French 75 - Laguna Beach

1464 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Tel. 949.494.8444

Once the original in the restaurant empire of David Wilhelm, ok maybe not an empire, but there were 4 French 75's at one point, as well as a few others in the empire. The empire has now dwindled down to 3 restaurants, and David Wilhelm's no longer "helming" the empire. Now all that is left is the original French 75 in Laguna Beach, Chimayo in Huntington Beach, and Savannah in Laguna Niguel. French 75 is housed in a 60 year old cottage located on PCH in Laguna Beach that emphasizes on French food with a contemporary twist.

Olive garlic butter with French bread. The olive garlic butter was a nice change from the regular butter. It had a pronounced olive and garlic flavor. The color was a bit standoffish for me, but I kept dipping my bread in it.

'Certified Cage Free' Hudson Valley Foie Gras (20) The nightly preparation included grilled peaches in a balsamic reduction. The lobe of foie gras rested upon a piece of toast and frisee. The foie was overcooked, which resulted in the texture not being as soft and smooth as we like it to be. The grilled peaches went well with the the foie, which is usually paired with a sweet component. Overall, due to the foie being overcooked, we felt this was an average dish.

Short Rib, Horseradish Mashed Potato, Charred Asparagus, Cipollini Jam, Braising Jus (26)
The short rib was braised, the mashed potato had a faint but present horseradish taste, and the asparagus was nicely charred. Eating the short rib by itself was good, but when eaten with the cipollini jam, really made this dish. The cipollini jam was sweet, yet it still retained that onion essence. I felt that the cipollini jam really elevated this dish. 
Study of Shellfish Maine Lobster, Scallop, White Shrimp, Wilted Spinach, Himalayan Red Rice, MirinGlaze (33)
After studying this study of shellfish, I will now give you an presentation on it. The lobster and the shrimp were cooked perfectly, but the scallop wasn't as enjoyable. I'm not sure if it was the cooking of the scallop or the quality of the scallop. The thing that really stood out about this dish, and not in a good way, was that it was majorly over salted. The Himalayan red rice helped to reduce the salty taste but still felt the dish was too salty. Had it not been for this saltiness, the dish would have been a quite nice study.

With a mix of an average appetizer, a good main course, and an over-salted main course, we still had a overall positive experience. Out of all the other restaurants that were once a part of the empire, I can see why this restaurant is still around: mainly because of the location and because of the French food with a contemporary twist.

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