Food Porn Friday | Chapter One the Modern Local | DTSA

Friday, March 29, 2013


As much as I am a fan of happy hour (especially on Fridays, who’s with me???) I am hardly an aficionado of happy hour’s cheap eats. NEVER, I repeat NEVER a valid indication of the restaurant’s main menu, to truly get a taste of the cuisine, I always dine during regular hours so I know the food is fresh and the ingredients focused. When did fried batter become a food group anyhow, right? 

I’ve dined at Chapter One the Modern Local in downtown Santa Ana on many occasions, but sad to say it wasn’t until celebrating my darling Daena’s birthday that I was able to truly become a fan. 

Here’s why:

Potato Pear (above): pear-shaped, rice potato stuffed with duxelle, panko crusted, served with wild mushroom Marsala cream sauce. Light and fluffy panko coat creates a strong armor to shield the mushy center. Love the play on textures here with crunchy and chewy, earthy and refined. You’ll be a converted fan after just one bite!

Heirloom & Buffalo Caprese with local heirloom tomato, buffalo mozzarella, fennel, basil, prosciutto, garlic basil oil, balsamic reduction, and parmesan crostini. Loveloveloved the cheese and balsamic mix. Moist and fluffy, the mozzarella was teeming with flavor profiles from every which direction. Pungent parmesan and mild mozz is my NEW favorite mix! Love it when I’m surprised by a once familiar dish.

Etouffee Fries with spicy Cajun roux, lime, cilantro, peppers, smothered over our house fries. If you like jambalaya and gumbo, you’ll love this robust roux spread. Next time I’d order it smothered with fresh cheddar for my Louisiana take on “chili/cheese fries”. Really perfect washed down with an ice-cold beer! Dirty south!

Duck fat fries with fresh herbs, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper and duck fat. When the etouffee variety is simply not enough!

Mac & Cheese with white cheddar, Fontina cheese, smoky bacon & caramelized onion relish, toasted panko, truffle oil. One of THE BEST Mac & Cheese bowls I’ve had to date! Light and creamy, no visible signs of coagulated cheesy oil (my biggest gripe!) and enough panko crumbs to savor with each bite! Perfectly portioned and that barely-there bacon is the most beautifully subtle touch to add a hint of smokiness to an otherwise rich and milky dish. A+!

Steak Chimichurri: Marinated steak, apple chimichurri sauce, yucca fries. One of my FAVE cuisines is Cuban so gimme a honkin’ plate of fried yucca and I’m SOLD! Tender steak, spicy chimichurri, and crispy carbs- perfect combo!

Grilled House Flatbread with grilled chicken, spinach, caramelized onions, blue cheese béchamel, bacon-infused powder, arugula, bacon relish, and diced red peppers. Totally reminds me of Papa John’s with that bacon-infused powder. You know how the mass-market franchises offer up tons of tasty little condiments to dip and spread over pizzas? Well, Chapter One’s is the upgraded version of that pie. The flatbread has a bit of meat to its bones so don’t order this expecting a crunchy flat crust; a bit doughy but perfect for my palate.

Winter Walnut & Steak Salad with mixed baby greens, marinated steak, pomegranate seeds, walnuts, walnut oil, citrus vinaigrette. I love fresh pom in my salads since a little morsel goes such a long way. Slightly skimpy on the greens, but good enough to get a bite with a group of 12+ girls. 

C1 Escargot with roasted red pepper, thyme & garlic butter sauce with a prosciutto & goat cheese crostini garnish. Not the prettiest plate on the menu but what they lack in presentation they make up for in substance. Akin to a light marinara, the sauce could use a little more depth and lot more kick. When I think 'red sauce' I want it tangy and spicy…a bit mild for what I was expecting. I'd ask for some sriracha...STAT!

Seared Duck Breast with sweet potato waffle, strawberry-ginger Kampot pepper sauce, bourbon maple syrup, balsamic reduction. Isn’t she a beauty??? When’s the last time you had duck with your griddle breakfast? I would never think to pair berries with a savory meat; however duck is the rich man’s answer to chicken and waffles, don’t ya think? Kinda brilliant if you ask me.

227 N. Broadway 
Santa Ana, CA 92701
(714) 352-2225

*Insider’s tip: Located in the heart of downtown Santa Ana (which I’ve blogged about many times before HERE, HERE, and HERE) the kitchen closes at midnight, perfect for late-night munchies with your hipster buddies. Come for dinner stay for the after-party. Their bar goes OFF after 11pm with a mix of hip-house and house heard thumping through the night. If that’s not enough dance party for you, Proof Bar has free cover all night for ladies so you can continue to get your freak on! And it's only 3 doors down, how's that for an action-packed Friday night?!?*

Thanks for reading!
Hope everyone enjoys a long holiday weekend! 
Bon appétit mes amis!

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5 comments

  1. I am definitely intrigued by the potato pear! Everything looks really fantastic - you always eat so well!
    the-creationofbeauty.blogspot.com

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  2. Oh my god! That flatbread, the fries and the steak! I want a bit of all of them! ^^

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  3. I love duck! I have got to check out this place! :)

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  4. Wow I am pretty sure I am drooling right now. Such a tease!!! xo

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  5. The meals look really delish

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

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