Orange County is a hub buzzing with different cultures, but one thing that it lacks is good Filipino cuisine. You won't find your traditional Filipino favorites at Terrace by Mix Mix, but instead a variety of dishes that are influenced by Filipino, Italian and French cuisine. What you end up with is a combination of flavors that excite and delight the senses!
Dinner was served prix fixe style along with wine pairings for each course. Nine dishes and eight different wines later, we were stuffed to the brim and in a happy place. We were extremely happy with how everything came out and the service was fantastic. Our main server, Asa, did an excellent job pairing eight of the courses and surprised us with some interesting pairings.
What's For Dinner
Roasted brussel sprouts with gochujang, citrus, and peanuts. It is always fun seeing a new take on roasted brussel sprouts as it is one of our favorite starters. You get a little bit of smoke from the slight char mingling with a bit of acidity and heat from the gochujang and a nice crunch from the peanuts. This first dish was paired with Lamberti Rosé Spumante - a very nice start to our meal.
Bacon wrapped dates with grated manchego, almonds, and harissa yogurt. This had just the right amount of sweet to salty and creamy to crispy textures. The Italian Prosecco that it went with it helped to cut into the heavier flavors and cleanse our palate for the next course to come!
Bone marrow pizza with mornay sauce, shallot marmalade, and red wine jus. You really can't go wrong with bone marrow and shallot marmalade, but of everything that came out throughout the night, this was the weakest of all the dishes. The crust was light and chewy, and bone marrow tasted like roasted bone marrow that you would get anywhere else. It would, however, have been nice to have a piece of toast to soak up all the drippings that were left on the plate. Please do not order this as your "main entree" and expect to be blown away.
Soft egg raviolo with guanciale, brown butter and parmesan. This is a lovely twist on the classic "bacon and egg". The Domaine Serene Chardonnay 2017 paired very nicely with the slightly sweet, smokey, and nutty flavors in this dish.
Pork cheek adobo with garlic fried rice, crispy shallots and chimichurri. The pork cheek was tender and fell apart very easily. A nostalgic dish that summons memories of waking up to the smell of garlic fried rice and fried tuyo on a Saturday morning. The garlic fried rice was on the dry side, but the pork cheek was pretty fatty on its own so this was a good call by the chef. PRO TIP: mix a little bit of the leftover sauce from the soft egg raviolo into the dish, because it would be a shame to waste even a drop! The Les Abeilles Cote du Rhone 2016 that was paired with the adobo had notes of ripe berries, and the nice acidity went really well with the heartiness of this dish.
Diver scallops with mushroom risotto and butternut squash puree. Scallops were perfectly caramelized and tender. The Paul Mas Pinot Noir 2018 that was paired with it was an unusual one for us, but it turned out to be a good choice against the earthy tones present in the dish. A smooth and heavier bodied pinot than what we are used to with notes of berries and vanilla.
Beef ribeye with truffle-celery root-potato puree and glazed root vegetables. It says a lot that the most striking part about this dish is the celery root puree. The subtle sweetness and rich creaminess play off of the slight crunch of the roots and the acidity of the chimichurri. Although the steak was somewhat dry on its own due to the relatively thin cut, the puree was able to balance it out, effectively becoming the star of the dish. Paired with StoryPoint Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 - fruit forward, nice acidity and rich with hints of nutmeg and plum.
Chocolate fondant with kikori whiskey ice cream, berry sorbet, and salted caramel. The slight tartness of the berry sorbet balanced the decadence of the dark chocolate, while the kikori whiskey ice cream offered a somewhat unique counterpoint. This is what your everyday chocolate lava cake wishes to be when it grows up. The Graham’s Six Grapes Porto, which has notes of dark chocolate and ripe plum & cherries, didn't serve to highlight or add complexity to the flavors, but instead further deepened the chocolate and berry notes already in the dish.
Tropical verrine with coconut panna cotta, mango sorbet, ube ice cream, macadamia nuts, tropical fruit and passion fruit. The panna cotta had the smooth texture of leche flan, except with a mild coconut flavor profile. Together with all the other ingredients made this a super refreshing treat which, once demolished, left you craving for more. Delightfully paired with Saracco Moscato D’Asti 2019, the effervescence cut into the creaminess of the panna cotta and the fruit and floral notes went really well with the dish overall.
The dishes at Terrace were well balanced and unique in flavors and textures. The wine pairings were masterfully selected to go with each course. And the price-point is actually very good when you take into account the quality of the ingredients, the creativity behind the dishes, and the location of the restaurant. Terrace is definitely going to be one of our go-to restaurants and we look forward to exploring other items on the menu.