I’m always on the hunt for new places to pop in for a quick drink and small plates. Orange County has tons of delicious little restaurants and bars, but you just have to know where to look for them. Juliette Kitchen and Bar is one of these gems that is located in a small strip mall off Bristol street.
The Englishman and I literally stumbled upon Juliette Kitchen and Bar one evening and decided to get a glass of wine and maybe a few appetizers to share. The inside was cute and cozy, and the place was packed. I liked the vibe immediately when I walked in.
We sat down at a table and ordered a glass of prosecco and rose. There was a slight mix up with our drinks and we ended up with a glass of prosecco and a glass of pinot grigio instead.
The waitress was quick to notice the error and immediately went and got the glass of rose, and let us have the pinot grigio on the house which was incredibly nice. I decided to order a couple of small bites to enjoy while we sipped our drinks.
First up was the Grilled Pear Salad with burrata cheese, hazelnuts, arugula and red wine.
I happen to love burrata cheese, so I knew this would be delicious and it was. I loved the creaminess of the cheese mixed with the salty hazelnuts and the sweet pear. It was absolutely delicious.
We also ordered some French Fries that came with harissa aioli and house made ketchup.
After having a couple of fries, the Englishman reminded me that I committed a big no-no when it comes to my food allergies: I didn’t ask what oil the fries were cooked in.
We flagged the waitress down and sure enough the fries were cooked in soybean oil. My heart sank since soy is one of the things I am allergic to. We explained the situation to her and she was nice enough to take the fries off our bill all together.
Since I had only had a couple of bites I didn’t have an allergic reaction, but it was just another reminder how important it is to ask how food is prepared. 99.9% of the time I always ask if a dish has corn, soy or walnuts in it and this was one of those rare circumstances where I didn’t ask. Since my allergies are not life-threatening, I have a slip up every now and then, but this was a strong reminder that I need to make sure I do my due diligence. The last time I encountered fries cooked in soybean oil was at Eat Chow a few months ago (but I asked beforehand in that situation).
That being said, I definitely want to go back to Juliette Kitchen and Bar and have one of their entrees (after checking the ingredients of course). Everything looked and smelled so good in there, and the staff was so friendly and nice. We will definitely be back.
Lesson of the day – always ask what’s in your food regardless of if you think it is a “safe” place or not.