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Plugra butter in OC???

I used to buy it from Ralphs but the one closest to my home in Irvine does not carry it anymore. Instead, I am now buying the salted Challenge butter, which is really not bad in my opinion.

Apr 17, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

Review: Marche Moderne

As promised, please find below my review for Marche Moderne. It is a long one but to make it short if you don't feel like reading: We loved it and will recommend it to all our friends.

Now for those interested in the details…

I made the reservation in advance and in person because I wanted to see what the restaurant looked like. I have to say I was unimpressed at this time if only because the hostess kept on calling me “honey” (which, in my opinion, is not classy at all) and did not look interested in my questions. I am not one for first impressions and since everyone here was raving about the food, I decided to go for it and made my reservation for 6.30pm since the restaurant closes at 9.30pm. For a celebratory dinner, I like to have plenty of time.

So, on the fateful day of the reservation, my better half, I and our purchased-in-advance bottle of wine showed up and were promptly and professionally seated on the patio (as requested). I was worried because the weather was gray, rainy and windy but the patio has a removable roof and heaters, so we were quite comfortable and apart from the crowd.

Our waitress was charming and brought us very large glasses for our wine. I have to say that I would like to get the same glasses for home because it does make a huge difference. Especially since we brought a nice bottle of red.

Before even looking at the menu, we decided to order the charcuterie platter so that we could enjoy it while deciding on our dinner. We chose the five items platter. It came with cured ham, a kind of mimolette, chorizo, some pate and saucisson. The cured ham was very good and the home-made pate was very tasty. The rest of the platter was regular in my opinion but still very good. The bread they served with it was excellent and I am a very picky bread lover.

We had plenty of time to choose from the menu but our waitress was evidently watching us because she came shortly after we had both put our menus down.

I picked the duck breast while my SO decided with the tagine. We were both very happy with our choice. My duck was cooked perfectly (rare, yummy…) with mushrooms and a mousseline. It was tasty and very fine on the palate and definitely French in the way it was seasoned (home, sweet home). The tagine was a waltz of colors and tastes, very refined and very unlike what you can get in morocco restaurants. Both plates were elegantly presented. It was certainly not the portion size of a Cheesecake Factory (I heard/read that some complained about the size) but I was full once I was done with my entrée.

We begged our waitress for some time before continuing the meal. A trou normand would have been welcome at this point.

Finally, when we were recovered enough, we decided to go for the cheese and left the choice to the chef, letting the waitress know that we were not adverse to the strongest of cheeses. She came back with some tomme, some chabichou and another one whose name I cannot remember because it was Portuguese and I was not familiar with it. This latter was absolutely perfect and reminded me of a very strong reblochon. But I am not sure that most people can stomach such a strong cheese. We finished our wine with the last bite of Portuguese cheese and at that time, we were purring like kittens. But we were not done because we opted for sharing dessert, the chocolate cake and ice cream.

I know that some people say that the desserts are not as good as the rest of the meal but I was not disappointed if only because I like simple desserts at the end of an elaborate meal. The chocolate cake was excellent (and full of butter I am sure) and the ice cream was absolutely divine.

At the end of the meal, we paid ($170 for two people w/ tip and tax and corkage fee) and went to see the chef to thank him for a very good meal. He was very gracious and pleasant to talk to.

All in one, an excellent experience. I don’t know if it was because it was a weekday but we never felt rushed (we spent almost 3 hours there). One thing I liked (and it may sound trivial to most) is that they took away our plates when we were both done. I hate when the waiter takes away my plate when my lunch/dinner companion is still eating.
I would definitely recommend Marche Moderne and will go back with foodie friends.

Thanks for reading.

Apr 17, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

South Coast Plaza area recs?

Oh, I completely agree. It is a nice restaurant and not a mind blowing experience. But it is conveniently located and not unpleasant.

I don't know if I would like to go to MM before going to an event at the OCPA. Simply because I (this is a personal opinion and I am not saying that it applies to everyone) would not like to feel pressured by time when enjoying dinner there.

Apr 11, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

Ambiance at Marche Moderne?

Unfortunately no. My better half would prefer to see the tasting menu before deciding for it. And since it is made upon request, that is not a possibility. But I am sure I will enjoy the experience nonetheless. Thank you once more for your help.

Apr 11, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

Ambiance at Marche Moderne?

Thank you all for your helpful replies. I have decided to give it a try but I asked for a table on the patio. :)

Apr 10, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

South Coast Plaza area recs?

If you feel like seafood, I would recommend Scott's. I love their seared ahi tuna with soy and wazabi glaze.

Apr 10, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

Ambiance at Marche Moderne?

Hello all,

I was going through the different posts to find a nice restaurant for an anniversary celebration with my better half and decided that Marche Moderne sounded like a nice try. However, I also noted that this is in South Coast Plaza and I am a little bit afraid that the location might not be the best choice for a romantic dinner.

For those who have been there before, do you think that this restaurant might be nice for an intimate dinner?

Also, do they have tasting menus with wine pairing?

Thank you for your help!

Apr 09, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

Epicure Imports

Thanks Liu for sharing your experience. It makes me wish it was April already!

No worry about going there for fun, I have already proposed to a couple of my foodie friends to join us. I think that it will be a great time.

Thanks again!

Feb 25, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

Epicure Imports

Liu,

Thank you so much for all this information! I really look forward to going there.

Feb 25, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

Epicure Imports

Thank you Joe!

Feb 24, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

Epicure Imports

Hello all,

Would you perchance know when the warehouse will be next open to the public? I need to replenish my pantry.

Thanks !

Casualis

Feb 24, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

aocwines.com ?

AOC for wine or food is just a french quality label that guarantees you some level of craftmanship. Buying an AOC bordeau means you're really getting a bordeau. You have AOC wine, AOC cheese, AOC salami...

Edit: Here is a link with some info on the AOC label
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appellat...

I don't think it has anything to do with the restaurant.

Jan 22, 2009
Casualis in Wine

Chicken: Where to you buy it?

I usually buy my chickens at Sprout Farmer Market, the organic ones. They are not bad at all but a little bit pricey.

Jan 21, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

Where to find unrendered duck fat in Irvine ?

Thank you Jaytizzle. I will check those locations.

Jan 20, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

Where to find unrendered duck fat in Irvine ?

Bob,

Thank you for your reply. Maybe I used the wrong words and I apologize for that. I am actually looking for the fat scraps of the duck. That's something that you can easily find in butcher shop in France and I am looking to find it locally

My grandma used to say that fat rendered from a roasted duck/goose did not really taste the same, so i did not really look into this solution. I wanted to use a technique similar to that one: http://www.sugarlaws.com/how-to-rende...

Anyway, I am babbling. Thank you for your help and have a great day !

Jan 20, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area

Where to find unrendered duck fat in Irvine ?

Hello all,

I am new to the Irvine area and I have the little project to cook some duck confit. I have looked online for duck fat and since shipping fees are such a rip-off, I have decided to make my own at home.

Could you please recommend a place where to find unrendered duck (or goose) fat in the Irvine area ?

Thanks for your advice !

Jan 20, 2009
Casualis in Los Angeles Area