Typically when we discuss the joys of brunch, there are two notorious libations associated with the act: mimosas and Bloody Marys. There's very little reinvention, if ever, of either. We think the closest is a recent trend towards customizing your own at a “Bloody Mary bar” — a mock station set-up with garnishes galore. Though after a while, it's less personalized and more all-you-can-eat food court Mongolian BBQ.
So imagine our interest when we sat down at the charming al metro (Anne Marie speak for outside the train depot) space at Ramos House one morning and noticed a curious line item known as the soju Bloody Mary. Without a liquor license, would this be a story worthy of greatness, sans vodka? The short answer is yes. To explain further requires a fully-loaded request for one, as pictured above.
Our Mason jar is virtually crafted to the brim with obscene delight. Tart, tomato-y liquid, enhanced by the distilled Korean spirit is the zesty foundation for our veritable meal in a glass. A miniature garden of greens and pickled beans garnish its surface, offering a bite which strives to be worse than its bark. Yet John Q. Humphries' twisted sense of purpose offers an unusual add-on. It is at this crossroads where our story morphs into Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.
If one elects to include the Scotch egg, what you end up with is a study in food pornography. A sexy quail egg is subjected to a soft boil, then moves on to being wrapped in fennel sausage. Its final step: getting dipped in batter and fried senseless. Before our amused bouche can comprehend the eggy exploits, it is speared by a renegade crab claw. Conducting double duty as skewer and straw stand, the sweet nibble of meat hints that it could be considered more appetizer than cocktail (under the proper circumstances). Just don't leave it unattended, or the resident feline will find an excuse to saunter over.
The Ramos House Cafe, 31752 Los Rios St, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 443-1342; www.ramoshouse.com.