Salad

Dinner Happy Hour: Toast Kitchen + Bakery

I know I skipped last week’s post but I need a break as well. This was a Dinner Happy Hour and the reason I call it this is the fact that Toast only has this menu for dinner. It makes me think is this a Happy Hour or is it just a dinner menu? Regardless, any place that specifically says that it is a Happy Hour then I will be there.

There are two entry points for this restaurant. I just so happened to go through the one that leads straight to the bar. This may not be the biggest bar I have visited but all that matters is that they can make a drink. One aspect I love about the bar is the aged wooden backsplash. It almost reminds me of an old saloon, especially with the swinging doors leading to the kitchen.

Overall this is a small restaurant given the size of the dining area. At first glance, you see the drab gray concrete wall that encompasses this side of the restaurant. However, one then starts to look within the shelves to spot a variety of different knick-knacks. You have many framed photographs but along the shelves, you can spot some old-school trinkets. The one that pops out to me the most is the old bright red toaster on the far right.

When one hears Toast they may think about the toast one would eat for breakfast or brunch. Given that this place is a big brunch spot one would lean towards Toast representing breakfast. However, this place is also a bakery and one of the parts that give this way is the pastry display right next to the register. I know my mouth watered as I look upon this display case thinking what I could have.

I’ve only ever posted a picture of my water once. It was my very first walking distance Happy Hour which was at Verde Kitchen. However, I just had to get a picture of the awesome glassware that it is served in. Although maybe I should call it metalware since it is in a heavy-duty metal cup. There is something about drinking out of a cool cup that improves your dining experience.

This entire menu is the one and the only menu they provided and as you can see they serve Happy Hour from 3-7 pm. On the left side are all of your food options which are divided into three easy sections for one to find what they are looking for. The sections are Share, Salads & Sandwiches, and Entrees. Given that Happy Hours are notoriously known for serving appetizers as their food items I was surprised to see there were only two choices to pick from. When you come to this Happy Hour be prepared to have an actual meal.

The right side of the menu is dedicated to all of the drinks! They have a wide variety of options to choose from. Two drinks popped out at me but I did not get them for this Adventure, unfortunately. But one of the drinks, well I guess it’s more than one, is the one that has a popsicle right in the drink. I need to come back just to try one of those because how fun would that be? The one that also interested me was the 2020 $#I+ Show and I’m sure you can read in between the lines. I just need to bring someone along to share this tasty tiki drink with since it serves 2 people.

For those that know me then I’m sure you know what my first drink had to be. If you guessed the Mai Taison then you are correct. It is just a Mai Tai but I guess they wanted to increase the length of the name? It almost feels like it could be a play on Mike Tyson. Who knows. As with most Mai Tais, I have this one was rum heavy which I appreciated. The combination of both the Yuzu and Orgeat provided some sweetness.

Thinking through my Adventures this is the first Happy Hour Mai Tai at a restaurant in Orange County. There was the Mai Tai in Palm Desert at Water’s Edge, however, that wasn’t a true Mai Tai. Although I did make my own Mai Tai for a Make Your Own Adventure that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I decided to step out of my comfort zone and give a bourbon cocktail a try. I’ve had a couple of bourbon cocktails before but I usually don’t get them often. I decided to go for the There Will Be Blood Orange. Given the name, you know this is all about that red blood orange to bring on more intense citrus notes. This is ideal because you need something powerful to help balance out the strength of the bourbon. I felt the rosemary did not come through as much but I did taste little hints of it. I did enjoy the black salt rim for both that salty taste but also it is aesthetically pleasing. It does give off Fall and Halloween vibes. This makes sense given the name seems like it is plucked straight out of a Horror film.

As much as I would have wanted to get something from each of the three food sections it did not work out. First up were the pork rinds from the Share section. I do have to say these were some giant pork rinds. They seemed fresh and served straight out of the fryer which made for a warm pork rind. You can just see the air bubbles that formed as the pork skin crisped up in the fryer. These had the perfect crunch, saltiness, and pork flavor to them.

It doesn’t stop there because there were two sauces served on the side meant to dip your pork rinds into. The best part about dipping them into the sauce is that you can hear the crackling within the pork rind. It’s like a symphony just playing a song to entice you to eat them.

The big question though is what are these sauces. The one served on the left is the salsa verde and the one sitting to the right is the chili-lime aioli. The salsa verde was served hot which I found very odd. I have a feeling that it was just freshly made and came straight from the blender. This was by far my favorite of the sauces because of the bright powerful pepper flavor coming from it.

The chili-lime aioli was not as flavorful as the salsa verde unfortunately. It was a cream-based sauce that I felt needed a bit more seasoning to bring it to its full potential. I think it was too lime-forward in taste and I didn’t get too much of the chili flavor. I think if there was more spice and extra seasoning then this could have been great.

The next section of items was a mix I went with someone that ended up ordering from the salad section. It just ended up working out that we had collectively gotten something from each section. She ended up ordering the Endive salad without goat cheese to make it vegan-friendly. I didn’t get a chance to give it a try but she said it was a great salad. I just wanted to share because it was a beautiful salad.

There were several items that I wanted to choose from but in the end, I went with the Curry Fried Chicken Sandwich. The sandwich came served open which ensures that the freshly seasoned cucumbers don’t get soaked up in all the sauce. Speaking of sauces this sandwich had two and I am always a sucker for sauces. The white sauce you see smothering the crispy chicken is tzatziki while underneath the chicken was the curry aioli. All of these ingredients were being held up by a soft grilled potato bun.

Now that the Curry Fried Chicken Sandwich is assembled it is time to dig in. The first thing you dig your teeth into is that pillowy soft potato bun which given that Toast is also a bakery I wouldn’t be surprised if they made it themselves. Next, you taste the crisp cucumbers to give some fresh veggies into the mix.

As your teeth dig deeper and deeper the next layer is the creamy tzatziki sauce. At long last, you make it to the super crispy chicken at the center. I feel that this was one of the most flavorful pieces of fried chicken I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. The chicken underneath the fried exterior had a mix of white and dark meat which helped add in more flavor!

Last but not least was the curry aioli which I, unfortunately, did not really get a lot of in terms of the flavor. I felt the tzatziki was so plentiful that it downplayed the flavor of the curry aioli. However, I think a simple fix for this would be to put less tzatziki sauce so that way the curry flavor comes through.

Overall I felt like this was a great meal to enjoy with good company. Nothing beats being able to enjoy some drinks and good food with someone. In the end, Happy Hour is all about being able to meet new people and socializing.

Website: Toast

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Since there was a salad involved in this Happy Hour I have this question. What is the best salad you’ve ever had?

Let me know down below in the comments and share with friends who would enjoy this Happy Hour.

May the adventures continue! Cheers!

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