Wednesday, April 29, 2009

50 Forks

Here are some crappy pictures of my recent trip to 50 Forks in Santa Ana. Housed within the Art Institute of California, 50 Forks is almost entirely staffed by culinary students. The entrées run $9 to $11, and this for dishes like pork tenderloin, braised beef short ribs, and scallops using fresh, seasonal ingredients.

As we ordered, our server brought out lemonade appertifs in Pyrex test tubes to cleanse the palette. A little fancy, but who doesn't like drinking stuff out of test tubes?

I ordered the roast duck with blue cheese orecchiette ($9) and my friend George ordered the pork tenderloin entrée ($11). While we waited for our entrées, we enjoyed some strangely salty, yet tasty French bread and a scallop appetizer ($7). The scallops were breaded and baked with mushrooms in a delicious white wine cream sauce, topped again with breadcrumbs. This was my favorite dish of the meal, though I would not recommend it if you don't like wine as a prominent flavor.

My dish was a little more "mac and cheese" than "roast duck" but as a blue cheese fiend, I was fairly happy anyway. George's tender and flavorful pork tenderloin with tiny chive pancakes was, however, a little better. The portions are good for a fancy restaurant and perfect for a day when you want a light lunch.

We both ordered desserts but at $5 each, they were the least cost effective part of the meal.

George's panna cotta with berries and my chocolate cheesecake with espresso cream were both good but also fairly standard. The panna cotta was light and delicious, where the cheesecake was rich and creamy. However if you have an extra five dollars to spend, I'd recommend one of the appetizers over a dessert.

Even if you splurge for all three courses, 50 Forks is a great deal. It offers tasty dishes made with fresh ingredients, great service, and fancy-like beverages you drink out of test tubes(!!) for the same price you would pay at Olive Garden for a much less notable meal.

3601 Sunflower Ave
Santa Ana, CA 92704
(714) 429-0918

Open for Lunch
Monday thru Wednesday 11am-1pm

Open for Dinner Seasonally
Wednesday thru Friday 6:30pm-9pm

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