15. Trout At The North Left
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Anne Marie Panoringan
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A restaurant with a backstory (plus award-winning pastry chef) is a combination worthy of visiting. The North Left's menu is a modest selection of modern tastes, aimed to satisfy a specific range of diners. Those familiar with the county's culinary scene are pleasantly surprised when they discover an attitude towards their meal that's both relaxed and refined in Downtown Santa Ana. That's what we discovered the first time we dined there.
We made our way around the page divided between small bites, shareable entrees and playful sweets. If sharing is caring, then our trout was the equivalent of an established friendship. Dinner arrived sizzling in a skillet. Its components were familiar, but not boring. Earthy mushrooms and potatoes comforted, while lemon sauce and briny capers balanced. Forget the plates-- it was a dish we attacked with forks while catching up.
The next time we find ourselves there, it'll be tough not to order such a soul-satisfying meal. Although we always know to make room for dessert.
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