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The Gossiping Gourmet: A winner in this Corner

December 26, 2012|By Elle Harrow and Terry Markowitz
  • The house-made garlic noodles with Chinese cabbage, Spanish chorizo and cilantro at The Corner in Huntington Beach.
The house-made garlic noodles with Chinese cabbage,… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Time after time, we find small strip-mall restaurants in Huntington Beach that are chef-owned and reasonably priced and offer a menu with their particular, inventive slant on whatever cuisine they prepare.

Our newest discovery, the Corner, has been around for about a year and a half. It is the offspring of Chef Chris Grodach, who earned his chops at such culinary meccas as the French Laundry and the Montage. In Chef Chris' own restaurant, featuring eclectic cuisine, everything from the ketchup to the garlic noodles is made from scratch.

The unpretentious décor is about to be changed in January. So far, this former Chinese restaurant has had a paint job and new upholstery. There is a separate bar/eating area and a room for large parties in addition to the main dining room.

They are proud of their signature cocktails like the Dirty Pickle, the Good Uncle and the Antioxidant Intoxicant. The latter has Ion Vodka, VeeV Acai Spirit, cucumber, basil and mint, served in a Mason jar.

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The menu is divided into four sections: Start, Cold and Warm, Hot, and Not Entrées. The first three categories are small plates, and the Not Entrées are somewhat larger. For a mere $2, you can get one of four different potato or vegetable side dishes.

We chose an item from each category, beginning with crispy short rib tacos. Two small, shatteringly crunchy fried tacos were stuffed with well-seasoned, shredded beef, but the meat was rather dry and not at all spicy. Adding the accompanying mild salsa gave it some moisture but no heat. Lots of flavor was provided by the generous amount of finely grated, excellent white cheddar.

For something cold and refreshing, we ordered the shaved fall vegetables. This wild arugula salad was resting on top of a bed of thin shavings of crunchy fennel, parsnip, carrot and radish. This mélange was dressed with a light citrus vinaigrette and topped with creamy, crumbled goat cheese.

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