Had an excellent meal last night at Mix Mix in Santa Ana. One of the better meals we’ve had in the last 6 months outside of n/naka. Mix Mix is in the old Little Sparrow spot on the corner of Main and 3rd. Before sitting down we had a few rounds of cocktails at the bar. Great inventive cocktails. Everybody very much enjoyed their drinks. We sat at the chef’s table which has 6 seats facing the open kitchen. The owner and chef was there tonight and cooked every single one of our dishes. It seems like he was very active in checking every plate out of the kitchen and even cooking, adding garnishes, etc… I think like Howlin Ray’s having the head chef in the kitchen makes a huge difference. We’ve been to a lot of restaurants mid-week in Santa Ana and this was by far the most crowded we’ve seen any place. Significantly busier than Irenia or Mercado.
The 5 course tasting menu including dessert with wine pairings was $80. A great value. We added on a few extra plates that we forgot to take pictures of. Order the cauliflower with gochujang and almonds and the cheesesteak fries. Skip the brussel sprouts with mole.
A nice way to start off the meal. Nothing particularly memorable but had good flavors, a good kick from some chili and topped off with chicarrones.
Sea urchin fettucine. One of the best seafood pasta I’ve eaten. The best I’ve ever had were crab pasta at n/naka and the squid ink pasta with crab and jalapenos at Del Posto. Everybody at the table unanimously thoughts this pasta was awesome and we all wanted more. The uni was mixed into the sauce that coated the pasta. There were a few chunks of crab and some nice heat from the fresno chilis. Delicious.
Pork cheek adobo with garlic fried rice
A great dish maybe not so much adobo flavor though. The pork cheek was as tender as a piece of meat could be. The garlic fried rice was outstanding. Nice crunchy bits of rice and loved the crispy garlic chips. Another dish everybody loved and would have eaten another plate or two of this easily.
Crispy duck leg with risotto
My wife never eats duck and finished the whole thing. I think this was their take on crispy pata using a deck leg. The duck leg was deep fried. The skin was crispy but the interior was still pretty moist and tender. One of our plates had a lot of dried out overcooked duck but the other 5 were great. A little bit of sweetness from the blackberry sauce. The risotto was good but the star on the plate was the duck.
Dessert - s’mores pudding? and halo halo
The s’mores dessert was good. Just a nice chocolately desset type thing with some crunchy elements and toasted marshmallows. It was a fine dessert and probably would make a lot of people happy but took a back seat to the halo halo. Panna cotto with passion fruit ice cream, macadamia nuts, toasted coconut, lycheese and a bunch of different tropical fruits. Everything played so nicely with each other. It was a tropical delight. Refreshing with nice textures and no flavor overwhelming your palate. I could have pounded a bunch of these desserts.