Lunch with mom would be a treat even at McDonald's. Mom though, likes a dining adventure and will try anything. In particular she enjoys Asian cuisine. That's a good thing since Orange county has a large Asian population in the Garden Grove area. Little Saigon is a chop stick and a jump from her Fountain Valley condo.
Last Sunday we were visiting in her Orange county enclave. Orange county is a homogeneous collection of endlessly repeating strip malls, track housing and iconic examples of urban sprawl, now somewhat superannuated. We went on the hunt just south of Disneyland on Harbor Blvd. for a Thai Restaurant called Thai Tangerine. Directions were to go south and look across the street from the MacDonald's.
We found it. I would never even notice such a nondescript restaurant in the back of a u-shaped strip mall. We dove in to this rather plain restaurant and took a chance. We had a rather pleasant surprise and a pleasant dining experience. The first hint was an ice tea in a tall, attractive glass with a sculpted lemon wedge and ice crushed to a perfect size. The Thais are masters of vegetable carving and this was a good start.
We ordered a summer roll, NY Steak with some mysterious Asian sauce and a Chicken Pad Thai. The ice tea was a good harbinger. All dishes were nicely presented, had good clean flavors and was evidence of a caring talent in the kitchen. Plus the company was great as well.
Chef Michael Hutchings