Food Porn Friday | The North Left | DTSA

Friday, June 19, 2015


Happy Friday lovers!!! 
 I’ve been eating up a storm, shooting like a legitimate food blogger, but SO behind on my posts, it's like I'm an amateur, lol! I’ve got some INSANE #FPF posts coming in the next few weeks, pretty much all the heavy hitters that I’ve bookmarked for months, even years! Let’s start with a local favorite in Downtown Santa Ana, shall we?

DTSA is known for its lively fair, farmers markets, and some of the hottest and hippest eateries to surface since Lola Gaspar started the scene in 2008. Much of the cuisine has been reinvigorated with the opening of 4th street market’s cafeteria style dining (first blogged about HERE), Jason Quinn’s Playground 2.0 (seen HERE) but when the Crosby abruptly closed down due to street violence and the now infamous involuntary manslaughter case (Google it if you must) I was heartbroken knowing that one of my go-to restaurant/bars was now defunct.

Enter The North Left, Chef Aron Habiger’s reemerging art and culinary adventures in the space the former Crosby used to occupy. Same space, same chef, what’s new you ask???

Why, EVERYTHING my loves. From the dishes to the details, it’s Aron 2.0, a sophisticated swankier version of the superstar and I’m soooo glad he’s back!

Here’s what’s on the menu today:
Kale Salad with beets, quinoa, goat cheese, cranberries, horseradish vinaigrette

Summer in a bowl! Love the mix of my 2 favorite veggies: Kale+Beet= #winning
Cauliflower with sour goat cheese, garbanzo, dill, yuzu, raisin vin, harissa.

Not the most appetizing dish on the menu but EASILY one of the BEST! Majority of the table ruled that this was their #1 dish of the night. The beautifully charred cauliflower was tender, the spread simply divine, and everything just melded together with such a sophisticated flavor combination. MUST GET!
Poutine fries with short rib, cheese, pickled red onion, egg

I've had quite a few poutines in my life and while theirs is quite tasty, there's nothing novel about it in my book. A little (North) left of what I'd expect on their unconventional menu. Just ok.
Brussel Sprouts with San Joaquin Gold and Hazelnut
Sooooo friggin delish! 
 You almost lose the veggies under this mountain of cheese but who cares?!! 
It's friggin SNOWING cheese! Just died and went to nutty cowgirl heaven.

Steel Cut Risotto with oats, wood ear mushroom, manchego, mushrooms, chives, nasturtium, pea tendrils.
This dish, while very fresh and simple looking, is just brilliant. 
 The oats and risotto have a very similar porridgy texture so they blend beautifully, why didn't I think of that?! The mushrooms give it a bit of bite since the dish lacks protein. One of my personal faves, I could eat this for breakfast every morning with a soft boiled egg.

Fries with house ketchup and green garlic aioli

Beef Tataki with shallots and mustard seeds
While the rare, uncooked beef might scare some of you off, I LOVES me some bloody carcass! Duck blood, pig blood, tai with my Vietnamese pho, I eat it all! Lol...It's just such a pretty dish with amazing color, just begging to be devoured!

Red Snapper with lemongrass, rosemary, dashi, romaine lettuce.
Chef Aron said he visited this vegetarian restaurant in Bolsa (Bo De) and was inspired by one of their soups for this creation. If you're Vietnamese/ Chinese it tastes EXACTLY like soy-sauce steamed fish your parents order at the end of every 10-course meal. The broth is so spot on, you'd think you were dining at Newport Seafood instead of Downtown Santa Ana. Great way to introduce Asian flavors to the menu.

Steak with roasted potato, green beans, shallots, herb compound butter, parsley pesto, radish.
The pesto is clearly the star here and every piece of steak deserves to be sopped up by the sauce. Such a fresh approach to a dish that is normally very hearty and heavy. I'm a fan!

Trout with potato, escarole, capers, mushroom, lemon vin.
We all thought this was the saltiest dish on the menu. 
 Looks beautiful but I'd pass on this one based on taste alone.

Desserts by Chef Aron! 
Quite the spread...the girls were VERY happy :D


And of course, can't leave the party without a round of Shots! Shots! Shots! 

400 N. Broadway Santa Ana, CA 92701 
(714) 543-3543 

*Insider's tip: The dark and romantic interior is really perfect for date night. Or if you're like me, perfect for a ballz to the wallz/ crazy party of 15/ Girl's Night Out like how my posse DO! lol Just a fabulous spot to chill, hang with friends, eat bomb food, relax and unwind after a hard week at work. Go NOW and please let Aron know I sent ya!* 

Bon Appétit mes amis!

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4 comments

  1. This food looks really amazing!
    http://foodfashionandflow.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wows!!! all looks very good. I'm hungry, now what? :-)
    KSS
    New post :

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ahhh! Those nuggets, the poutine and the steak and kale/beetroot salad! The food looked so succulent and delicious!

    ReplyDelete

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