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I maintain that Britta Kvinge Pulliam and her namesake cafe are the two O.C. culinarily treasures we most take for granted. It was Pulliam, after all, that was doing farm-to-table cooking when most of the county's hipsters chefs were still in their swaddling clothes (which wasn't even that long ago!), who adhered to a seasonal menu years before county residents knew their Chez Panisse from their Che Guevara. Yet do we ever talk about Pulliam in the same breath as the current young guns? Nope. And we all know why we ignore Britta's: it's in Irvine, in a shopping plaza that until very recently was the last holdout to the city's Stepford intentions.
Doesn't matter: she continues to kill it with her continental menu, beautifully sticking to the classics. Take her bread pudding, a block of old-school awesomeness, from the moist bread to the chunk of goat cheese hidden within to the egg over-easy that crowns her creation. She throws on herbs to counter the savory overload, and two stalks of asparagus for crunch. Faithful readers know I'm a bread pudding fiend, and this is the best savory bread pudding I've ever had in OC. But come fast: it's part of Britta's spring menu, and summer is a'coming in...