I had JUST gotten used to the lovely bites at Sorrento Grille’s happy hour menu and enjoying them when I heard it was closing its doors. I pouted and felt despondent for a little while until a little birdie told me that Chef Ryan Adams decided to take over the spot and launch his own restaurant.
My wait for this spot to start serving is over as Three Seventy Common opens its doors today with a menu reflecting all the innovative dishes Chef Ryan was known for at Sorrento and much much more.
I was invited to sample some of the dishes on the menu and while the restaurant looked the same structurally, Chef Ryan has put his own style and personality into the color scheme and decor.The dining room is more spacious and uncluttered while the open kitchen I so love remains.
Before the main menu was brought out, a basket of maple bacon popcorn was placed on the table for us to munch on with our drinks. Three Seventy Common has decided to do away with the bread basket all together and I must say, bravo! I don’t need bread filling me up before my meal and even though I don’t particularly like popcorn — yes sue me — I love bacon and THAT made the popcorn seriously palatable!
And on the topic of drinks, make sure you order one or two of these pretty cocktails prepared expertly by the bartender. It is truly worthwhile! They are delicious!
Before I get into the food, please note the photos are for the tasting sizes and not the full portion, however, the pricing I’ve listed is for the portions on the menu.
We started with Broccolini ($8.50) one of my favorite vegetables. Topped with a fried egg, asiago, crispy prosciutto and a sprinkling of bread crumbs, this dish is right up my alley.
There isn’t a lot of carbs here — if you could the bread crumbs that is — and the various savory components melding together is heavenly. I love salty flavors and here, the asiago and prosciutto were paired perfectly. The textures of crispy, crunchy, soft, gooey all in one mouthful is honestly, what I live for.
Wild Mushroom Bruschetta ($12) was absolutely delectable. A medley of chanterelle, oyster, maitake, shimeiji is sauteed in the most luscious sauce and served with a slice of grilled bread and bitter greens. I am very happy eating the broccolini and this with a cocktail and calling it a night.
However, the night is still young and the next dish of Pork Belly ($12) was very, very good. Generally I’m not a huge fan of it, but here, it was rendered just enough so it was mostly crispy with just a touch of the melty fat to give it the unctuousness it needed.
Arugula and fig with a drizzling of citrus vinaigrette cuts the fattiness of the pork while pistachios adds a lovely crunch. I loved this salad on its own without the pork and wonder if they would make an entree portion if I asked.
The next item was again, something I’m not ordinarily fond of. Salmon ($19) is served with the most perfectly cooked radish and turnip on a bed of sauteed Swiss chard and nicoise butter. My ears always perk up whenever I hear “nicoise” because I know there will be capers and anchovies in there!
Honestly, the last time I had salmon cooked this perfectly was by Peter Find, who is currently the executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. I even added Peter’s recipe in my cookbook because I loved it THAT much. I must say, Chef Ryan blew me away with this one!
I wish I could say I love meatloaf, but having not grown up eating it, this is a tough one for me. My first foray into meatloaf was after moving to the US 13 years ago. I then decided to make my own adding my own twist on it.
Bacon wrapped meatloaf ($20) is probably too traditional for me. I loved the idea of bacon-wrapped anything, but not being a big meatloaf fan I guess this dish wasn’t for me. However, the sauteed spinach, country mash and wild mushroom gravy acoutrements were outstanding. Can I just have those as a side?
Our last savory dish of the evening was Butcher Steak (Cap Rib Steak on the menu) served with chimichurri, braised greens and house-made fries ($29).
By now I was pretty stuffed. I managed two bites of the steak which was nicely seared on the outside and a beautiful medium rare pink on the inside. The chimichurri is a take on the traditional one using only parsley. Here, Chef Ryan used a blend of thyme, mint and marjoram giving it a more aromatic finish.
The dessert was a recipe from Chef Ryan’s grandma. Grandma B’s Chocolate Cake ($6) is served with vanilla ice cream and love — which I thought was super cute, until I found out that the ‘love’ actually refers to the strawberry caramel sauce on the plate.
Regardless where the love comes from, it is quite clear that it is there on the plate in every one of these dishes. The use of locally sourced produce together with sustainable seafood and meat is clearly evident in every bite. Don’t take it from me though, try it out yourself. I know I will return again very soon because I saw bone marrow and foie gras on the menu!
Three Seventy Common
Laguna Beach, CA 92651