Restaurant Review: Hatch (Tustin, CA)

Our adventure started because Lynn and I wanted to see the Batman Lego movie. Lynn had just read the March/April Westways Magazine’s (AAA of California’s magazine) 14th Annual Cheap Eats Dining Review. There was a review of Hatch in Tustin’s Union Market at The District and the movie was showing there as well. Our date was set.

As the article said: “You can’t exactly stumble upon Hatch.” That is an understatement. You have to hunt real hard to find it. But the good news is once you find it you will be charmed by the retro, mid-century Tiki décor, Disneyland-inspired “Enchanted Tiki Room” wallpaper, and cool retro lights. It is small and quaint with only a handful of tables inside plus a bar that seats about 10. There is also outside dining perfect for most nights.

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The menu is quite simple. Their specialty is sliders, but these are not your local sliders. These are gourmet, craft, creative sliders. You can order a combo on the menu of 2 sliders and a side for $14. The menu is creative as the sliders are broken into Moo, Oink, Flap, Swim, and Sprout. There are 3 different sliders in each category.

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The Hatch slider is their signature item. It’s an all-beef patty, fried onions, Hatch sauce, a Portuguese bun, and a slice of crispy grilled cheese hat. It was a fantastic burger, and I am still amazed by that thin sheet of grilled cheese. How did they do that?

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I had a Hatch and a Buffalo Chicken slider. The buffalo chicken is buttermilk fried chicken, parmesan, Sriracha buffalo sauce, with carrots and celery. Both were so different and so flavorful.They also have sliders with Japanese style fried pork, duck, salmon, soft shell crab, oyster, and more. Lynn had the soft shell crab and said it was fantastic.

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They consider themselves a Rum Bar and have the theme oriented glasses. They also have a full bar, wine and beer. I always order a bourbon drink (my name is not Rum or Tequila Bill, its Bourbon Bill). I ordered an Old Fashioned and it was perfect. An Old Fashioned is good with any food. But riven that rum is their specialty, I would suggest you try the house rum drinks. They also have a list of 26 creative and different craft beers.

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I would highly recommend Hatch. We are looking for an excuse to go back very soon. There are also a number of interesting restaurants around Hatch.   Tustin’s Union Market has become a great little destination for dining!

Bar Review: Whiskey Cake (again)

If you read my blog regularly you have probably already read about Whiskey Cake in Plano, TX. They have several hundred whiskies behind the bar. I was in Dallas last week (more specifically in Plano) on business. And once again I ended up at Whiskey Cake.

Lucky for me the chalkboard Happy Hour Cocktail Special was an Elijah Craig Old Fashioned for $5.00. I couldn’t resist and I wasn’t disappointed. They do a great job with their cocktails and its fun to just sit at the bar and watch their bartenders craft a lot of drinks. I love watching someone who enjoys their craft and is good at it.

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Well now for something off the menu I had not tried. The “OMG Burger” and it was amazing….! You can tell by the picture it’s a mouthful. The menu says they start with “onions, mushrooms, and goodness on a brisket burger, beer battered onion ring, roasted criminis, muenster, grain mustard, red chili mayo, lettuce, tomato, on put it on a challah bun.”

After the Old Fashioned, OMG Burger, and watching a lot of the Home Run Contest I decided it was time to finish off dinner with a Sazerac for my night cap. I had mine with Sazerac rye whiskey, simple, peychaud’s bitters, angostura bitters, absinthe rinse. A nice drink for $9.00.

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When in the Plano-area it is worth a trying Whiskey Cake. Great menu of appetizers, a lot of good sandwiches, main dishes, and salads.   But the main reason to go if you are a bourbon or rye drinker is their selection that you won’t find in many bars. They have been listed as one of the Top 50 Bourbon Bars in the USA.

They also do special dinners and the most recent was written on the Brown paper roll on the wall. A Whistle Pig pairing dinner. I can’t wait to go back and try something else on the menu!

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