ATTENTION!! On the left hand column, you will find links to search by cuisine or city. You will also find a restaurant index of all of the places I have written about on the column on the right. If you enjoy the site, please bookmark the site and tell a friend! You can also subscribe to be notified when the site updates by entering your e-mail address in the box on the left. Happy Eating!

Please visit our partner sites for info on OC restaurant openings and special culinary related events, Booze It Up OC for info on OC 21+ events and Brunch In OC for info and reviews on weekend brunches.

Griffin Eats OC's Fan Box

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bistro West - Tustin District-CLOSED

2601 Park Ave
The District at Tustin Legacy
Tustin CA 92782
(714) 259-9378

1 other location in Carlsbad, CA


The latest new restaurant in The District at Tustin Legacy, Bistro West, opened a few days ago. I heard about a 25% off promotion they were having, so I decided to head down there for dinner. (Click Here to get Coupon-Expires March 15th 2009) Bistro West calls itself a restaurant that serves contemporary comfort food. Because of this, I expected the restaurant to be a lot more casual than it actually was. The interior of the large restaurant has a sleek modern look with large glass cabinets filled with wine bottles. The lighting is dim and the atmosphere is quite cozy.

We arrived around 6:30 PM on a Saturday night as a party of 5. I was expecting a wait since the restaurant had only been open for a few days. Instead we encountered a mostly empty restaurant. We were seated immediately at a nice table and were handed our menus and a wine list. We looked over the wine list and saw that Bistro West offers a lot of wines by the glass or half carafe. S and I decided to split a half carafe of wine.

A friendly waiter came to our table, introduced himself and told us that our waitress was on break. He grabbed one of the menus and pointed out each section of the menu to us. This was kind of a nice touch, but I thought it was unnecessary. We were perfectly capable of reading the heading on each page ourselves. He then brought us out some freshly baked rolls and butter. These rolls were fantastic. They were hot from the oven, crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.

Our waitress, fresh back from her break, came over to greet us and introduce herself. She then took our dinner order. R decided to get the Beef Stroganoff ($21.95). J ordered the Meatloaf Sandwich ($13.50) and V ordered the Ahi Salad ($17.95). S and I both decided to order burgers. S got the Turkey Burger ($11.95) and I got the cheeseburger ($11.95). S asked for her burger with cheddar cheese instead of the swiss that the menu stated it came with. I asked for both cheddar and crumbled bleu cheese on mine. I also asked her to add bacon to the burger ($1.50 extra). I then asked if the burger came with any type of sauce on the bun. The waitress told me that it did not. S and I both had to choose a side with our burger. Our choices were, French Fries, Steak Fries, Asian Cole Slaw, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Plain Mashed Potatoes, Mac and Cheese or Fresh Seasonal Fruit. S chose the mac and cheese, I decided to get the french fries.

By this time, we were out of the yummy fresh baked bread. We asked for more, but we were told that they were still in the oven. By the time they finally came out, we were already eating out entrees.

It wasn't very long before our entrees arrived. All of the food looked really yummy. S then noticed that her burger still came with swiss cheese instead of the cheddar that she asked for. Then I saw that both sides of my burger bun were slathered with a generous amount of some kind of sauce. We pointed both errors out to the waitress. She apologized and took S's burger back to be remade right away. She offered to bring me another bun for my burger. I tasted the sauce with my finger and decided that it was fine, so I declined the extra bun.

R seemed to really enjoy his beef stroganoff. The stroganoff was cubes of beef sautéed with onions, mushrooms, sour cream, red wine, sherry & veal demiglaze on a bed of fresh fettuccine. He said that although it wasn't really flavorful, it had a nice balanced flavor. He also felt that he got a nice generous portion.

J thought her meatloaf sandwich was ok. The menu described the sandwich as made with a bacon flavored Kobe beef blend and topped with a roasted tomato-port wine BBQ sauce. She said that the meatloaf wasn't bad, but that the sandwich itself was kind of dry. The sandwich basically consisted of bread, a slice of meatloaf and a tiny bit of sauce. She thought that the sandwich would have benefited from some mayo or other kind of sauce on the bread. Her sandwich was served with mashed potatoes and she really enjoyed them. She let S try her mashed potatoes and S ended up stealing most of them off her plate.

V liked her salad a lot. The salad came with seared sesame-crusted Ahi, sliced and served rare around baby greens with shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes & cilantro-garlic-sesame-soy dressing. V said that the dressing was really good. She also said that the salad came with these little toasted garlic chips that were really yummy. She was very happy with her salad.

S chomped down on her burger and said that it was really good. She tried her mac and cheese and thought it was ok, but after trying J's mashed potatoes, she wished she had ordered those. After S ate a lot of her burger, she decided that even though the burger was good, it wasn't so good that she wanted to keep eating it after she was full.

I put some yellow mustard on my burger and took a bite. The burger was really good. It had a nice beefy flavor and was really juicy. It was actually a little too juicy maybe because the bottom of my bun was pretty soggy. The burgers here are a combination of kobe and top sirloin beef. It turns out that the sauce is their signature sun-dried tomato truffle aioli. The burger was really yummy and I did want to keep eating it, even after I was full.

Overall, we all really enjoyed ourselves at this restaurant. The food was good and the service was great. I do however think that the restaurant was a little overpriced. Because of the high prices, I feel that it is a restaurant that will be reserved for small celebrations or when we're in the mood for a really special meal. If they brought their prices down some though, I could see myself eating here a lot more often.

It's a shame that this restaurant was so empty. The waitress said they were nearly empty on their opening night because of the heavy rain. I hope that people hear about this restaurant and go try it soon. This seems to be one of the better new restaurants to open in the area recently.

Bistro West on Urbanspoon


DanGarion said...

Almost sounds sort of like Lazy Dog Cafe...

Anonymous said...

We were just there too. Wish I knew about that coupon...oh well, next time. We had the ahi tuna tartare appetizer, the chicken pot pie and the seafood gumbo. Also shared a half carafe of the Bistro pinot noir. The ahi appetizer was excellent, the gumbo nice and spicy, but the pot pie kind of bland. $80 including tip, pretty pricy if you ask me, but I guess you're paying for the atmosphere too. The place was much nicer and larger than we expected. We also asked for refills on the delicious rolls and got them right away...I guess our timing on the oven was better than yours!

Griffin said...

Dan-It does seem kind of like Lazy Dog, except more expensive. If Bisto West had Lazy Dog prices, I'd be going there all the time.

Jumpcut-The place was much nicer than I expected too. I guess you are really just paying for the atmosphere because the food isn't that fancy.

Anonymous said...

I heard that is a really cool place... thanks for the informative and fun blog!