Monday, October 5, 2009

South Coast Plaza Food Extravaganza II: Charlie Palmer & Marche Moderne + Giveaway!

The South Coast Plaza Food Blogger event was well on its way with a great meal at Hamamori and a salt/olive oil/wine tasting at Michael Chiarello's NapaStyle. Now we continue on to Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's for dinner (of course there's another meal that night, don't be silly).
We were first taken to their wine room downstairs, where they showed us their eWineList, supposedly the world's first electronic wine list where the sorting option easily makes all of their $17-$8100 bottles browsable.

Twice a month Charlie Palmer also holds "50 for 50" where 50 wines by the bottle go on sale for 50% off at their Next Vintage wine shop!

They brought down a selection of cocktails from their menu and I opted for the Blood Orange Mojito, which was refreshing and pretty light.
I tried Pleasure Palate's tamarind drink also, but it was too strong for our tastes. After the cocktails, we went to the dining room and had our dinner.

We start with brandade croquettes, followed by three-cheese risotto cake with chorizo aioli (pictured below).
The brandade croquettes were unmemorable, but the risotto cake was quite an interesting dish, the creamy, cheesy risotto is encased in a crispy shell.

Mussels with saffron aioli
Plump and fresh mussels soaked in creamy cheese was a hit at the table.
Next we had Kobe Beef Sliders with a tray of fries.
That's a pretty thick piece of meat there, but open your mouth wide enough and it would still fit. The meat was flavorful and moist, though the burger as a whole was a bit on the dry side. The fries that came with this was quite good though.

Burrata cheese with oven roasted tomatoes and arugula pesto.
This might've been my favorite dish from this meal, even if it seems so simple. But we all know how great a simple dish can be with quality ingredients, and this is the case here.

Seared oven roasted marrow with golden raisins and red onion marmalade.
Decidedly a lot of people's favorite and definitely a heavy duty dish. Even with the golden raisins cutting the fattiness, even a spoonful felt like my arteries are clogging. It's worth it though.

"Ham & Eggs" - tuna ham with truffled eggs.
Tuna ham? Yep, with the looks and smell of prosciutto, this tuna ham from Spain could easily deceive you. On top of truffled eggs this was excellent. I can have this for breakfast any weekend

Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale's
3333 Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 352-2525

At the end of the night we went away with goodie bags. But lucky you, I'm sharing :) Yep, there's a giveaway in this post! Just go to the end of the post to find out more.

Naturally, the night does not end there. We haven't even had dessert! For dessert we were then escorted to Marché Moderne, a restaurant headed by chefs Florent and Amelia Marneau that I knew was a favorite among many OC bloggers. These are what we had for dessert:

1. Pecan & banana mousse tart with caramel - a lovely mousse with a thin crumbly shell. Be careful when picking this up though, the shell can barely hold the heavy mousse filling.
2. Raspberry with meringue
3. Warm beignet with orange creme anglaise - my favorite, for sure. The warm beignet is moist and fluffy, and the creme anglaise has a great fragrance to it.
4. Green tea & apricot macarons- airy and lightly sweet. These macarons aren't as chewy as others I'm used to, but they are delectable nonetheless. Perfect with my cup of mint tea.
I was pretty happy with my dessert experience here, and can't wait to go back for a full meal one of these days.

Marché Moderne
3333 Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 434-7900
Marche Moderne on Urbanspoon

Read E*starLA's report here.

Disclosure: In case it wasn't clear, our meal was indeed comped by South Coast Plaza. And I'm getting these posts out like mad cos even though SCP isn't paying me to blog, they are 'rewarding' those who finish posting fast enough (w/in 72 hours) with a $100 gift certificate.
Oh, and I got a goodie bag from SCP containing a cookie, an access card to the VIP Hospitality suite, tomato sauce, smthg from Kiehl's, etc. I also got a goodie bag from Charlie Palmer w/ a bottle of wine, a wine opener, and a $25 gift certificate.

You're probably hating me right about now, I got to eat all these for free just because I have a stupid blog?
Don't fret, I'm sharing some with you! Yes, you. Well, only one of you, actually.

I will be sending off a $25 gift certificate to Charlie Palmer to one lucky winner!
To win this gc, just comment below with your name, a way to contact you, and tell me 1)if you've eaten at South Coast Plaza and if you have, 2) your favorite South Coast Plaza eatery. Comment before next Sunday 10/11 (midnight). I'll pseudo-randomly pick a winner on Monday. Good luck!



So much food! So fun!

My fave is Hamamori, if only because I haven't really tried much else there.

weezermonkey at gmail


So much food! The tuna ham interests me the most. I've eaten at SCP several times including at McD's (that doesn't count...), Wolfgang Puck, and the Clubhouse. Clubhouse is probably the best out of the three for me, although I did also enjoy my first experience at WP.

eattraveleat at gmail . com


Haha what a smart way to make me come and comment! ^_^

You know where to reach me. Oh goodness... my favorite place... I have to say, no offense... that most places there suck...

Even though Marche Moderne's service is ummm tempermental as well as their Spontanee menu, I do think it is one of the better deals around. I also like Hamamori when I went for the 4 for $40. If Turner New Zealand was still around, they would hands down be my fave! =*( sadly, they are gone. **sniff sniff**


a travesty! pseudo random??

haha jk

mattatouille AT gmail

Daniel S.

It's so fitting that all these new and exciting restos open up after I move from OC to LA =). I used to live very close to South Coast Plaza--it was probably my second home--and my favorite spot was Corner Bakery, although the pickings were slim 5 years ago. There's was also a placed called (I think) the Rowing Club, but I don't think that's there anymore. Great sandwiches and desserts at that place. Great write-up and pics!

dansosa at gmail dot com


Tuna ham? That sounds amazing! I'll need to drag my parents there the next time I've visiting them in the OC.

In the general South Coast Plaza area, my favorite resto is probably Scott's Seafood. Their sea bass is delightful!

My e-mail is dhossfeld at gmail dot com.

TNT Adventures

Great post!! You bloggers really got a nice treat. I am jealous.

I have eaten at quite a few of the South Coast Plaza restaurants. My favorite would definitely have to be Marche Moderne for the $20 spontanee lunch. Can't beat it.

TNT Adventures

Great post!! You bloggers really got a nice treat. I am jealous.

I have eaten at quite a few of the South Coast Plaza restaurants. My favorite would definitely have to be Marche Moderne for the $20 spontanee lunch. Can't beat it.


the mussels have saffron aioli. not cheese sauce. the pesto on the burrata is an arugula pesto. if your going to blog about it, at least read the menu.


Hi aar,

You're right, I only went by what they told us that night and wrote down on my notes since we weren't given a menu, but I should've checked the online menu. Apologies, and thank you.


I have not eaten at South Coast Plaza !!! Looks really good! Love all the pictures in your review!


whoa...I've been missing out with comped stuff lately.

oh well...

one day I'll turn 21 (and finally change my name, ha, ha :)

theglutster at

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