The Recess Room in Fountain Valley is going strong with a stellar menu and a fantastic bar program. Chef Sam Green and his team have now kicked it up another notch by launching a brunch menu that’s bound to please everyone in your party.
Make sure you start with some incredible cocktails such as Cereal Killer ($14) made with cognac, rum, honey, orgeat, sherry, cereal, and infused cream – a perfect flavor profile to kick off your brunch with. It is so indulgent it’ll be difficult to sip slowly.
24-Carrot Diamond ($14) is one of my favorites. Using Altos Blanco tequila as its base, fresh carrot juice adds not only a glorious hue, but also, an element of sweetness to the drink. House-made ginger, lemon, and chili bitters all come together to enhance an already titillating libation.
I am a huge fan of Chicken & Waffles ($16) and here, chicken is seasoned with Shin cup (Korean instant noodle spices) spices and fried to perfection. I would have liked more Shin seasoning on the chicken, but overall, it is well-executed, tender and juicy. The kimchi waffle sounds great on paper, however, it is hard to detect the distinctively flavors of kimchi within the waffles. We especially love the accompanying five-spice syrup, which works nicely with both the chicken and the waffles.
Shrimp & Grits ($14) is a solid dish with creamy grits, surrounded by an umami-filled shrimp bisque, then topped with sautéed shrimp, a runny sous vide egg, and garnished with shaved scallion, fresno chili and micro greens. I love everything about this from the textures, to the flavors, and how it all comes together in perfect harmony.
If you’re wanting a libation to share, try Jolly Rancher ($24) using a cucumber infused Ketel One vodka, strawberry infused tequila, grenadine, lemon, and watermelon syrup. It is a beautiful presentation and a rather fun item to enjoy with your table-mates.
I, on the other hand, am enamored by Peni-Chillin ($8) Ballantines whisky is married with lemon, honey, ginger, and Laphroaig, a single malt Scotch whisky from Islay, off the west coast of Scotland. This whimsical drink is reminiscent of a slushie, and definitely appeals to my love of icy cold beverages.
Moving on, Chilaquiles ($16) is an homage to southern Californian cuisine, but kicked up a notch by the inclusion of confit duck. There is a sunny side up egg, fire roasted corn, pickled red onion, cilantro, and crema, all intertwined between crispy corn tortillas. It is decadent, and a tad heavy for my taste, but may be a good item to share instead of trying to finish its entirety on your own.
If you think you’re ordering Avocado Toast ($14) because you want something light, think again. This is an indulgent version with glorious OC Baking Company’s country bread topped with avocado mash, 63c egg, goat cheese stuffed squash blossom, shaved asparagus, ninja radish, and toasted hemp seed. Its beautiful presentation makes it almost unbearable to cut into. It is a great dish for vegetarians as well as carnivores.
If I had to pick one item that absolutely impressed, it’ll be the Cereal Crusted French Toast ($12). I am never quite sure if sweet options on a menu will appeal to my non-sweet palate, and when they do, I am absolutely tickled. OC Baking Company’s beautiful brioche is covered in Honey Bunches of Oats and Frosted Flakes, and stuffed with blueberry and mascarpone filling. It is then drizzled in hibiscus honey, but the result is not cloying or overly sweet. I eat three bites, which is unheard of when it comes to anything sugary.
Brunch at The Recess Room is currently offered on Sundays from 10.30am to 2.30pm. Reservations are highly recommended.
The Recess Room
18380 Brookhurst St
Fountain Valley, CA 92708