaurant week deals. Darn scheduling and commitments. Anyways, we chose to spend our lone NBRW experience at Summer House in Corona Del Mar.

Summer House has been on my list ever since Edwin Goei, Restaurant Reviewer from the OC Weekly went by and gave their ginger crusted ono a glowing review. Edwin is definitely someone that I trust wholeheartedly when it comes to restaurants in OC, so when I saw that the ono was available on the restaurant week menu, we beelined it to Summer House.

As is the case with most businesses on busy PCH, if you were not looking for it, or if you blinked, you would probably miss Summer House amid the many things that capture your attention driving north on this iconic highway. Summer House occupies the former El Ranchito spot, almost across the street from Sherman Library and Gardens, where PCH intersects with Goldenrod.

Summer House has been here since 2010, which means they must be doing something right to survive in this very competitive restaurant market in this part of town. According to their website, they are a contemporary American restaurant, with a summer vacation home kind of feel to it. I'd say they nailed the vibe they were going for. Even though tables are very close to each other, and the noise on the evening we were there was a little on the loud side, it did kind of feel like we were whisked off on a quick mini-vacay. Since we were at Summer House for restaurant week, it did not take us too long to make our selections off of their $20 three course menu. Let's see how it all worked out for us.



The first course was out pretty quickly and as is our custom while enjoying restaurant week menus, we get different things so we can try each other's choices. Katie went with the Chicken and Vegetable Potstickers ($9.25). These five potstickers came out with an Asian slaw in the middle, a very tiny drizzle of wasabi aioli, and a soy sauce that the menu said had a pineapple tinge to it. The potstickers themselves were nicely done and lacked any discernable grease on them, but more of the wasabi aioli and a more prominent filling would have made these better. I did not really get too much in the way of pineapple in the soy sauce, but soy sauce tends to overpower anyways. I love a Caesar ($4.50), but this one kind of fell flat. It had plenty of squares of parmesan and crunchy croutons, but they needed to have more dressing included on this to keep me interested throughout the life of this salad. Kind of a boring Caesar.


Not on the restaurant week menu, but Katie had heard some good stuff about this Ahi Poke with Wonton Chips ($13.50) and since she is poke fiend, she wanted to give this a try. The fresh ahi tuna is seasoned with sesame seeds and green and red onions and comes with a good amount of sliced avocado. This was an excellent version of poke, clean tasting, not overly seasoned, and went well with the provided avocado and wonton chips. Way better than you can get at most of those build your own poke shops.we frequent way too much.



Entrees were up next, and we might as well start with Katie's pick, the Pesto Chicken Sandwich ($13). This sandwich starts with a grilled chicken breast and then is layered with tomato, lettuce, red onion, mayo, mozzarella cheese, and is finished off with a very well done pesto. Katie did not have anything to say about this sandwich negatively. She threw out adjectives like delicious, good, fresh, and crave-worthy when describing this sandwich. She liked the fries but prefers bigger fries that hold more ketchup.



It's probably their signature dish at Summer House, so it was a no-brainer that I had to give their Ginger Crusted Ono ($21) a spin during restaurant week. This baked Hawaiian ono was incredibly light and the ginger was very subtle, which I appreciated. It came with an orange beurre blanc sauce, which I had wished there was a tad more of so I could have had enjoyed it with the jasmine rice and the red bell peppers. A very light, yet satisfying meal.



Dessert would be our last stop on the restaurant week menu at Summer House, and Katie tried their seasonal offering which was a Lemon Cake ($5). This lemon cake was accompanied by a strawberry garnish and a strawberry sauce drizzled on top of it. I'm not much into lemon anything, and I thought the lemon was a tad too tart here, and the cake could have been moister. I had high hopes for the Chocolate Heaven ($6) that I had ordered, but it was rather pedestrian. The ratio of flourless brownie souffle cake and ice cream was off by quite a bit. I usually don't complain when there's an overabundance of ice cream, but it really made this flourless cake invisible.

Even with a few less than stellar items on this restaurant week visit, I was pretty pleased with our time at Summer House. I got to try their signature dish, along with plenty from the rest of their menu for the affordable price of $20, which basically means we got the starters and the desserts for free. Not too bad. This visit has gotten me excited to come back here and try one of their good looking burgers, or their weekend breakfast, which gets glowing reviews online. Summer House reminded me of a less polished R and D Kitchen, with a more diverse menu. It was definitely beach casual, and a spot where locals like to come for a low-key dinner. Our server Alison was very friendly and took great care of us during our stay. Wish we could have experienced more restaurant week menus during Newport Beach Restaurant Week, but there's always next year. Just have to get through the dreaded holidays first.

Out of five footballs, (because there used to be a reality TV show on ESPNU which featured college football players living in a house before they got drafted, and it was called Summer House), five being best to zero being worst, Summer House gets 3 solid footballs.

For more information about Summer House, head to their website here: http://www.summerhousecdm.com/index.php

Friday, February 9, 2018

Comfortably Satisfied at the Wall in Orange


The Wall
80 Plaza Square
Orange, CA 92868

As amazing as it sounds, I do not think we will ever run out of restaurants to eat at with my parents. As is our custom, we usually meet somewhere in between us, which usually lands us in Tustin, Santa Ana, or as the case on this evening, Orange. Every time we need a meeting place I look for restaurants on Yelp that my food-conservative parents would like. There's always something new to try, and on this visit, we chose to meet at The Wall.

