A CORONA DEL MAR STAPLE FOR STEAKS & MORE!
A bit of a stranger to the world of Orange County, Newport Beach to be exact, I was thrilled to discover The Bungalow in Corona del Mar—just minutes away from trendy Fashion Island. Located along busy East Coast Highway, step inside The Bungalow and you’ll instantly be taken by its charming craftsman style interior filled with rich tone, dark wood and private booths.
This place has an old school swagger that I really like. The bar, which stays open until midnight, makes stiff drinks and has the vibe of a place you wouldn’t mind staying for hours on end—having potent cocktails alongside some terrific bar fare.
During our recent visit for dinner, we dined in the cozy and elegant dining room, starting our night with a no-nonsense Bleu Cheese Martini made with Stoli Elite Vodka, shaken and served with bleu cheese olives. If this doesn’t get the party started, nothing will.
We began with the sumptuous Scallops, served with wild mushroom risotto, tomato and fava bean ragout. The scallops were clean, light and fresh, and paired nicely with a glass of white wine.
We also split a classic Caesar Salad, prepared with chilled hearts of romaine, wedge crostini, and shaved Manchego. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to Caesar Salads, always critical of them, and this was a capable and hearty one, again paired nicely with a glass of white wine—a welcome relief after the stiff martini.
Moving onto our entrees, I was pleased to find another menu item I often have a hard time resisting, Miso Marinated Chilean Sea Bass. And The Bungalow’s came with coconut rice, stir-fried vegetables, and lemongrass ginger beurre blanc. This succulent dish, so light and flavorful, just went perfectly well with a glass of white wine; think Roth’s Sauvignon Blanc from Alexander Valley in Sonoma County.
We also opted to share the Prime Filet Mignon, prepared Oscar style with King crab meat. This savory 9oz steak was served with mashed potatoes and a light demi-glace (a rich brown sauce in French cuisine). If you’re looking for a glass of red to pair, you can’t go wrong with the Russian River Pinot Noir or the Saldo Zinfandel from California.
Do get the hearty Truffle Mac and Cheese as a side dish. Share it and indulge in its divine, decadent deliciousness. This is a comfort food staple done right. So filling, yes, but so tasty. It’s exactly what you need when dining on fine American fare that just gets it right on so many levels.
Save room for dessert and get the rich Chocolate Truffle Cake. You can see we went BIG with our night out in OC—truffle galore; enticing entrees (simply superb); and fine wine for an unforgettable meal.
The Bungalow, aptly beloved for its USDA prime steaks (everything from filet mignon to a bone in rib eye), fresh seafood and handcrafted cocktails, is the perfect setting for a relaxed yet chic dining experience. The restaurant is bigger than you’d expect, with impress outdoor patio and separate dining room downstairs. Worth a visit as a getaway from L.A., and if you’re from Orange County, then it just needs to be a familiar haunt.
The Bungalow is located at 2441 East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. Call 949-673-6585.
By: Jose Martinez.
Some photography courtesy of: The Bungalow