Tuesday, February 3

Orchard City Kitchen - Campbell

Orchard City Kitchen has been a little known venture, a long time in the making. Watch this Kickstarter campaign video they launched in October for funding.

When Chef Jeffrey Stout was the chef at Alexander's Steakhouse Silicon Valley (Cupertino) during it's Michelin Star earning years, I had the pleasure of enjoying his dinner menu. It's refreshing to see him step out of Alexander's increasingly "chain-like" identity and open a more casual restaurant. As an avid fan of the Campbell's Farmers Market, I would be delighted if many of the restaurant's ingredients indeed came from the market as mentioned in the Kickstarter video.

OCK is best categorized under the New American - small plates category. There is the occasional Asian influenced item and of course small plates is a Spanish tapas influence, but for the most part OCK serves fresh California fare.

($13) Mussels with pepperoni, rouille, and fennel

The mussels tasted really fresh in this dish. I'm used to buying frozen mussels at home which are chewy and shrink up when you cook them. These mussels were really tender. I don't remember much about the broth.

($10) Mac and cheese with barbecued brisket and beecher's cheddar

I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of brisket on this mac and cheese. The mac was good as is but really nothing too great until you add on spoons of the delicious barbecued brisket. I only wish there were more brisket.

($16) OCK Burger with bearnaise sauce, muenster cheese, grilled onions, and shichimi fries

A solid burger, smallish in size if you're a guy but good size for a female. The fries with Japanese shichimi pepper sprinkles were super good. All around, the burger was a good choice.

($11) Korean fried chicken with shishito peppers, and gochujang 

This was an exciting dish to have here - an American take on a Korean classic. Gochujang is red so I don't see where it is in the dish. Did it taste authentic? Not really - these were tasty chicken wings and shishito peppers regardless.

($16) Duck Meatballs with piperado, farmer's cheese

I enjoyed this dish alot. It's basically 3 meatballs in lots of sauce which is always good. The sauce would be good to dip bread in if they had given us more. The meatballs don't even taste like duck but they were good nonetheless.

($11) grilled prawns with croutons and chili butter lime
These prawns were generally large and buttery as advertised. I just wish there were more than just 3 prawns in there. The sauce was good.

($9) Hearts of palm salad with avocado, nashi pear, apple, mint, celery, buttermilk

I was the one who chose this salad and I'm disappointed by it. The heart of palm really sold me but I didn't expect gigantic slivers like this. Heart of palm tastes better when you get the tip of the young shoots. These are large slivers of the less tender base of the palm. The nashi pears didn't have much sweetness to it, actually nothing had any taste to it. Just an overpriced salad made of shavings.

($12) Little Gem Lettuce salad with smoked black cod, pear, cucumber, miso, buttermilk and green beans

The dressing on this salad was also a little ho-hum in flavor. Buttermilky but with no seasoning. All the ingredients were fresh but plain.

($7) Shaved brussel sprout salad with roasted lemon dressing, reggiano cheese, and almond slivers

In the South Bay, the restaurant which made this dish popular was Oak and Rye in Los Gatos. In the past year, I've attempted to recreate such a simple treat at home. It's just shaved raw brussels sprouts dressed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice, then topped with shavings of a hard cheese as desired. It's easier said than done well. There's something with the thinness of the shavings, the quality of the cheese, and the ratio of lemon juice in the dressing that makes Oak and Rye's salad so good. Yet, I am amazed by this dish again when I find that OCK does it better, in my opinion of course. Their sprouts shavings aren't as thin but the dressing has a sweet acidity which I prefer, probably from roasting the lemon. This dish at both restaurants is still a great dish!

Some items were hit or miss, which is expected of a tapas style meal. The prices are also expensive per plate and quantity given but that's also typical of tapas. It's best to come with more people so you can share and taste many things. My biggest gripe is that portions are more easily split into thirds rather than into fourths. Doesn't it make more sense that people dine in even numbers? We found ourselves playing the polite "fight" for the last bites game with each other. Other than that, service was great from booking the reservation on the phone, to having the waiter open my special non-alcoholic cider bottle for free, and throughout the dining experience. I definitely recommend making OCK your medium-fancy dinner place. Maybe not an anniversary or job promotion celebration place, but a good place for birthdays and girls nights.

OCK on Yelp

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