An enchanting mermaid lures Orange County foodies and tan, beach, beautiful people with her siren song to Starfish in Laguna Beach, seducing them with bites of Asian coastal cuisine and the promise of more delights.
Tabu Grill owner Nancy Wilhelm unveiled her latest culinary concept Starfish a few weeks ago at a Grand Unveiling reception and fundraiser which resulted in over $8,000 benefiting the local Pacific Marine Mammal Center and leaving guests hungry for more of her renditions of classic Asian dishes, signature cocktails, sexy ambiance, and richly-hued Asian meets art deco design.
Seductively labeled “Opium Bites” on the menu, guests were offered an array of tray-passed appetizers which were more familiar than fusion and tasty enough to entice you to return. So join the buzz and take a drive to legendary Laguna Beach to try Starfish for yourself.
Mauna Kai Ahi Poke
yellow fin tuna, with tobiko cavier, scallions, pine nuts and truffle oil served on taro chips and dotted with micro shiso
Saigon Spring Rolls
tiger prawns, vermicelli, mint, Thai basil and cilantro with the smoky flavor of grilled asparagus, and the crunch of carrot, cucumber and mung bean sprouts with roasted peanut hoisin sauce
Kobe Banh Mi Beef Sliders
Vietnamese seasoned kobe beef on a sweet bun with pickled carrots, daikon, sriracha aioli and cilantro
Lemongrass Filet Satay (my favorite bite of the evening)
spicy lemongrass marinated filet mignon with chili, lemongrass, mint dipping sauce
In the food frenzy, I didn’t get a good photo of the BBQ Chicken Lumpia (roasted teriyaki dark meat chicken, with crunch carrot, cabbage, and mung bean sprouts flavored with garlic chives, scallions, and cilantro and a bit of heat from jalapeno served with sweet & sour dipping sauce) but I do remember that the dark meat added a wonderful depth of flavor.
Oh, the rapture!
Photo courtesy of Patty Mitchell
30832 S. Pacific Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651