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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

Chef Oge Dalken Brings Glamour to Bar Food at The Slidebar

We attended as a guest of The Slidebar
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Downtown Fullerton is a well-established area full of bars, restaurants, and music and The Slidebar is an integral part of that scene. With an atmosphere that celebrates rock n’ roll, a stage for popular local and touring bands in back, a spacious open bar area in the front with TV screens for viewing sporting events, and now a recently added outdoor patio area that feels like someone’s funky backyard in the city, it’s a fun energetic place for a casual afternoon or evening out.

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Last week my sister, Shan and I headed up to try out some of their latest dishes. I love being outside, so when we arrived and were asked to sit wherever we wanted in the outdoor patio area I was thrilled. The grounds were lined with casual wood high tops with metal stools and a few garden tables sprinkled in. These combined with the large round bulb garden lights strung overhead and mini airstream trailer in the front gave it an industrial urban feel.

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The dishes on our tasting menu were all part of Chef Olg Dalken’s new offerings and it’s clear he is ambitious and striving to create fun new fare that elevates their food beyond the usual you find in bars. His menu incorporates locally grown and sourced, responsibly raised, and hormone free ingredients as a starting points to building creations as bold and packed with attitude as you see in this picture of him!

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So what was on the menu? Well to start seared sesame encrusted Ahi Sliders served with Asian slaw, pickled ginger and wasabi mayo. I always love Ahi think this was my favorite dish of the evening. Tuna was just seared and still cool in the middle with the slaw adding a nice crunchy texture. It was paired with Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp Belgian IPA a fruity, spicy ale with a hint of clove and no hoppy bitterness.

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Next was the Coney Dog all beef hot dog topped with Coney Island chili, tobacco onions and mustard. I am not a hot dog fan at all, but if you are, you’ll enjoy this. The hotdogs snapped when we bit into them and my sister tells me that’s a good thing. For a self-confessed hot dog hater, I even thought this was good and I loved the presentation. It was served with Ninkes Tricerahops Double IPA which is somewhat creamy with a hoppy bitterness. If you’re a fan of hops, this one’s for you.

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What bar menu is complete without Mac N’ Cheese? Chef Dalken’s is made with a rich blend of cheddar and fontina cheese and mixed bacon relish topped with truffle oil. It’s served in a cute jelly jar and topped with toasted parmesan cheese panko bread gratin and is a good little appetizer portion. Accompanying it was Chimay Trappist Ale. This deep amber colored beer is creamy and smooth and was my favorite of the five we tasted.

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Chicken & Waffles are popular these days and Chef Dalken has his own take, a stack of savory potato waffles served with a spicy herb panko crusted fried chicken breast, covered with chicken and mushroom gravy, topped with fried leeks. Oh and of course there’s a dish of maple syrup for dipping on the side. This was served with Bootlegger’s Pumpkin Ale. This one is malty and slightly sweet with spice.

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For steak lovers there is the beautifully presented Coulette Steak a choice top sirloin cap, coated in coffee and unsweetened cocoa powder rub, wrapped in bacon and served with beef demi, sun-dried bing cherries and stilton cheese with Dijon mashed potatoes. Golden Road Get Up Offa That Brown Ale with its toasty rich coffee and chocolate notes was chosen to accompany this dish.

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And to end our evening, this time the beer and dessert came as one dish in the whimsical Banana Bread Beer Float. Yes a beer float, made with Wells Banana Bread Beer and a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream and fried plantain to crunch on. This chef is clearly out to have some fun and make an impression.

The menu has many more delicious sounding dishes and some friends of ours at another table highly recommended the Duck Nachos made with spicy duck confit, black beans, mango habanero salsa, pineapple, queso fresco and white cheddar cheese sauce. I’ll be trying that on my next visit. Also on my hit list are the Candied Bacon Cheddar Cheese Popcorn and Korean Tacos. I have no idea what beer I’ll try with it, but I’m sure with so many to choose from they’ll have a great recommendation.

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The Slidebar is located at 122 E. Commonwealth Ave. in Fullerton.

Dana Wilde grew up playing “sous chef” for her father as he churned out one amazing meal after the next for family and friends. She inherited her father’s life long passion for cooking and has spent the past two decades studying, reading, practicing, experimenting, and creating in the kitchen. Together, she and her sister, Shan are Simply Wilde, a small boutique catering business focusing on in-home entertaining.

The Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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