It’s been quite some time since I last visited Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine — too many years in fact. The restaurant has a stellar Happy Hour which runs from 3pm to 6.30pm serving a Small Plates Menu during that time, as well as the full dinner menu should you be wanting to partake in an early dinner.
We begin with a cocktail while we peruse the menus. From the Happy Hour Menu, we select Portobello Steak Fries ($9 HH menu/$11 regular menu) which sees thick wedges of portobello mushrooms coated in panko, and deep fried. Try to eat these as soon as possible as they start losing the crispiness rather quickly due to the high water content of mushrooms. Served with a tartare dipping sauce.
I’m a huge fan of fries, and Pommes Frites ($8) using hand cut Kennebec potatoes are pretty darn good. These fries are tossed in herbs, grana, truffle oil, and served with house-made ketchup.
Fish and Slaw ($11) is white fish coated in a chive tempura batter and served with lemon caper aioli, and a house slaw. Fish and chips lovers will enjoy this immensely. I love malt vinegar as an accompaniment over the aioli, but either way, it is a solid offering. The house slaw is tart and pairs well with the fried fish, cleansing the palate between bits.
On the Small Plates’ menu, the Lamb Lollipops ($18) jump out immediately. These New Zealand lamb chops are prepared to perfection and served with cumin and coriander yogurt, sweet onion jam, and a deliciously tart wild arugula salad. The multitude of flavors on this plate marries together perfectly to create the perfect bite.
Moving on to the dinner menu, I see Wild Boar Chili ($7/$9) and am eager to try. I’m glad I did. The chili is full-bodied and robust in taste. I would definitely order this again!
For our entrees, we choose Hangar Steak ($28) which sees Black Angus hangar steak cooked to your desired temperature, then sliced before serving. The accompanying heirloom tomato carpaccio, feta, kale chips, and grilled Kennebec potatoes are lovely as well. We especially enjoyed the green mojo sauce on the plate.
However, it is the Wild Caught Ling Cod ($27) which blows me away. I hardly ever see ling cod on a menu and wanted to try it. The moist, flaky fish is glazed with red miso and served with steamed basmati rice, spinach, and bell pepper chutney. I loved how light this dish is, yet packed with savory piquancy that whets the palate.
If you are wanting something sweet to round out your meal, definitely order the Fluffy Cinnamon & Sugar Dusted Beignets ($9). This generous portion is perfect for the table, and it is served with seasonal sauces and house-made cinnamon whipped cream.
**Complimentary valet parking during lunch hours, and $6 for dinner patrons.
Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine
2607 Main Street
Irvine, CA 92614