OC’s Best Tableside Preparations

August 28, 2013 6:00 AM

(credit: The Resort at Pelican Hill)

(credit: The Resort at Pelican Hill)

(credit: The Resort at Pelican Hill)

When you go to a restaurant, especially for the first time, the presentation adds a lot to the dining experience. Some of the best presentations you can experience are when something is prepared right at your table. From a condiment to a salad to one of the best desserts you’ll find, here are some of the best dishes in the county that are prepared at your table.

(credit: Eva's Caribbean Kitchen)

(credit: Eva’s Caribbean Kitchen)

Eva’s Caribbean Kitchen
31732 E. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 499-6311

Dessert is a good thing and there are few desserts better than the bananas flambe at Eva’s. The ice cream and bananas (doused with rum) are brought to the table in separate dishes. The bananas are then set ablaze and stirred until the flame is out. Then the warm bananas are dished on top of the ice cream and the result is about as close to heaven as you can get with a food item.

Related: Best Mojitos In Orange County

(credit: Park Avenue steak And Chops)

(credit: Park Avenue steak And Chops)

Park Avenue Steak and Chops
11200 Beach Blvd.
Stanton, CA 90860
(714) 901-44000

A spinach salad, when done well, is one of the greatest simple dishes you can have. The spinach salad at Park Avenue is prepared at the table with fresh spinach and pepper bacon. It is then topped with a warm apple cider vinaigrette. Even if you regularly prepare spinach salads at home, you probably wouldn’t prepare it like this…at least not until after you’ve had this delightful dish at Park Avenue.

(credit: El Cholo)

(credit: El Cholo)

El Cholo
Multiple Locations

Lots of places offer guacamole that is made at your table. At El Cholo, it’s basically like you’re preparing your own guacamole without having to do any cutting. The ingredients are brought to your table and you tell the waiter how much of each ingredient you’d like in your guacamole. It’s not only a charming presentation, but also a way to ensure that you won’t have any complaints about the guacamole.

(credit: The Resort at Pelican Hill)

(credit: The Resort at Pelican Hill)

Andrea at Pelican Hill
22701 S. Pelican Hill Road
Newport Coast, CA 92657
(949) 467-6800

When you think about food that is prepared at your table, risotto is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. If the risotto is ordered by two or more people at Andrea, the final preparations are done at the table. Namely, the risotto is served in a wheel of Parmesan cheese imported from Italy to give it an irresistible flavor and texture. Additional ingredients in this dish (porcini mushrooms, asparagus) change with the seasons.

La Cave
1695 Irvine Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
(949) 646-7944

You have to do something really well or different if you want to stay in business for more than 50 years as La Cave has. As a steakhouse, it’s not surprising that La Cave does steak right. Certainly, this place does something different by allowing you to choose the steak you want cooked for yourself. Also, if you order the Dover sole, you can see it filleted right at your table.

Related: Best Indie Rock Venues In Orange County

Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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