Cafe Gazelle in HB
We finally made it to Cafe Gazelle on Bolsa Chica last night for dinner. It's a small place, sparsely decorated. Service was very good but the place was almost empty at 6:15 PM. I sampled a special of the night which was shrimp and bay scallops in a bechamel type cream sauce with penne and hubby had carbonara along with a house salad. They served each of us a roll and butter and we each ordered a glass of chianti. My dinner was good and the scallops were excellent although the small shrimp were a little tough. Hubby said the carbonara wasn't as good as I make at home. All in all a satisfactory meal but nothing outstanding and we aren't in any hurry to go back.
3 of us gave it a shot last night and overall we're pretty satisfied, tried 2 shellfish and chicken dish, salads and soup. Attentive service, comfortable digs, easy parking in contrast to the Belmont 20, fair prices, and simple but nicely prepared country Italian with some unusual touches.
Please don't get blindsided by one negative review, google it to find mostly favorable reviews on other sites. We feel fortunate to have this resource in our town and as long as they keep up the quality & good service then yes, we will be back.
We took Bernado's advice and trekked back out to Caffe Gazelle (Huntington Beach, and yes, there are 2 f's in Caffe, according to the menu!) last night, and had a WONDERFUL dinner! We had originally planned to eat in the open air in Long Beach, but with the smoke from the fires moving north & west, we decided to drive a bit to the south for dinner before our night at the theater.
Our party of six enjoyed everything and I'm happy to report that the dinner menu seems to have expanded significantly since our last visit. First came the HOT, wonderful crusty rolls. Next was the salad - they will happily split the salad for two as it is large enough. Two of us had the Roma roasted Tomato with Fresh Mozzarella and Caramelized Balsamic onion, four of us had (split 2) Asiago Butter lettuce with Pear, Walnuts, olive oil and Asiago.
Several of the regular entrees we loved were: Sultanas Crusted Chicken Breast grilled with onions, tomato and raisins in saffron and lemon, and Piemontese Sliced Veal loin with leeks, tomato, and roasted eggplant. Four of us tried the following specials: Lamb Sausage with pasta, Braided Lamb (it really is braided!), and a fish dinner. On a small table outside the restaurant you can pick up a lunch menu and a dinner menu (which I did for future reference and for reporting back to Chowhound!), unfortunately the pick-up menus don't have the specials listed (the menus inside the restaurant did, and there were several more specials given orally as well, which included the fish dish) so I can't describe them in full for you, except to say that we were all delighted and plan to go back more often.
We were the first group to arrive, about 5:30, and it wasn't until about six that other smaller parties began filtering in. Service was again, very attentive, and we had the delight of sitting in the only "booth" in the place, which was quite cozy and just perfect for a party of six to eight. Hubby and I were the only two of the six who managed to find room for a dessert - a rich flan custard, which we happily split. All in all, everything was "just right" and completely delicious.
Menu entrees start at $10 and go up to $17 with most about the mid-point. Some of the specials are more. Salads are $8 but easily serve two as a side salad. We finished in plenty of time for the trekk to Long Beach to enjoy an 8 o'clock performance at the Long Beach Playhouse.
Caffe Gazelle, 16041 Bolsa Chica St. (at Edinger, in the center of the mini-mall), Huntington Beach, CA 92649 (714)-846-2694
Lunch served until 2, reopening at 5 for dinner.
For previous posts on this place: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/497857
re: Joani Macaroni
Joani, many thanks for your detailed review & glad y'all enjoyed. We also were impressed by the range of choices, e.g., the night we were there they had escolar for a special, a fish we have often enjoyed at the 2 Hot Tamales' Border Grill in SM, albeit at much higher prices. While none of us were in the mood for fish, we were pleased to see such favorable offerings from this small but sophisticated eatery.
We've been several times now, most recently Sunday evening. I had the Cannelloni Toscanini (Crepes filled with Ricotta, spinach, and Mortadella in a tomato Bechamel sauce). OH - THIS WAS HEAVEN!
Hubby had the Lamb sausage with pasta (from the back of the dinner menu) and he enjoyed it as much as last time.
Can't wait to go back again . . .
16041 Bolsa Chica St, Huntington Beach, CA 92649