The Wall is located at the northeast corner of the plaza in Orange, right near the Starbucks that is by the Wells Fargo Bank. I seem to remember this being a real girly retail store at one time. The Wall has been opened for coming up on a year and a half now. They get their name in thanks to a wall inside the restaurant that includes over 50 self-serving taps that dispense craft beers, wine, kombucha, and nitro coffees to thirsty patrons.

The men behind The Wall seem to have a unique backstory as to why they opened this place. Both Dan Martinez and Ryan Sauter wanted a place to share their travels and escapades through food and drink. They wanted a restaurant that felt like home, but with food that made guests feel like a citizen of the world while experiencing food and drink like they never have before.  Pretty lofty goals.

Dan has business roots in the family entertainment industry, at such places as Universal Resorts, Disney, and most recently at Palace Entertainment Group, where he was Chief Operating Officer for the company which runs Raging Waters and Castle Park locally, along with a lot more family fun amusements nationally. Ryan has an even more diverse backstory. He's owned a number of businesses including a movie studio in China, helped to co-create a non-profit foundation, Wonderlight, and along with his business partner Dan has recently acquired Splash Kingdom in Redlands and hopes to turn that waterpark around.  As if they are not busy enough, we hear that they are opening a new venue of The Wall in LA, but our server was a little sketchy on those details.

My parents, of course, beat us here and were seated on the patio out in front of the restaurant when we finally arrived. I never did walk into the restaurant, but it appeared to be long and narrow, with just a couple of tables. With the fantastic weather we were having, it was a pleasure sitting outside. Since I follow this restaurant on Instagram, I know that the menu at The Wall changes rather frequently, along with a rotating burger of the month and other specials from time to time. During our visit, Chef Ryan Rainstar had just recently switched the menu over, and I was pretty excited to see what was new. Let's check it out.


Definitely not new, but you do have to try the Belgian Fries ($4) at The Wall. These hand cut, twice fried, sliced potatoes were addictive and made even better with the Garlic Aioli ($.50). I would have liked bigger fries because at the bottom of the basket was a lot of shorter, more secondary fries, but they ended up still tasting great.



Fish and Chips ($10) are usually more of my mom's thing, but my dad beat her to the punch by ordering this first. This two-piece fried fish plate was just the right size for my dad. I think I recall the server saying that they used haddock for this, and then finish it off with a beer batter. The result was a nicely done fish which had a nice crunch to it, and then exposed the flaky fish underneath. A very light fried fish according to my dad. The menu says that this was to come with tartar sauce, but it appeared to be accompanied by a chipotle aioli and ketchup, which got no complaints from my dad. The fries were just as good as the ones we had earlier.



Out of the four of us, Katie probably got what owners Dan and Ryan had envisioned when they helped create the menu at The Wall. They wanted customers to share small plates that were inspired by their travels around the world. It's easy to assume that these Sticky Belly Bao ($8) was inspired by Ryan's stint in China. They fill a bao with gochujang-cola marinated pork belly, cucumbers, and shredded carrots. Katie thought these baos were fine, but nothing really made them stand out when I asked her about these a few weeks later. She claims that she'd get something else on her next visit. She did brighten up a bit when I asked her about the other item she had on that evening, the Polenta Fritta ($5). I'm not sure what inspired this starter, but Katie liked this unique way of having polenta. The suggestion was to dip the polenta in the provided chimichurri sauce, but I liked it better with the garlic aioli. The polenta was grease free, and had a nice crunch on the outside of it.


My mom is not a big eater, so this order of Chicken Wings ($8) was just the right size for her. You have your choice as to what kind of sauce you want your six wings with; a Creole dry rub, Coca-Cola caramel, or the gochujang that my mom selected. The sauce was sweet, yet savory, with a small tinge of spice that did not really overwhelm my mom's non-spicy pallette. The wings had plenty of meat on them for her, and she left here very happy with her meal.



Small appetizers are not really my thing, so I searched the menu for something a little heftier. I went with their burger of the month, the Happy New Beer Burger ($12). This burger featured an Angus patty, with onion strings, lettuce, tomato, and a house-made beer cheese sauce. I'm not one that usually likes cheese sauces, but this one worked here. The consistency was more like a melted cheese sauce, and it went well with the well-seasoned burger. The bun was nice and soft, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this burger. This burger proves that it's definitely worthwhile to pay attention to their burger of the month.

Dessert was not in the cards for us on this evening, but they do get a lot of press for their Choco-taco, but that'll have to wait for our next visit. The Wall is, of course, a haven for beer lovers, but there are some good options here as far as the food goes. I'd like to see a little more variety as far as bigger plates go, but they seem committed to the share plate concept. Prices seem pretty fair, but with such small portions, you might have to order more than one thing to get totally full. Service was stellar on this early evening, as our server made sure we had everything we needed throughout our stay. The Wall is a good option for visitors to Downtown Orange, and for us, who wanted a good meeting place between my parent's house in North OC and ours in South OC.

Out of five vinyl records, (of course because of Pink Floyd's iconic 1979 album, The Wall), five being best to zero being worst, The Wall gets 3 vinyl records.

For more information about The Wall, head to their website here: http://thewallrestaurant.com/