California… knows how to eat… California, knows how to eat…

When I was in California for Pan Pacific Championships and a little relaxation, we tried a restaurant called Haven Gastropub.  And it was amazing.  Located in an area called Old Orange, in Southern California, it was tucked away on a romantically dimly lit street street with antique shops and boutiques. We had heard about the restaurant from a friend and decided to have dinner one Thursday night.

The ambiance was lively and the music was a bit loud,  but along the left side was a long bar that lead to a back wall of exposed stone.  It was comfortable and full on that particular night, and I can imagine that as the weekend went on, it got even more crowded, as only a few months prior it had been ranked in Draft Magazine’s Annual Food Issue as one of the country’s Top three Gastropubs, saying” Haven… one of the most true-to-form gastropubs you will find in this country.”

I’ve heard to word “gastropub” but, to be honest, I couldn’t come up with a few words to define the word, so I did some research…

The word Gastropub is defined as “a public (pub) house which specializes in serving high quality foods.” The first restaurant anointed as a gastropub was the Eagle, in Clerkenwell, London, about 15 years ago and in 2009, Haven Gastropub opened and has been buzzing ever since!

The menu is stocked with foods one would expect to find in an English pub, such as Shepherd’s pie, mussels and pork belly, but also surprising finds such as the compressed Watermelon, feta and heirloom tomato salad with balsamic vinegar caviar (small beads of balsamic vinegar that resembled caviar) and truffle fries, both outstanding!

Find a one near you and share with me your adventures in gastropub food! Enjoy!

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