Tangata, Santa Ana

March 1, 2016

Tangata is the restaurant of the excellent little Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California. Barney and Roy Ann joined Linda and me for lunch there on February 10, 2016.

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We were seated at a table in the middle of the spacious, quiet dining room. There were also outdoor tables available. 

Linda started with a Corona beer, Barney had a Beefeater martini (not too dry,) and I had a glass of Chardonnay, which would be followed by a glass of Pinot Noir.
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We shared two orders of
Crispy Calamari
Fresh Monterey squid, espelette, pickled peppers, Thai eggplant purée.
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The battered and deep-fried squid rings were crisp on the outside and still moist on the inside. The pepper strips and eggplant purée underneath added needed interest. A good start.

Roy Ann went on to
Asia Pesto Shrimp Salad
Gem lettuce, mango, avocado, cucumber,
fresno chili, green papaya, passion fruit vinaigrette.
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She was happy with this green salad with plenty of added Asian interest.

Barney had
Chicken Banh Mi
Grilled chicken, pickled daikon and carrots,
cilantro, mushroom pâté, charred jalapeño aïoli
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This sandwich of Vietnamese inspiration had well chosen ingredients.

Linda had
Seared Tuna Tataki Sandwich
Flash seared ahi tuna, sesame wakame,
wasabi aïoli, avocado, soy onions.
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The seared tuna and aïoli plus accompaniment were very good, particularly when two-thirds of the bread roll were removed. 

I had
Korean Marinated Skirt Steak
Sesame glass noodles, spicy cabbage,
charred green onion.
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The spicy marinade for the flank steak was soy based. It was grilled and thinly sliced. The vegetables and noodles were appropriate and very good.

Roy Ann’s dessert was
Crème Brûlée
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Barney and I had
Banana Spring Roll
Banana, jack fruit, sesame caramel sauce,
coconut ice cream
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This dessert was superb. The banana spring rolls were freshly cooked and still warm, enhancing the caramel.

This meal was a good example of what a light lunch should be. The ingredients were top quality; the composition of each dish and its execution were done with care. There was no lowering of standards just because a dish was a sandwich or a salad. The service was friendly and the noise level low. Bravo.


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