Food Porn Friday | The Corner | Huntington Beach

Friday, January 18, 2013


I grew up in Huntington Beach, surf city USA;
Home of tanned/toned bodies, long blonde locks and TONS of new American eateries. I can recall the most scrumptious Mom-and-Pop shops serving up some delicious low-cal, SoCal cuisine of made-to-order deli sandwiches, Cajun-style-broasted chicken, some Chicago-style ribs, and even a general store or two which stocked so much retro candy you’d think time warped back to the 50’s. 

But there, right in the midst of Middletown America stood Li’s Chinese restaurant, replete with its entry façade of dancing green pagodas, fire-breathing dragon statues, and teensy tiny Palm trees so you wouldn’t forget your sense of place. But all that’s changed y’all. Li’s closed down after 47 years of serving Huntington Beach and in its place lies what I believe should have been there all along: The Corner, New AmericanCuisine: Here’s why: 

The HITS: 
Blowtorched Burrata Cheese with French fries and gravy (above)... Umm yeah, you had me at cheese dude. Light and fluffy, perfect with an ice cold beer. Can one really describe fries as fluffy?? Yup, I think so!

Gnocchi “Mac and Cheese” with artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomato, and melted parmesan. I only munch on half a gnocchi to determine its merit onto my discerning taste buds. If it’s beautifully buoyant with a soft, chewy center, I go in for more. If it’s mealy and prone to breakage, I send that baby back through my esophagus like a bulimic after any and all meals. Seriously peeps, have you any idea the amount of calories in just one bite? Like an entire meal for teeny ol’ me, so you best believe I’m only keeping down the stuff that’s worth it. And yes, gnocchi made the cut!

Bacon Wrapped Dates- can’t go wrong with these lovelies. My fave’s that char-grilled crispy skin especially when it’s been torched so evenly. The beauty’s in the burn y’all!

Charcuterie plate with shaved cured meats and cheeses, balsamic mushrooms, pickles, mustard, and grilled French bread. Not enough restaurants serve their charcuterie with pickled veggies, which in my eyes, is a total art. You have to temper the salt with the sugary/vinegary veggies or else you’ll be parched for days. 

Grilled Pears with frisée lettuce, house smoked mozzarella, citrus peel, and pecan vinaigrette. The older I get, the more I appreciate the subtle nuances of simply prepared dishes. What may lack in flavor, can most definitely make up for in sophistication. This dish is totally pared-down (no pun intended) with the disparate items acting together as a whole. Pear? Good. Cheese? Good. Candied pecans? Perfection! 

The MISSES: 
Marinated Bok Choy and Mushroom Salad. Li’s would turn over in his grave if he heard bokchoy was butchered like so. “Marinated” means one thing, “Drenched” another. This veggie was DRENCHED in a creamy soy-based sauce. The mushroom was salty enough, no need for the overkill guys. And next time quarter your quarters, the bokchoy was cut so thick, the sauce crept into so many crevices the salt explosion proved exponential. Not good for something called a “salad.”

House made garlic noodles with Chinese cabbage, Spanish chorizo, and cilantro. They should have called this dish Alfredo pasta with a hint of garlic. I expected something stir-fried and sauce-less. Total overkill with the cream, don’t ya think? Too cheesy, too heavy, and totally mislabeled. 

Mashed potato tacos with cheddar, onion, cilantro, and sriracha. My niece can make this with some instant Idaho spuds and store-bought shells. Are these the types of refined ingredients tapas are trending to?? I sure hope not!

Shaved Fall Vegetables with fennel, parsnip, carrot, radish, wild arugula, crumbled goat cheese, and citrus vinaigrette. I LOVES me some stinky cheese but the goat is so overpowering, the delicate veggie strips get lost and muddled under the grouping. I much rather prefer my veggies chopped and chunky, heartier for a cold winter’s dinner; leave the shavings for the summer menu, man.

Calamari Steak Piccatta with sun dried tomato, bacon bits, and fried bread. From the looks of it, this dish is a total stunner: vibrant color, loads of texture, and composed in a straightforward way. What you can’t tell from the pic is that the calamari was tough and chewy. Not the good/chewy when every bite also elicits a hearty crunch, but bad/chewy when you’re still chewing into your next meal. Minus points for mealy batter that couldn’t even adhere to the protein. A for effort though. Can’t call me a total bitch, right? ;D 

8961 Adams Ave 
Huntington Beach, CA 92646 
714.968.6800 

*Insider's tip: The Corner has an intimate ultralounge vibe, a place where’d you meet friends for Happy Hour or early dinners and stay on through the night to catch the Lakers game over a few cocktails and light apps. Grab a seat by the bar and sample some of the best things to come out of that menu like the “Antioxidant Intoxicant” made with ion vodka, veev acai spirit, cucumber, basil, and mint or their classic Tangerine Gimlet made with fresh muddled tangerine. Both so refreshing, the perfect chaser to wash down all the salty small bites.* 


All in all, the Corner’s packed with gorgeous people, a swanky vibe, and nary a fried rice in sight. All that’s left of Li’s is the gorgeous Chinese goddess hovering high above the patrons, making sure to haunt HB with the memory of something pure, something good, and above all else something (almost) everlasting. Here’s hoping the Corner can earn its keep. 

Bon appétit mes amis! 

Follow HAUTE KHUUTURE 

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13 comments

  1. Holy Cannoli!!!!!!!!! That most definitely is food porn! Yowza!

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  2. the food look so delicious,,,,

    www.kristinateo.blogspot.com

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  3. Oh my God, that all looks so good! You just made me hungry :D ♥ xoxo

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  4. I love food porn,... and anything which runny cheese gets me :)

    Thanks for sharing

    Stylejourneys

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  5. Awesome freakin eats! I'd love a bite of the bacon wrapped dates, mac n cheese and calamari steak!! I love how the food is casual in some ways but can be made to seem fancier yet retaining homey and comfortable flavors and textures! Great post!

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  6. holy moly the food looks AMAZING *o* *stomach growls* CALORIES!!!!

    thanks for the little history on the place too! i've never been to that area! and that picture of the chinese goddess actually looks really cool....indeed, haunting...though hopefully blessing! :D

    alex @ carouselstreet.com

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  7. omg this post just made me so hungry! Drooling at my desk!
    xx
    b

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  8. Those all look amazing!

    Aron
    www.hitherandthither.net

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  9. Awwwww. So sad Li's closed. Mom and Pop shops are disspearing fast.

    We are visiting Huntington Beach next month. Never been to that part of SoCal. Hope we like it.

    Girlie Blog Seattle | Casual Clothes for Less

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  10. OMG , u're making me drool in d middle of the night! im back babe :)
    how do u do ??
    hope everything's awesome for u <3

    xx,
    http://lalainlaland.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Give it to me...gimme that funk, that sweet, that gushy stuff

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