If you are searching for a hip, trendy restaurant to relax and have a drink at then AnQi Gourmet Bistro is the place for you. A friend of mine suggested trying this place since she went there with her husband and had such an amazing time. I am always up for trying restaurants recommended by my friends because most of them share my addiction to food, especially, when this could easily become one of the best restaurants around.
AnQi is located right next to Bloomingdale’s at the South Coast Plaza. AnQi is part of the House of An that also includes Crustacean; a sister restaurant in Beverly Hills. At first I was a bit taken aback because I didn’t expect to find such an amazing place hidden away in the corner. It has all the trendiness of a lounge in Hollywood with all the style of an Orange County restaurant. When you enter the establishment there is a warm glow and the interior is absolutely gorgeous. Wood paneling, granite and jeweled hanging fabrics.
We decided to sit in the lounge area so we could enjoy happy hour and still sample some of their unique Vietnamese fusion dishes. For drinks, we ordered the Pink Lotus Martini. It’s a cotton candy grapefruit concoction and whoever came up with this one should be awarded because it’s hands down one of the best martinis I have had in a long time. We ended up ordering two each..hey, it was HAPPY hour…or how they say it at AnQi; Red Hour. They weren’t too strong, just the right amount of sweet and strong to make a girl happy. Another very unique drink they had was a pink sake. It was flavorful, not strong, but delicious to taste. Almost like having a strawberry Sprite with a kick of alcohol.
In addition, to our lovely martinis we decided to order their famous “Garlic Noodles” and the Bun Bao. I ordered the Garlic Noodles with chicken. I want to point out that if you do order the Garlic Noodles I highly recommend ordering them either plain or with lobster. The chicken was totally not worth it, it was literally just grilled chicken on top of the noodles. They didn’t compliment the noodles whatsoever, the garlic noodles are perfect by themselves.
The Bun Bao was a unique dish with a fusion of flavors. They place the pork belly on a fluffy bun, the type you usually receive when ordering duck. If you have ever ordered duck you know what I am talking about. They place a dollop of hoisin sauce and the Bun bao is complete. We ordered this dish during their “Red Hour” so we only received 3 pieces. I am not sure if you receive more on the regular menu.
I really wish we had ordered more but we were quite full from the Garlic Noodles that we were unable to order more food. I am going to go back there very soon with my husband and order much more than I did with my friend. What can I say? Women tend to have smaller stomachs than their male counterparts. It’s a great date place, hang out, and relaxation venue either way. Another feature at AnQi is that once a month on Wednesday they have a fashion show that you can watch while you enjoy your meal and drinks. I think that my next encounter will definitely be on a Wednesday!
Starving Foodies Recommends:
Drinks: Pink Lotus Martini AND/OR Pink Sake
Appetizer: Bun Bao
Dinner: Garlic Noodles with or without Lobster
Order more food next time! Here is a picture of the last bun bao before I devoured it…
I don’t know what it is about this dish but it left me with a sense of peace. Maybe, it’s just me but it was like a little taste of heaven. This coupled with Garlic Noodles and a Pink Lotus made my week! Try this place out at Red Hour if the prices are a bit high for you or go there for dinner and you will surely leave there feeling satisfied.
Article by: The Food Junkie
3333 S. Bristol Street Costa Mesa, CA 92626