Monday, August 15, 2011

Chapter One: The Modern Local {Santa Ana, CA}

A night out with girlfriends deserves a meal to be remembered. I had heard about The Modern Local for months and when it was time to choose a place to dine out at, the choice was pretty easy. When we first entered, I loved the feel of the place. Casual but hip and definitely the kind of place you'd want to be at on a Friday night.

To start, my friend ordered the scotch egg: a hard-boiled egg wrapped in ground turkey, coated in panko and fried to a golden crisp. By the description, you can probably tell that it was pretty damn delicious. Crispy on the outside and meaty on the inside. Perfect.

For dinner, I ordered the Moroccan chicken sandwich to go alongside my Dutch Courage (an alcoholic concoction made with gin, banana-infused rum, lime juice, acai, celery bitters and simple syrup). The sandwich was served with a simple lentil salad. My meal, along with the martini was a bit sub-par. The sandwich was good but not great and the lentil salad was extremely bland - sadly. 

Even though the drink sounds super exotic, it wasn't exotic tasting. It was weird - I didn't not like it, I just didn't love it and nothing really stood out, taste wise. 

My friend got the Italian Burger, which was cooked perfectly medium rare. The burger was thick, just as it should be and paired with a meaty portobello. Served alongside duck-fat fries, it was pretty delicious. 

My other friend got the southwest salmon blt. Sadly again, it gave us the promise of grandiose flavors. I wish all promises people made were kept. Again, good but not great. 

For dessert, we opted for two, even though we were stuffed. But hey, there's a different stomach for desserts right? On the left is the 'milk & cereal' dessert which was a vanilla panna cotta served with cinnamon toast crunch ice cream and seasonal fruit. The panna cotta was all wrong in texture but still had a subtly great flavor. The best part was the ice cream - it tasted exactly like cinnamon toast crunch! 

On the right is the 'soft chocolate,' which was a soft chocolate ganache, served with crispy wonton strips, chocolate soil and sesame powder. This was a bit too rich for me and the texture was a bit wonky. Not totally creamy and a bit hard - weird. I didn't enjoy this one too much.

I really wanted to love Chapter One: The Modern Local, but it just did not deliver for me. Since I loved the atmosphere so much and did have a great time with my friends there, I'd definitely give it another chance - especially since they have $5 endless mimosa brunches on Sundays!


  1. hahah i KNOW the people that own chapter one!! well technically i know one of the co-founder/owner's wife. and i'd hate to admit it, but i didn't think that it was all that great either. at least it looked nice, right??

  2. Too bad... seems a little too inconsistent for my taste. Think I'll skip this one altogether! (not that I ever find myself in Santa Ana) Thanks for the heads up!

  3. @ theresa: duuuude yea my manager knows one of the owners too... soooo disappointing. but yes, cute atmosphere.

    @ style dilettante: seriously, so sad. i recommend skipping it too!