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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kimera Happy Hour - Irvine



19530 Jamboree Rd
Irvine, CA 92612

Telephone: 949.261.1222
Fax: 949.261.8999
eMail Address: info@kimerarestaurant.com

Happy Hour in the bar Monday-Saturday 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Fri-Sat 5:00 Pm-10:00 PM All other days
(restaurant is closed on Sundays)
Park in the parking structure and they will validate your parking

IMPORTANT UPDATE!!! AS OF 4/25/08 KIMERA HAS CHANGED THEIR HAPPY HOUR, HOURS. THEIR HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE UNTIL CLOSE. HAPPY HOUR NOW ENDS AT 7:00 PM ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY AND AT 10:00 PM ON OTHER DAYS. I LEARNED THIS THE HARD WAY!


A friend and I were recently looking for a place to go get a drink and a little food during happy hour on a Friday night. After much debate, we decided to go somewhere that my sister had recommended to me. Kimera. Kimera is a restaurant located at the base of the Google building in Irvine. It is a restaurant owned by “Dining As Art,” the same company that owns Bistango, Bayside, Impa CafĂ© and Tonic Juice and Coffee Bar.

Kimera has an especially good happy hour in their bar area because it runs from 5:00 PM to close Monday through Saturday. This is great because there is no rushing to order happy hour specials by a certain time. Kimera offers some delicious bar food “small plates” for $5 each during their happy hours. While this is very cheap for the items offered, they are actually pretty small so if you come hungry, you can easily order $30+ in food per person.

My buddy and I took a seat on one of the comfy couches that were situated around the bar. A tiny bar table was there in front of the couch. The vibe is trendy with a lot of young, Irvine professionals that have just gotten off work. The bar area is quite large and they also have an outdoor patio with additional couches, tables and stools.

We took a look at their menu and I was immediately excited to try everything. Unfortunately, I had dinner plans for later that night so I knew I had to limit myself. I decided to start out with the Ahi served over a Soba Noodle Salad with Pickled Ginger-Apricot Puree and Jalapeno Soy Vinaigrette. My buddy started off with the Chicken Alfredo Pizza with Garlic and Chili Flakes.

We ordered a couple of drinks and sat back to soak in the extremely relaxed vibe. A couple of tables seemed to be hosting little birthday parties. Although the crowd mostly looked like young professionals, there were also older people mixed in the crowd as well. I felt like I was part of some trendy “scene.”

Our food came out fairly quickly. I looked at my plate and knew I would be happy with my decision. The ahi was seared perfectly on the outside and the soba noodles were perfect. The sauce went well with the dish and was not overpowering with ginger flavor like I was afraid it was going to be. It was excellent.

My buddy was surprised at how large his pizza was. Even though it looked pretty big at first, it was wafer thin. The chicken was piled on top and looked as if it had been placed there after the pizza was cooked. He really seemed to like the pizza and said that the chili flakes and garlic were his favorite part.

After I wolfed down my ahi, I decided to order one more item. There was one item on the menu I just couldn’t resist. The Sweet and Sour Pork Belly served with Charred Pineapple and Shishito Peppers. My buddy enjoyed his pizza so much that he ordered another one sans chicken. He said that the chicken kept falling off the pizza so it was making it a challenge to eat it.

Our food again arrived quickly. My pork belly looked delicious. It tasted even better than it looked. Small bite size pieces of pork belly were fried until they were tender and crispy. They were tossed with a fantastic sweet and sour sauce that I mopped up with every piece. The charred pineapple, onions and bell peppers complemented the dish very well. I told my friend how good it was so he had to order one for himself. He thought it was quite good as well.

I wanted to order more food, but I didn’t want to spoil my dinner. I can’t wait to go back here for happy hour. There were so many other things on the menu I wanted to try, like the Chorizo Pizza with Grilled Scallions and Manchego Cheese, the Philly Cheesesteak, the Garlic Herb Fries, the Mussel Fritters, the Polenta Rosemary Beignets, The Ceviche, the Sliders and so many more. I can’t wait to return. I can’t wait.

Kimera Restaurant Lounge on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

Hiromi said...

You MUST get the fries next time. Very good.

Liz said...

I used to work at the Bayside restaurant in 2005. I know the General Mgr there too. They have a great wine tasting every thursday, $15 for 5 wines!