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Feb 11, 2008 06:15 PM

Tango In Escondido

The week before my birthday, my husband suggested the new restaurant Tango and I figured why not. He had casually mentioned that we were going to do a tasting menu and I didn’t think anything of it. As we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised at the space! The décor is warm and inviting, simple and tasteful.

We were immediately seated in the full restaurant. The manager approached us and asked if it would be interested in the Chef’s Tasting Menu. I was ecstatic and my husband just smiled . . . It seems that he had talked to the Chef earlier in the week and coordinated everything. As the plates began to arrive, I found myself sitting on the edge my chair anticipating every next course. Each course was perfectly plated and the service was absolutely impeccable. 11 courses and three hours later, I could not have been any closer to a food comma.

The most notable courses of the evening were the ravioli with carrot puree and short ribs, the venison duo with venison chop & venison meatloaf, the Humbolt Fog goat cheese soufflé and the chocolate tasting.

Prior to the presentation of the dessert, Chef Russell Hawkins came out to greet us. His passion for food carried through to his personality; Friendly, engaging and genuinely interested in our experience. Tango is gem. It could compete with the latest and greatest restaurants in Hillcrest, Bankers Hill or North Park, but instead it resides in Escondido, forever raising the bar for North County restaurants!

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    1. re: soulshine

      I simply guessed that it must have gone in the space Asia Vous used to occupy (417 West Grand Avenue), and a Google search shows me that indeed it did.

    2. I absolutely love the food at Tango. My husband and I have gone twice and the short ribs, no matter how they are served, are unbelievable. In fact, I'm drooling a bit just writing about them. Last time they were served with carrot tortellini, this time it was a take on a tamale with mole--and a super crisp chile relleno. The crab BLT had great smoky flavor and a luscious lemon sabayon. Service was great both times, at the bar or at a table. Things are on the expensive side--the wine specifically--but I'll be going back just as soon as I can. And since I live right in Escondido, I can just walk over when I feel like it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: escondido123

        I was just there this past weekend and had the tamale & short ribs as well! So, so good!!! Nice to hear that you enjoy it just as much! And I'm definitely jealous that you live in a walking distance! Did you see that they're expanding next door as well? If you visit again soon, we had a strawberry dessert that was served in an individual cast iron pan (for the life of me, I cannot remember the name), but was so good!

      2. Thanks for the review, charlie doodle. My husband and I are going to check it out on Friday for "restaurant week." I was a little weary when making the reservations, but it sounds like we'll have a great experience.

        1. Based on what I read here on the board and that my wife and I are always up for a good meal, we went to Tango tonight. Made the reservation online while at lunch up the street and got an early-ish reservation for two. We got there about 10 minutes early and were seated at a nice table for two immediately. The service was very good to start out, but as the restaurant got busier the service began to fall off. The menu consisted of two pages. Page one was the larger five course prix fixe menu and the other was the three course. There were two selections for each course. I chose the three course and my wife chose the five.

          They had two large parties, one of 10 seated near us and a party of 8 in the center of the room later and the noise level was very high at that point. The wait staff was hard pressed and we had to wait a very long time between the last entree course and the dessert course.

          Overall, I would say that it was a good experience, but not great. We will give it another chance and ask to be seated away from the large parties.

          On a scale of 5, the food rates a five. The service rates a two.

          1 Reply
          1. re: araknd

            If possible, you might want to try a weeknight to avoid these sorts of large parties.