An Evening at Park Ave
Scott Mindeaux, Editor
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My monthly foodie dining group met on Saturday to enjoy dining at Park Ave in Stanton. Stanton you asked? Yes, this central Orange County city that isn’t exactly known for its culinary accolades is host to one of the OC’s top restaurants. Nested in the elbow of a trailer park off Beach Blvd is this foodie gem.
Orange Coast Magazine named Park Ave as the Top restaurant in the OC this year in their annual Restaurant edition. Chef/Owner David Slay is no stranger to the restaurant world. He is a third generation restaurateur. The restaurant has a definite retro look that I will call “Brady-esque”. The restaurant looks like the Brady Bunch house and the inside does too. The bar area had these lighting fixtures that looked like something from the sixties (satellite looking fixtures). I want one in my apartment.
When I turned into the parking lot it was still daylight and was excited that I would have good lighting. I walked into the entry and it was pretty dark in the restaurant. They had all the shades drawn and lighting was down to like 25%. I tried to take pictures, but they didn’t looked good, so I apologize that there are no pictures of the food – whatever photos I did take were marginal at best. I will have to return during lunch service to capture the magic at the Park Avenue Restaurant.
We started our evening with a selection of openers. Kennebec Potato Chips with Ranch Dressing, Lobster and Corn Fritters, BLT Whole Wheat Flatbread and a Lobster Mac n Cheese in a spicy cheese sauce. The Kennebec Potato Chips were light and crisp and I loved the Lobster Mac n Cheese, but my favorite of the night were the Lobster and Corn Fritters. It came with a Red Pepper Mayonnaise that I didn’t dip into. There was a streak of red liquid on the plate that was described by the server as “fire”. I took my fritter and slid it against the streak of red and while it was HOT, it was the perfect accompaniment to the fritter. Great lobster and corn ratio. I could have eaten the entire plate. The flatbread was my second favorite. A BLT on flatbread – great flavor. The Lobster Mac n Cheese (you can NEVER have too much lobster…) was creamy and flavorful. The pasta (shells…of course to match the sea and lobsters) though I wish I saw large chunks of lobster in the cheese sauce. Admittedly, it was dark, so I may have missed them.
We took the opportunity to walk around the restaurant. Did you know that Slay has a garden on the property? The property is actually quite large. In the far end of the property he has a garden. Let me re-quote…he has a large garden. Tomatoes, herbs, several varieties of greens – all growing right there ready for him to harvest at anytime. There is also a large outdoor area that he recently got permission to use to add an outdoor patio area. They use this large area for special events. Its a beautiful area. Next to the garden is an old shed that was host to a couple of old cars and tractor. There was also a wooden table that they use for special events. How awesome would it be to have a somewhat secluded dinner in the garden.
Our dinner choices for the evening included:
Grilled Rib Eye Steak Brushed with Herb Butter, Twice Baked Cheddar and Chive Potato
Whole Boneless Chicken Stuffed with Spinach and Whipped Potatoes, Pan Juice Sauce
Texas Antelope Medallions, Pear Risotto, Red Wine Demi
Pan-seared Salmon with a Beurre Blanc over wilted spinach and creamy mashed potatoes
Pasta tossed with vegetables in a light wine sauce
My dish was the Pan-seared Salmon. A nice sized piece of salmon, pan-seared, skin-on. The salmon was cooked well sitting on top of wilted spinach over mashed potatoes. There was a beurre blanc sauce (butter/wine sauce) that didn’t drown the ingredients. I finished my plate in about 10 minutes. I wanted more. Honestly. Ed, Lisa’s husband, had the Grilled Rib Eye and next to him Tim had the Texas antelope. Lisa had the Vegetable Pasta dish and her dad had the boneless whole chicken. Diane had the Warm Spinach Tossed Table Side Pepper Bacon, Warm Herb & Apple Cider Vinaigrette.
We were surprised with a selection of desserts – Fruit Glazed Cheesecake with a Raspberry Sorbet, a Flourless Chocolate Cake and a Warm Butter Cake with Caramel Sauce and Whipped cream for the birthday boy, Ed. I ordered a small cup of the raspberry sorbet. I had a little bit off the cheesecake plate and had to have some all to myself! :)
We had a great time there. I was quite saddened that the pictures that I did take were very dark. I will return and give another report. We had lots of great conversation and fun was had by all.
11200 Beach Blvd.
Stanton, CA 90680