Fountain Valley doesn’t exactly bring to mind the trendiest or most food forward culinary scene. I think of cheap Asian eats. So it was surprising to learn something as trendy as The Recess Room had landed in Fountain Valley. The Yelp reviews seemed pretty stellar and the food looked fantastic. This place is probably best with a group of 4 or more diners. Our small party of 2 definitely over ordered.
It was seriously 99% crab. It was really impressive. Better than any crab cake out there because it was packed full of crab. A definite must!
Doritos fried jidori chicken skin, ranch powder, white miso corn porridge
This was the first time the sight of me taking photos triggered some special treatment at a restaurant. Our waitress sent this freebie over. The idea of crispy chicken skin seasoned like a Doritos ranch chip is full of potential. The battered exterior was on point, but beneath all that was limp chicken skin. I wasn’t sure how the miso corn porridge fit into the whole dish either.
Bone Marrow Mac & Cheese cheddar, pepperjack, jalapeño mozzarella, bacon, trottole pasta
This seemed like another popular item. The mac & cheese tasted like a good mac & cheese. The bone marrow was superfluous, but a nice thought nonetheless.
Steak outside skirt, okra, baby bok choy, jalapeño, shitake mushroom, pickled ginger, tare, yolk
The steak was nicely prepared with an Asian influence. The use of pickled ginger, most commonly associated with sushi, was a unique accompaniment. There may have been too much of it, but I still really liked the dish. The sweet salty tare and yolk was another Japanese inspiration I enjoyed. A nice dish overall.
Hot Date medjool date cake, sticky toffee caramel, whipped cream, pistachio powder, butter pecan
I’m not a date person, but this was good. It’s not like there were chunks of dried fruit throughout. Rather, the sweet sticky flavor of dates permeated through the moist cake.
Cereal Milk Crème Brûlée frosted flakes, cinnamon toast crunch, seasonal berry
Crème brûlée doesn’t really do it for me. We didn’t actually order this, but this was another freebie from our wonderful waitress. The combination of frosted flakes and cinnamon toast crunch milk made for a heavenly treat. Smooth, creamy, just the right amount of sweetness. This was a great ending to a solid meal. YUMS!!
Gastropubs tend to run a bit heavy for me. I can’t deny that Recess Room fits that profile. The first 3 dishes weren’t things you’d find on a Weight Watchers menu. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the meal and appreciate the talent in the kitchen. The Doritos and mac were a bit of a miss for me, but I loved everything else. The menu has so much more to offer, so I can’t wait to come back here. I hear you can have a whole pig’s head, crispy skin, fatty goodness and all.
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here