It’s been quite some time since I last visit Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge for one of its theater menus. This week, I have tickets to Book of Mormon and I am dining with friends before the show. We have no idea the spring/summer menu has just rolled out and there are many dishes reflecting the new season. A myriad of dishes have also been gathered from the a la carte menu for the Book of Mormon theater prix fixe ($47/3 courses) which runs until Sunday April 3rd, 2016.
There is always a choice of two dishes for each course, and tonight is no different. The first course includes one of Chef Ross Pangilinan’s fabulous soups. Baptize Me features a puree of carrots and ginger with a drizzle of gremolata oil, with crispy fried shallots and fennel fronds. It is also vegetarian.
Orlando is a delicious poached shrimp paired with a tropical fruit salad comprising diced mangoes, dragon fruit, with little dollops of avocado cream. The pickled onions are kissed with cumin and the light citrus dressing is refreshing, bringing the whole dish together.
The main course selections are impressive as well. I am Africa is succulent braised lamb shank on a bed of Moroccan couscous dotted with bits of apricot. The dish is seasoned with ras el hanout, a North African spice blend consisting around 12 or more spices including cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and more. Roasted vegetables of baby courgettes and yellow squash are tender.
I don’t usually like cooked salmon, however, Tomorrow is Latter Day is a delicate Wild Isle Salmon, prepared to absolute perfection accompanied by forest mushroom risotto and asparagus. Fork tender fish pairs smashingly with the creamy risotto perfumed with the aromas of mushrooms. It is one of the best salmon dishes I have eaten in a long time.
Dessert isn’t anything I’m usually excited about, especially not tiramisu. My first bite of Spooky Mormon Hell Dream is heavenly. The lady finger biscuits are soaked in an espresso and Bailey’s Irish Cream concoction and layered with mascarpone and chocolate cake. The dusting of rich, dark chocolate powder on top steals the limelight with its robust cocoa flavors and slight hint of bitterness.
I Am Here For You is a trio of house-made ice cream with a crispy house-made biscuit. I love ice cream and really enjoy eating it together with the tiramisu. For some reason, the two work very well together.
Chef Ross has done it again with this new menu. If you’re planning to be at Segerstrom Center For The Arts, make sure you dine at Leatherby’s Café Rouge before the show. The menu is always creative, with options for everyone, including vegetarians. You will not be disappointed!
Leatherby’s Café Rouge
615 Town Center Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Tel 714- 429-7640