There is a restaurant I had been wanting to check out for a while that opened up close to my home in the Kaleidoscope Shopping center in Mission Viejo. Anchor Hitch arrived this past June and was introduced as the first restaurant to open in the Union Market. It was known as a contemporary seafood restaurant. Whenever we have a new restaurant arrive to the city of Mission Viejo, we get very excited because truth be told, we really do not have that many unique restaurants in our community.
When we arrived at Anchor Hitch I had a good vibe and it was an open and airy atmosphere with a great setup. The décor was beautiful and I loved the art on the walls and even the setup of the bar. We got a table next to the window so we could enjoy what was left of the daylight.
As we were seated, we mulled over the menu and we could see we were in for a special treat! 🙂 I had heard that Anchor Hitch uses only the finest ingredients in its handcrafted Seafood and Raw Bar creations and that most dishes were family style, so my hubby and I set out to see which dishes we would agree on. We definitely have different taste so we decided to get an interesting variety.
To start our meal, we took advantage of the happy hour menu that happens daily until 6pm. We had arrived at 5:30, so we were in perfect time.
Although I am not an oyster fan, my hubby certainly is and so he decided to partake in their three specialty oysters for only $6! These oysters were 1) Crispy Pesto prepared with cabbage, pesto, sundried tomatoes, prosciutto, and a light sprinkling of panko breadcrumbs, 2) Rockafellas – made with creamed spinach, parmesan, mushrooms, tomatoes, and ikura, and 3) Cilantro Lime (my hubby’s favorite) – prepared with garlic butter scallions, cilantro and jalapeno vinaigrette. He was very happy with these oysters and while I contemplated trying one, I chickened out. It is a consistency issue for me, but my husband was ranting about how delicious these oysters were! These are a definite must try for any oyster lover and they are such a great deal during happy hour as well! On the regular menu, they are $4 each, so happy hour makes them half price!
To start our meal, I opted for the Apple Martini, as they had just run out of one ingredient necessary for the Parsnip Pearade…I will have to try that one next time. The Apple Martini was delicious and the presentation was beautiful! There were fresh cut apples set delicately above a lovely blend of whiskey, Granny Smith Apple Juice, lemon juice, and apple bitters! I would definitely order this drink again.
My hubby got The Patsy Beer, which was a stout with 6.6% alcohol prepared by Barley Forge Brewing Company locally in Costa Mesa! Something I loved about their local crafted beers menu is that they all come from local breweries throughout SoCal! 🙂
Next I ordered the Lobster Cobb Salad that was made with lobster, bacon, boiled eggs, avocado, hearts of romaine, red seedless grapes and feta cheese. This was heaven in a bowl and it was a very large size. I enjoyed this salad thoroughly and even shared a little bit with my husband. This dish had a great blend of flavors and we finished off every last bite.
My hubby opted for the Charred Tako as his appetizer as octopus is one of his favorites! The presentation for this dish was well executed…I honestly must say, all of Chef Michael Pham’s dishes were beautiful! Charred Tako had a braised octopus, chorizo, house chile verde, yam puree and yam crisps. I do not even eat octopus and I decided to try a bite. He loved this dish.
Before the main courses, my hubby decided to order a second Patsy beer, while I ordered a glass of the Hoopla Cabernet from Napa Valley, California. This was a nice bold cab from a winery I had never heard of and I was pleasantly surprised. This red went well with our next 2 dishes!
Next we ordered the Cajun Seared Albacore, as seared ahi is one of my personal favorites and the sauce with this dish…. OMG!! This dish was a grilled wild caught albacore with roasted asparagus and mushrooms, garlic cream and a sweet ponzu dressing! Chef Michael Pham definitely knows how to have perfect presentation of all of his food! I was literally obsessed with the garlic cream and sweet ponzu sauce combination. I never would have thought a creamy sauce would go well with ahi, but it was so delicious! 🙂
The last main course item we ordered was the Tom Yum Agnoletti. This dish was a special one for the chef because this was the dish he created for his final when he was in cooking school and it is the one dish that he always keeps on the menu. This dish is a shrimp stuffed ravioli with tom yum cream, sesame seeds, scallions, and sautéed mushrooms. This dish exhibited an Italian Asian infusion and it was done very well! I was so full by the time this dish arrived, but I still managed to completely devour and finish my portion.
For dessert we selected the Blueberry Beignets that are served with a caramel bread pudding & a side of Dulce de Leche ice cream. There was blueberry syrup drizzled on the donuts and the combination of the flavors was perfect! Even if you are full, at the end of the meal make sure to order this dessert. There are 2 dessert options and they are told to you verbally at the end of the meal and they are not listed on the menu. This dessert is sure to impress!
Lastly, your bill at the end of the meal comes in an adorable box with an octopus on the front. This really was a nice touch! Have you been in to Anchor Hitch? If you have not had the chance to do so, I hope you are able to make it in there soon! 🙂 Please leave your thoughts about this restaurant in the comments section below.
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