There are going to be more Cajun steam kettle joints coming to OC, such as Kettlebar, which will open when Union Market opens at The District in Tustin, but right now it's Ritter's time.
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Ritter's Steam Kettle Cooking, which has been open in Santa Ana since Fall of last year a few blocks from South Coast Plaza, has finally opened store number two in Huntington Beach, smack dab in downtown at 180 5th St, Ste 130.
To read my review of the original Ritter's, which I put on my Top Five Restaurants of 2013, click here, but here 's a summary:
Sit at the counter, and you'll see Chef Ritter of his namesake restaurant, tend to a row of 12 stainless-steel, steam-powered kettles that look like a series of exposed plumbing. As though a priest blessing his congregants with holy water, he flicks minced garlic into each kettle with tongs, then squirts in some oil; he deposits a pre-measured amount of raw seafood into one, chicken in another, sauteing them. Next, he ladles in prepared simmering sauces from a big container. Seconds later, the stews begin to bubble, the whole thing roiling, sputtering like an evil witch's brew. The smells are intoxicating. After a few minutes, a clean bowl is set underneath, and with a quick pull on a lever, the whole thing pivots, pouring out the orders of jambalaya, etouffee, gumbo and seafood pasta. Eat them hot and fresh, and then tell your friends you've just discovered the best Cajun restaurant in OC.