24. Duck and Pork Cassoulet from Pinot Provence
It doesn't get much better than this
Anne Marie Panoringan
Behold our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!
When Chef Alfonso Ramirez transferred from one Patina Restaurant Group establishment to another, we had high expectations. Studying under Joachim Splichal is not a task to be taken lightly, and any chef selected to helm one of his kitchens is a reflection of the man himself. Being situated within a hotel, and across the street from the county's shopping mecca is another layer of pressure. Not only did Pinot Provence have to prove their worth, but they had to do so alongside players like Pizzeria Ortica and Charlie Palmer.
Ramirez went to work, presenting customized burger menus for casual diners, as well as multi-course experiences created around the farmer's market finds he purchased same-day. All the while, Pinot's primary offerings demonstrated refined creativity from start to finish. Yet it was their Cozy Cassoulet Wednesdays served in the springtime that were the most memorable.
His decision to include two hearty proteins in one pot made for double the French indulgence. A confit of duck leg wasn't enough. Alfonso just hadto include braised pork belly-- not that we're complaining. It was seared to a crispy, caramelized outside, giving way to a melty interior once bitten into. We welcomed the use of Tarbais beans to absorb some of that duck jus (but we also sopped it up with some crusty bread). Chef's modern spin on this traditional dish was a meal to be savored among hungry friends.
25. Hash Brown Cake at Zov's 26. Poke at Bear Flag Fish Company 27. Avocado Ice Cream at à la minute 28. Icre at Dunarea 29. Milky Bun at Afters Ice Cream 31. Chamorro al Guajillo at Sabroso! 32. Garbanzos at the North Left 33. Burger at Riders Club Cafe 34. Wraps at Kech Cafe 35. Pupusas de Frijol con Queso at Las Casuelas 36. Chicken Marsala at Aioli 37. Phnom Penh Noodle & Cha-Kwai at Little La Lune 38. Fried Chicken at Disneyland's Plaza Inn 39. Cookie Monster Ice Cream from B. Candy 40. Bento Box from California Gogi Korean Grill 41. Jasmine Milk Tea Ice Cream at Afters Ice Cream 42. 79 Special at Hapi Sushi 43. Chicken Nuggets at The North Left 44. Spicy Lemon Garlic Chicken at Chicken Maison 45. Surround Sound Burrito at the Secret Spot 46. Cheesecake Beignets At Scott's Restaurant 47. Spam and Egg Banh Mi From Tan Hoang Huong 48. Marianne's 10-20 Ice Cream At Ruby's Diner 49. Chile Relleno Pretzel Cheeseburger at OC Fair 50. Lunch at Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland 51. Pescado A Lo Macho at Muelle Peruvian Cantina 52. Cemita de Milanesa at La Cemita Poblana 53. Meatballs and Polenta at 320 Main 54. Shellfish (Ốc) at Hien Vuong Da Kao 55. Basic Bol at Boldo Bol 56. Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill 57. 10-Item Plate at Thuan Kieu Noodle & Grill 58. Leche Frita at Cafe Sevilla 59. Happy Hour Sushi at Ginzaya 60. Red Beans and Rice at Disneyland's French Market 61. Consommé from Tacos y Birria El Güero 62. Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich at Little Sparrow 63. Breakfast Taco at Sapphire Laguna 64. Husky Burger at Husky Boy Burgers 65. Love Bagel from Koffee Klatch 66. Kouign Amann From The Crema Cafe & Bakery 67. Chili Lime Popcorn From Green Tomato Grill 68. PB & J At Hopscotch 69. Takuwan Sushi from AnQi by Crustacean 70. Ube Ensaymadas from The Ensaymada Project 71. Pork Bánh Mì at the OC Poultry and Rotisserie Market 72. Tacos Gobernador from Mariscos Los Corales 73. Dutch Baby at the Original Pancake House 74. Doughnuts from Sidecar 75. Lengua Tacos at La Chonita 76. Oysters from Carlsbad Aquafarm at the Orange Homegrown Farmers Market 77. Lemon Miso Crab Melt at Umami Burger in Laguna Beach 78. Pani Puri from Adya 79. The Pocket at the Pocket Burger 80. Gyro Sandwich from Paul's Place 81. Slice of Heaven at Pie-Not 82. Taquitos at El Toro Bravo 83. Peanut Butter and Jelly Donut at the Donuttery 84. Dan Dan Mian at Wei-Shian Noodle 85. Beef Burger at Rider's Club Café 86. Smoked Trout at Provenance 87. Small Plates at A&J Restaurant 88. Corn Cheese at Zoomak Asian Bistro 89. Pumpkin Curry at Bhan Baitong 90. Poke at Costco Tustin II 91. Pambazo at Tacos Radioactivos 92. Beef Pho at Pho Crystal Noodle House 93. Breakfast Burrito from Cafe Calacas 94. Koobideh Plate from Grill Cafe 95. Tacos de Cecina from Alebrije's 96. Jajangmyeong from Ching Chinese Express 97. Breakfast Sausage from Da-Le Ranch 98. Any Special Dinner by Old Vine Cafe's Mark McDonald 99. Tres Amigos Burrito from Piaggio on Wheels 100. Bacon-Wrapped Dates from Lola Gaspar
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