Costa Mesa Restaurant Week
Didn't know it was Restaurant Week when we went to try Mastro's for the first time. They had a special menu for the week, which was (relatively speaking) a good deal. In addition to the items on the published menu, they had a 10-ounce ribeye that was excellent. Prix fixe menu included appetizer (soup or salad), two individual size sides and a choice of 2 desserts. No substitutions on those other things, but it was in the $40s for the whole thing, whereas that can be the price of a steak alone....and the food really was excellent.
I went with a group this past Sunday and thought the $40 prix fixe was just ok. I've been to the Costa Mesa Mastro's twice before and it wasn't as good as I'm used to. My thoughts:
- French onion soup ok, the croutons are just way too big. My chopped salad was kind of flavorless.
- I got the 10 oz NY strip, just didn't have as much char and nice crust I had last time. Maybe it's because it's a smaller steak? The 1/2 rack of lamb was great.
- The side of au gratin potatoes were a bit lukewarm in the center. The side of broccoli was fantastic though, huge portion.
- The menu on the Restaurant week website lists a trio of mini butter cake, chocolate covered strawberry, and mini pecan tart. When we got there, the dessert option was some type of super rich (actually too much so) chocolate ganache cake or cheesecake. Fail, we had to order an a la carte butter cake for the table.
The deal definitely drew me in for $40 where the protein alone is usually in that range. I feel they compromised a bit to get to that price point, I would've paid a little more to get their usual well executed food. Also, our waiter was nice enough, but we didn't see him very much after we ordered, probably since we all did the restaurant week deal. I'd skip Mastro's for Restaurant Week and go a la carte, well worth putting your $40 into that instead.
2087 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Actually besides La Cave, I liked the deals at Mi Casa, Pinot Provence and Charlie Palmer's.
And while what they had at Antonello on special didn't excite me, they do have very good Italian food. Mastro's looked expensive for what they were offering, so I'd probably head down the coast to Mastro's Ocean Club, which is a nicer setting.
Mastro's Ocean Club
8112 E Coast Hwy, Newport Coast, CA 92657
La Cave Restaurant
1695 Irvine Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Pinot Provence Restaurant
686 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626