The last time my husband and I ate at Traxx we enjoyed the mussels appetizer, cooked in a spicy tomato saffron broth. Lovely with sourdough bread. We also sampled the venison carpaccio, served with horseradish dijonais. Had to get it. How often do you see venison carpaccio on a menu in Southern California?! We also had the Roasted Half Chicken Under a Brick with Green Chile Posole, Cilantro-Almond Pesto and Fire Roasted Tortilla. The chicken was moist but I found the flavor of the posole and the pesto just a little too busy for this dish.
i tried to go here for dinner last wednesday but they closed at 9pm!
but the last time i went (about a year ago) i ordered almost exactly the same as brieflunchcounter above... liked all the dishes. i dont think the venison carpaccio was on the menu at the time or i would have ordered it, i think we had the crab cake instead.
the menu doesnt seem to have changed much at all...
We went last nite and had 5 small dishes between the two of us.
I had the tomato fennel soup to start and it was nice, though neither tomato nor fennel was the dominant flavor; instead it was milk/ cream. I would have preferred this soup without the dairy, and with more focus on the named ingredients, but it wasn't untasty - it was sweet with a silky texture. 7 out of 10.
ms. mouther had the roasted beet and goat cheese/ herb salad. One bit of it and the beets were cooked so perfectly that it was just wonderful. simple and paired gorgeously with the greens. perfectly cooking something is so much more important than creating a crazy sauce or flavor profile, imo. 8 out of 10.
we then split the mussels in spicy tomato saffron broth. we both eat a lot of spicy food, so i was VERY surprised that this was served spicy enough for us to have to blow our noses afterwards. it was spicy. i asked what kinds of chilis were used and was told ancho. wild, because i didn't think ancho got that hot. my guess, based on the intense nuttiness of the heat, would have been if a half pound of whole black peppercorns had been boiled and then that water, corns sifted out, had been used to make the broth. (i have know iidea if that would work or if something like this preparation even happens- it's just my imagination)
IN any case - It was really spicy, and that is good! the broth was reallly the start of this dish - i of course used the bread to soak it up, then had several spoonfuls like it was a soup. 9 out of 10.
had the venison carpacio too - i love venison so had to. it was served in thin slices (surprise!) laid out in a circle on the plate, with greens and capers and sauce squirts on top. It was hard to pull a piece out since they were all layered to overlap on top of and underneath the pieces to each side. the venison flavor was quite mild compared to the sauce and the greens and the capers, but the texture was great. I was surprised by how much was on the plate. i ate a lot of venison growing up around hunters in the south, and while i dont expect it to taste as fresh and great as it did then, i do expect it to have more flavor than was present here. i'd give it a 6 out of 10.
ms mouther had the jumbo lump crab cakes, and boy did it look unappetizing when it arrived: the crust was dark brown (dark brown sugar brown) and looked way too thick and crusty. i didnt say anything b/c i dont like to make negative comments about food other people are going to eat, but 1/3 of her way into it she said that the crab was just gorgeous - as good as she's ever had, but the crust was absolutely terrible. i tried the crab and it was absolutely delicious for sure. she proceeded to eat the crab out of the fried shell, and wonder why they debased the crab with such a crust. she said the chipotle remoulade was also unecessary and boring. it's possible they simply overcooked/ fried the outside of her cake, but it really looked bad - more like a brick, as evidenced by the fact that it held its shape as the crab was pulled from inside it. crab alone was great though and made up for the rest. 7 out of 10.
overall, we both agreed it was a 7 out of 10. (we only eat fancier meals like this 3 or 4 times a year, so we havent been to many comparable places.) The fact that there were a lot of dirty paper towels on the bathroom floor when we went (separately, before ordering) didn't help set the tone for a special meal. in fact, the general unkemptness of the bathroom may prevent me from going back - i so rarely have a special restaurant meal that when i do, i want to keep up the illusion of respectability and classiness - my own and the restaurant's. It's hard enough for me to do my part, so i relaly need the restaurant to do theirs.