Hush, Laguna Beach, Winter Prixe Fixe $29 Menu
Board is fairly quiet around Hush of Laguna Beach. Thought I would try it by using their $29 3 course menu. The opentable special menu of $35 is apparently nearly identical, by the way. Anyone been to Hush in the past 6 months and/or tried the Winter Menu special? Thanks.
I have heard many rumors that Hush is having moderate to severe financial difficulty - who isn't nowadays? The scuttlebutt was that they were on the market and off and on again to sell the place.
My experience echos yours. Decent service. Food is mediocre and uninteresting. Normal pricing is steeper than it should be. The wine list is very good in terms of selection, but not so in terms of value.
Here's my review based upon my recent visit:
Hush recently provided me one of the most disappointing meals I have eaten in Southern California in 10 years.
Arrived as the only diners. Stil the only diners 20 minutes later, I asked the front door woman to find us a waiter (as it turns out - the waiter). He was apparently showing someone the wine cellar, which is fine, except for the part where we wait 20 minutes, presumably because nobody told him we were here. Or maybe they were just surprised to have a customer.
Ordered, as planned and as CONFIRMED by phone when we reserved, off the $29 winter menu, which is still online as of this writing on their website at http://www.hushrestaurant.com/menu.htm . Except at the restaurant it's the $35 winter menu; exact same menu, 20% price increase. Decided, that at $6pp since we're already here, let's move on. If the meal had not been so poor, the bait and switch on the pricing would be more acceptable after the fact; but it was not to be.
Salad was fresh and nicely dressed. Bisque was sludgy, thick but without flavor, with a desolate, overtoasted, store-bought crostini.
Flatiron steak was uninteresting, without much flavor, served with an above average mustardy glaze and a terrible blue cheese cake that tasted nothing of cheese or blue/blu. Mahi mahi was literally unseasoned, with ordinary whipped potatoes and peeled, overcooked asparagus spears. Very disappointing piece of fish.
Creme brulee was poor, served with ok blackberrys. Sorbets sounded interesting (selection of 3, then 2 brought, then third brought) but were in fact terrible, served too large, too cold, and again with no intensity of flavor.
Service was fine once started. Room was somewhat interesting in design (dim lighting, modern feel, clean lines), but with poor acoustics from the bar (loud due primarily to one small group being loud) to the dining room (silent).
Wine list was impressive in scope, but not qualified to speak intelligently to its value proposition.
A strong disrecommend.
I haven't eaten here, yet - but I will say that Trevor and Michael are very sharp, and that they have one of the most interesting and ambitious wine programs in Orange County. If you do go - and you like to geek out about such things - check out the wine library in the refrigerated cabinets next to the bar - verticals of La Tache, Gaja, first-growth Bx, other fun stuff!
There may even be a very exciting wine dinner in the works which I may be involved with - more details to follow...