OC: Charlie Palmer

Orange Manhattan

I was down in Orange County a few weeks ago to watch the Royal Danish Ballet, the oldest ballet company in the world. But first, food!

We headed over to Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s (South Coast Plaza) and decided to get small plates to share since we were in relative hurry. Unfortunately, the happy hour specials didn’t extend to the main dining room (they probably shouldn’t have handed us the discounted price list for the cocktails). For while I liked my Orange Manhattan (George Dickel 8, Carpano Antica, Aperol, Combier), I couldn’t help but feel it wasn’t worth its $14 price tag when it came with a lowly bright red maraschino cherry. Ah, the cocktail snob.

Champagne Super Nova

I wonder if my friend’s Champagne Super Nova (Cremant, Lillet blanc, raspberries, rhubarb bitters) was named after the Oasis song? She enjoyed her cocktail very much.

amuse bouche

I’ve never had a food runner tell me to make sure I take a picture of the amuse. Here you go, the amuse. It was a nice way to begin our meal. I did really enjoy the service. Our server complimented us on our outfits, remarking we must be heading out to a show. He made sure our food came out in a timely matter despite a small communication problem. We ordered both the seafood dishes but he didn’t catch that– very nice of him to rush the orders out.

crispy rock shrimp



The said seafood dishes were the crispy rock shrimp. Normally I’m not a fan of rock shrimp because I like big meat shrimp, prawns are even better! However, these were perfect and the tobiko popped merrily away when we crunched on our shrimp.

I was very happy with our mussels, steamed with white wine and garlic. I didn’t need the saffron aioli but it sure did make a nice presentation.

bone marrow with roasted onions


I had the bone marrow all to myself as I was dining with a pescatarian (who eats foie gras). I could have done without so many onions but they came in handy with the mac and cheese later.

terrine of Hudson Valley foie gras


Here it is- my lovely foie gras. I thought the addition of fruit was interesting. I ended up slathering some on my toast point then picking at the grapes and pineapple.

truffled mac and cheese


I realized after our meal that it consisted of mostly fat and carbs. But what a way to go. This truffled mac and cheese had a nice crispy crust but I didn’t taste much truffle. Still, it was nicely creamy as well.

As for the ballet, I loved the Royal Danish Ballet. They were a nice mix of modern and traditional. I liked the opening and ending dances- very male centric and sexy as hell. Somewhat like my meal at Charlie P’s.


Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s

South Coast Plaza

3333 S Bristol St
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

(714) 352-2525