I’d never been to the old Landmark Steakhouse so when I received an invitation to try the menu at the newly re-launched Landmark, I was intrigued. The restaurant is modern, but comfortable with chic dining rooms and a more casual, and colorful patio area for dining al fresco.
They weren’t kidding when they said we’d be dining at the Chef’s Table. We were shuttled into the kitchen at a table where we were able to watch everything Chef Travis Flood and his team were preparing for us that evening.
A graduate of California Culinary Academy, Chef Travis’ experience includes working with Laurent Gris at his San Francisco restaurant Fifth Floor and is also a huge advocate of the local/sustainable movement.
** please note, photos depict a tasting size portion while prices listed are off the menu **
We started with a bread basket of pretzel roll and a whole wheat bread served with whipped honey butter, all of which are made in-house. I particularly enjoyed the whole wheat bread with a smear of the honey butter.
Our first dish was a selection of bite sized items from the menu to start.
A Hawaiian staple, Poke ($16) here consists of ahi tuna, cucumber, avocado, pickled ginger, wakame, ponzu and served with taro chips. We were treated to a bite of this delicious raw fish on a taro chip, the perfect accompaniment to poke.
Roasted Beets ($13) are a must on any current menu with these beautiful root vegetables still in season and sweet as sugar. Speck, tangerine, scallion ash yogurt, arugula and almonds complete this wonderfully refreshing salad.
If you’re in the mood for a burger, then look no further thanThe Landmark ($16) a 6oz dry aged, ground in-house burger on a house-made pretzel bun with charred onion jam, truffle aioli and Hooks four-year white cheddar from Wisconsin. The burger is juicy, flavorful and the onion jam added a touch of smokiness resulting in a really tasty burger.
Next came PCHA (Pacific Coast Hawaiian Atlantic $50/$90) — seafood including Prince Edward Island mussels, clams, lobster tail, Dungeness crab and California caviar. I’m not sure this would be the exact plate you get, but what we got was absolutely stunning and the seafood was allowed to shine on their own without a lot of fussy dressings. Just a touch of extra virgin olive oil, seaweed salad and white sesame seeds complete its composition.
Shaved Garden Vegetables ($13) was so simple, but was full of flavor and color. Vibrant carrots, various beets, zucchini, cucumbers, were all sliced paper thin and tossed together with broccoli rabe florets in a toasted caraway vinaigrette. It was genius and I knew right away I would steal this concoction to serve at home.
When I saw Sweet Pepper and Onion Soup ($13) I was so excited because I love onion soup, but it wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. Instead, onions rings, basil and paprika are presented in a bowl and a sweet pepper soup poured tableside ensuring the onion rings remained crispy on the outside and the onions possessing a crunch on the inside.
Pacific Yellowtail (normally Lingcod on the menu $29) was prepared exactly the same way as the lingcod with roasted tomato, fennel, artichoke puree, grilled bread and a sauce which embodied the taste of bouillabaisse, filled with umami and the aromas and flavors of the ocean.
A small portion of the French fries and house-made ketchup was also brought out for us to try. These fries resembled yuca fries and were thicker than normal fries or chips. The exterior is very crispy with a moist interior. As for the ketchup — and I really dislike ketchup — I loved it! It wasn’t sweet and had a little kick to it. I wouldn’t mind a jar of this thank you very much!!
When the next dish arrived, I was thankful we weren’t presented with an entire steak, but rather, just a small portion of the Paso Prime Grass Fed Dry Aged Beef: Rib Eye (regularly 10oz for $55). Served with a brown butter potato puree, tater tots, and vegetables with a horseradish beef jus, I couldn’t get enough of the meaty, rich jus. I noticed there wasn’t a tater tot and chef said it was because I was complaining about how full I was.
Of course, chef then quickly whisked out a tater tot for us to try. It was so crispy on the outside and melty soft on the inside. Yeah, this was well worth risking a severe stomach ache for.
But then, we started chatting about these lobster croquettes we had heard about and what happens? A lobster croquette miraculously appears in front of us. Oh dear lord! I could only manage a bite of this creamy, gooey, cheesy deliciousness with bits of lobster dotted inside. ($12/5pcs)
Of course, there was still dessert to come, but since I’m not a huge fan of desserts, I took a bite or two and pushed the plate back. I liked the Chocolate ($9) a slice of black magic cake served a rich, decadent dark chocolate coffee ice cream with smoked white chocolate caramel and roasted peanut praline crumbs. Being the ice cream fiend that I am, I polished it all off.
Lemon ($9) was a pistachio crepe mille, layers of crepe formed to resemble a cake with a mouth watering tart Meyer lemon custard served with a scoop of burnt honey ice cream. Take a guess what I devoured off the plate — yep, the ice cream, but also, the custard was quite addicting.
If you’re looking for a place for dinner this weekend, definitely check out Landmark. The restaurant is also nice enough to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.
This week, Landmark has a $25 giftcard for one of my readers to win. Just leave me a comment with your FULL name for a chance. You have until Sunday to get your comments in.
3520 E Coast Hwy
Corona del Mar, CA 92625