I’ve been wanting to visit Hopscotch for months and months now, but whenever my friends have been, I’ve been busy and I thought I’d never make it here! The Hungry Dogg and I had planned on going to a late lunch this particular day, but the place we were going to wasn’t open, so we ended up here instead.
The decor is unique with a wooden shack feel but staying within a “country” theme. We started off at the bar, had a drink (my fave was A Night in Oaxaca), before we moved down to the dining room to partake on the dinner menu.
Some of our friends joined us and I’m always happy to dine with more people, it just gives me an excuse to order more food. We all contributed to the choices for that evening by each selecting something.
Blue Crab “Tots” ($9) were decent, nicely crunchy on the outside with a soft pea, risotto and mascarpone center. I was a bit confused because I tasted the risotto and mascarpone but barely was able to detect the blue crab.
Austin said the Meatballs ($9) were good from his last visits, but I was not a fan. I had expected Italian style meatballs, but these reminded me of Vietnamese beef balls in texture, something I’m not fond of. Austin did say these tasted different to what he remembered. Parmesan, tomato chutney, bourbon soaked golden raisins and micro basil accompanied, but the sweetness of the raisins were too much for me.
Pork Belly “Butter” Rillettes ($11) was one of my favorites, but who wouldn’t love pork and fat? To top it off, you can add the bacon onion jam to the baguette slices to complete the decadent mouthfeel. Apple lemon salad was a nice palate cleanser in between bites.
I love pig ears so there wasn’t any question whether we were ordering this or not. We ordered it! Crispy Pig Ears ($9) were nicely seasoned with a good crunch and I liked the Mexican-inspired seasonings of red Fresno coulis and lime for the spicy tart finish.
The Grilled Baby Octopus ($12) was a hit and miss at the table. I am bias because I love baby octopus and I enjoyed the plum sake, Thai cucumber relish, cotija, lemon, cilantro combination, although more acid would have been welcomed.
My least favorite item was the Chicken Fried Duck ($16). Some of us found the texture unappealing — I likened it to that of liver — while our friend, a chef, really enjoyed it. When we found out the duck was first sous vide before being fried, I laughed because our chef friend loves to sous vide — me, I don’t like sous vide so much — which explained why he enjoyed this more than we did.
Pan Seared Scallops ($21) were decent, but it was pricey for what you got. Two pieces of scallops with roasted baby vegetables, caramelized onion and butter poached garlic sauce — that’s like $10.50 a piece. Scallops were well cooked which was a plus.
We ended with Fish & Chips ($16), probably the piece de resistence of our meal. Escolar is coated with the lightest batter which almost crumbles in your mouth like “snow”, which is why it is called “snow fried escolar” on the menu. Definitely one of the best items here.
For me, Hopscotch still has a bit of work to do before it becomes a place I’d make the drive for. It is still new, and perhaps through time, its menu will find footing on par with other similar styled restaurants in Orange County.
136 E Commonwealth Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832