Gustaf Anders smorgasbord
Has anyone been to the Christmas smorgasbord they feature every December at Gustaf Anders in Costa Mesa? Is it worth the $$$?
I have gone for the last 2 years. If you appreciate a traditional smorgasbord done with care I will say it is well worth it. It is not the type of smorgasbord where one piles salad on top of meat on top of...... It is a time to enjoy the beautiful Scandanavian Christmas decorations and enjoy each course in its turn. The variety of cold fish is overwhelming the bread is great. Last year the owner asked if we wanted Lutefisk (which is not out on the table) and we were brought two plates of the best lutefisk I have ever tasted.
The people at lunch were dressed a little too casual for the occasion. I believe that shorts are not appropriate. Dinner is more expensive, but I think that people might dress in better taste.
I consider it an event not to miss!
My wife and I "did" the smorgasbord last friday night for the first time, and we loved it. The food is very very good and definitely unique. There must have been 10 different cold herring dishes alone (in cream sauce, mustard sauce, curry sauce, smoked, etc). I did not know if I would even like herring (the idea of it always kind of gave me the willy's), but I knew that this was the place of all places so I was eager to try it. Anyway every dish was amazing. If you like sushi, you'll like herring. Strong flavor but the idea is you wash it all down with good beer and/or aquavit, so what could be bad ???
As mentioned previously this is not a "quantity" kind of place. You are encouraged to not crowd the plate, just take a few items at a time and take many trips. My wife is not as much of a "gastronaut" as I am, and so she did not go for the herring, but there was much, much more on offer (all of it good). Other fish dishes, beef dishes (can you say "swedish meatballs" ?), veg dishes of course, cheeses, tremendous breads and the desserts - if you have any room at all - are super and, wisely, cut into nice, small "taster" portions allowing you to try that swedish princess cake without wasting half of the serving.
All together we were there for probably 2 plus hours. This is the kind of place to take your time and relax and just enjoy the experience, don't rush. The room is very nice, understated yet elegant (that scandinavian sense of style, I guess), and the wait staff are really good.
I recommend it highly ! I hope to make it an annual event !
It has also become an annual tradition for our family over the last several years.
I detest the general concept of buffets (pigs at the trough, etc.), this is not like that.
The food is impeccable and beautifully presented. It is a wonderful, elegant and truly satisfying experience. And the variety of Acquavits makes it even more so.
I am sorry to hear that some have dressed inappropriately for the occasion. We have generally gone to the luncheon buffet and everyone seemed nicely dressed and very much in the mood of the season.
Gustaf Anders is one of my favorite restaurants. I think of it as a place for "luxury food." Do try it for yourself. It is pricey but worth it.