This is sort of a prospective report on Bluegold, the massive fine-dining establishment by Tin Vuong and Blackhouse hospitality in Huntington Beach. Finally an LA chef makes it to OC! (Sidenote: this means OC gets its own Little Sister as well, as it is inside of Bluegold).
The restaurant itself is ridiculously beautiful, and has incredible views of the ocean, and it’s probably the best restaurant to ever land in a place like Huntington Beach.
But never mind all that. How about a cocktail with a kiss in it?
This drink combines three of my favorite things: mezcal, habanero, and egg whites. It is a bracing, shocking cocktail, just as abrasive as any stickly fashionista. One would have to seriously love habanero to order this and enjoy it. It was ok, but in objective terms, I don’t know that the balance made sense. It sure looks stunning though, eh? A cocktail for extremophiles I suppose
Double Dutch Fries
I presume these are meant to be split amongst a party of 4 given the size of the order. The massive fries are nicely coated in an addictive smattering of garlic and sage, but the frying is uneven, mostly due to the thickness of the fries. I don’t really get it. They taste good though. However, they claim the sauce is “mornay” and I don’t believe it is anything more than a garlic-y mayo sauce, but it’s still pretty tasty. Not bad, but also not great, though the fried sage and garlic-y sauce will make this more than acceptable for most people.
Many years ago I ate my first ever reuben sandwich at the Jackson Lodge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It was a thin sandwich; a bit of fatty corned beef with sauerkraut and Russian dressing, a bit of melted swiss in between two lightly toasted slices of dark rye bread; it was sparse yet elemental, and classic. I fell in love with Reubens that day as I felt the light tang of kraut and corned beef and swiss mess with that simple rye watching a moose dash across the greenery of the landscape beneath those great Tetons… I’ve never really relived that simple, elemental reuben experience again until now. As great as Gjusta is, the kraut is not very sour, tasting more of coleslaw than proper kraut, and there is no corned beef to be found; delis such as Brent’s, glorious in their own way, overload the experience with decadence and remove the feeling of humble simplicity I fell in love with. The quaint sandwich at Bluegold recaptures that childhood conception of a Reuben though. Marble rye, not cut super thick, but thinly, grilled with a bit of butter, but not too much (of course they bake their own rye bread), and stuffed with fatty corned beef, a kraut that hits just the right kind of tang, and a single slice of high-quality swiss cheese, a thin smear of Russian dressing and a touch more on the side (plus some spicy mustard and spices and additional housemade pickles). The trapping of the plating are unnecessary, but the essence of this sandwich are pure, humble and beautiful. This has become my favorite Reuben anywhere, and one of my favorite sandwiches in an insant.
They have a whole squab on the dinner menu, so I will assuredly return for dinner. They also serve chao at LXSO (aka Little Sister) for lunch, which is grand, since it’s breakfast-only in DTLA.
Worth a trip imo; avoid the shitty Phil’s coffee and go to the Portola if you are in the Pacific City complex btw.