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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

OPM Serves Up Bold Flavors

We dined as a guest of the venue

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One of the aspects I enjoy most about food blogging is having the opportunity to try restaurants I might not have heard of or thought of because they’re not in my neck of the woods. Such was the case when I was invited to try the recently opened OPM in Huntington Beach.

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Downstairs speakeasy for private events

With Chef’s Tastings and special events, including an 80’s New Wave Music night, a masquerade party, a fashion show, speed dating, live DJs and more, OPM is part restaurant and part club attracting a young couples and girls’ night out crowd. Having taken over and completely redefined the space for what was once The Tap House, there is plenty of room for large parties and dancing. There is even a speakeasy downstairs with it’s own bar for private parties and events.

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With a date for tasting reserved, I grabbed my friend Marianna who is always game for a girls’ night out and we were off. We walked into a vast space where the clublike décor and violet lighting set a magical mood and were seated at a table for two in oversized egg shaped chairs that seemed to take on the color of the lighting. The atmosphere made me feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland… hmmm, I think I understand what OPM stands for. This set the expectation for a theatrical menu which I would describe as a melding of East meets West flavor forward, artfully presented, creative dishes.

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While the menu is mostly small plate-centric with options such as Truffle Parmesan Tater Tots, Chicken Lollipops, Yellowtail Poke, Korean Tacos, Bone Marrow, Pork Belly and much more, there are also a handful of larger main courses as well as a few desserts, a seafood tower, and of course a menu of mostly European and California wines, beers, and craft cocktails.

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Our charming waiter, Gabriel appeared and introduced us to the wine list and suggested we try one of their flight specials for that evening. He recommended the Old World style wines, featuring two whites and two reds, from Italy, Spain and Portugal. We put our fate in Gabriel’s hands as he selected not only our wine, but four dishes for us to share.

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We began with the Burrata Yuzu Pesto. The burrata was served on basil pesto with heirloom cherry tomatoes and accented with a refreshing and unexpected citrusy yuzu. To be honest, I have been burning out a bit on burrata and heirloom tomato appetizers and while the burrata could have been a little creamier, the yuzu really added an unexpected and pleasing departure from the norm for me. The dish was beautiful as well and had the right ratio of cheese to tomato. We both enjoyed it!

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Next up were the Wild Diver Scallops. These prosciutto wrapped seared scallops were served atop a curried carrot puree with blistered shishito peppers and topped with a light lemon foam. The scallops were seared perfectly with the curried carrots brining in an amazing creamy rich flavor and the lemon foam adding just a bare hint of acid to brighten the richness of the dish up a bit.

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Moving along. It was between the Lobster Risotto and the Uni Pasta, which above everything else on the menu, I had been eyeing. We went with Gabriel’s suggestion and shared the Lobster Risotto. No regrets. This risotto is made with Carnaroli rice, the rice traditionally used in Northern Italy for risotto. Its small grain and ultra starchiness make it ideal for creamy risottos. Made with wild Maine lobster, this risotto was like a creamy lobster bisque bomb went off in my mouth. So good.

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We ended with the Wild Striped Bass. This ginger crusted striped bass is served with sweet corn, enoki mushroom, and a peanut miso sauce. The crust was crisp, the fish moist and tender. The fish also is available without the sauce, mushrooms, and corn with broccoli instead off menu as Gabriel recommended. But I really enjoyed the miso sauce with it, so I’m glad we went with our instincts on this one.

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Did I say we ended with the bass? Not quite. I spied Foie Gras Ice Cream on the menu served atop apple date bread pudding. Pretty creative sounding, right? I had to know. Marianna ordered the Green Tea Tiramisu. While the foie gras was subtle in the ice cream keeping it definitely in the dessert realm, the green tea was very pronounced in the tiramisu. Both were beautifully presented and a nice end to our dinner, though I almost always favor the savory side of any menu.

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After grazing our way through a three-hour dinner, we headed out, and ran into Chef Charles Cho. I asked him what his favorite item on his menu was. Without hesitation, he said the Uni Pasta. I knew it! And now, I must go back. And I will sit at the bar and eat my Uni Pasta… alone… so I don’t have to share it.

Located on Warner just off of the 405 in Huntington Beach, OPM is open Tuesday through Thursday 5:00 p.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to midnight.

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.

OPM Restaurant and Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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