Jungle Fever has been fighting the good fight against the most unfortunate of things…cancer. It super sucks of course, but he has been exuding a positive attitude and living life to the fullest these days. A full life for anyone who is really living, of course, involves eating well. Before his taste buds went all awry from chemotherapy, he planned a lovely dinner to celebrate a fun tennis season together. We went family style at The Playground for their weekly “Sunday Supper.” The “Sunday Supper” at The Playground is an awesome deal. For $55 (inclusive of tax and tip), you get 13 (14 if you include the cornbread) courses of anything goes food. By the end of the night you’re totally stuffed with food you’re not gonna find anywhere else. They’re constantly pushing the boundaries here. The Playground is definitely my top recommendation for any OC visitor. Of course our team captain, Mama-Cracks-That-Whip, and Potty Pie were in attendance, as well as some others who will probably never make another appearance on this blog, so my laziness is trumping my creative nicknaming at the moment.
Mixed green salad? Really? Well it was a tasty one, with lots of different textures, which I always appreciate. It was surprisingly VERY spicy. Never had a mixed green salad so spicy.
Cornbread chipotle honey brown butter
This was one of the strongest offerings of the night. You’re thinking “the cornbread was the best thing you ate? This meal musta sucked.” On the contrary, the meal was pretty good, but the cornbread was just so awesome. It was super moist and not too sweet. It was both fluffy and dense. I can’t decide whether I liked the cornbread here or at Hugo’s better.
The fish was good, but I really enjoyed the charred rice. Smokey!
Pretty standard, meaning falling off the bone tender, of course. The pomme puree and crispy red onions were traditional accompaniments, while the chimichurri was a unique twist.
I follow the making of The Playground’s fresh pasta on Instagram, but I can’t say I have ever been impressed with any of the pasta dishes here. The dish wasn’t bad, but it could be that I’m not a fan of pesto. I didn’t like the big hunks of mozzarella dotted throughout.
Not sure why chicken was the meat of choice. They were not the most moist meatballs. Pretty presentation, but many of us were getting stuffed by this point and this didn’t impress us enough to demolish the dish.
I’m sure every Sunday Supper includes this behemoth. It is probably The Playground’s signature dish that they do amazingly well. For such a giant cut of meat. it is always juicy and perfectly cooked. It is just the right amount of sweet and savory. This is a must have!
The first time I had the fried chicken, I was really off put by the tanginess from the vinegar based seasoning. This time, I quite appreciated it. This style is probably not my first choice, but I liked that tangy sweet kick. Potty Pie is a fan of Uncle Lou.
Seriously, that was soo much food, even for our large party of 10. But there was still room for dessert. I never had such a concoction of panna cotta with large pieces of chocolate chip walnut cookies, but it really worked. The coffee whipped cream was a nice complement against the caramel flavor. I loved how the dessert was not overly sweet.
This was another dish I had before, which I totally did not like. This time, I was really in love. I found the bread pudding to be more moist and the sticky toffee part to be less sweet. Overall, I can see why this is their signature dessert. Mama-Cracks-That-Whip was mmmm-ing every bite of this dish. She took many many bites. She even took home the leftovers. Not sure if she shared it with her husband and kids. I would not be surprised if she didn’t.
9 – Awesome! (because Sunday Supper is special and fun)
4 – Not bad