Today is: Friday, April 28, 2017






Seasons 52 Restaurant Review

Seasons 52 Bringing Warmth and Fresh Seasonal food to Southern California Located at the South Coast Plaza, Seasons 52 is the first of the Seasons 52
collection in California and the first one west of the Mississippi. This restaurant
has excised an oasis of warmth and hospitality. A seasonally changing menu of
specials promises regular innovation. Above all, it is their shared passion for
the craft and for their customers that permeates Seasons 52.

A warm and inviting ambiance welcomes diners into an appealing open space
divided into four sections: a circular piano bar, dining area with tables and booths, private dining rooms and an open kitchen. An expansive patio with two fire pits
also offers an ideal spot to dine. Indeed Seasons 52 have created an experience
that makes fine dining accessible and approachable to everyone, blending
the open-armed welcome of a family meal with the sense of awe
and deep palate pleasures of haute cuisine artistry.

I am struck by its delightfully elegant aesthetic and the lighting further enhances the interior’s contemporary appeal. Seasons 52 is the visual articulation of its creators’ culinary philosophy, uniting a rustic, familial charm, Old World elegance, and
subtle, refreshing notes of modernity. Sophisticated decorative accents elevate
the ambience and create interesting juxtapositions. Splashes of a variety of
warm colors in upholstery throughout the room punctuate the space
with a distinctive vibrancy. It is both elegant and homey,
instantly putting us at ease.

We are seated at the far end of the restaurant and are immediately greeted by Chef Timothy Kast himself as he strides out from the back kitchen and from the Managing Partner Rikin Lakhani. They greet us warmly and animatedly. Then Chef Kast returns to our table throughout our meal, sharing stories about his culinary experience, and entertaining us with his ebullient personality. At first I think that we’re receiving special treatment because of the nature of our visit, but, as the afternoon progresses, I notice Chef Kast and his attentive staff stopping at each table to ensure that every guest is comfortable and looked after. Some diners exchange boisterous pleasantries with
him, while others, like myself, are mercifully spared the awkwardness of Chef’s
Kast contagious energy. Laughter and friendly chatter fill the dining room, as
diners and employees luxuriate together in the simple joie de vivre of a shared
love of food. The service is impeccable offering healthful, lower-calorie menu
and an amazing international wine list. The menu for the The menu for the
Seasons 52 collection was created by Senior Culinary Director
Clifford Pleau – featuring wood-fire grilling, brick-oven cooking and
the absence of fryers – all to ensure flavorful, healthful fare.

A fresh grill and wine bar, Seasons 52 features a seasonally inspired menu and an intriguing international wine list, as well as impeccable service and an inviting, sophisticated ambiance. Offering healthful, lower-calorie menu items
and an extraordinary wine selection, Seasons 52 chefs use rustic
cooking techniques, such as roasting, grilling and
caramelizing, to enhance natural flavors.



Happily distracted by the activity throughout the restaurant, the Maui Tuna Crunch salad is a breath-taking surprise that returns our attention to the primary focus of our visit: the food. A very light salad consisting of sushi grade seared tuna and tuna tartare, mango salsa, almonds and miso vinaigrette, glistening from its own juices. Once we dare to deconstruct the delicate culinary sculpture, the dish reveals its true treasures: At first bite, the sweetness of the tuna tartare hits the tongue, then blends effortlessly into the pungency of the vinaigrette‘s peppery bitterness. Flavors layer upon one another in a mirror of its visual presentation, transforming my expectations about the very concept of a salad with this nuanced interpretation. It is a dazzling beginning
to our feast, one that suggests a memorable meal of hidden pleasures.





From the Flatbreads menu, we tried the Rosemary & Parmesan Cheese Crisp bread and the Grilled Steak & Cremini Mushroom Flatbread with fresh leaf spinach and Wisconsin blue cheese. Each bite is the essence of comfort. Lovely counterpoints
to the complexities of these two flatbreads are a study in the flavor potentials of
fresh ingredients. In a stroke of brilliance, slices of tomatoes reference the common Mediterranean climate shared by the restaurant’s culinary inspiration and its
current Southern Californian location. While the presentation is simple, and unpretentious, each bite reveals subtle sophistications. The flavors are clean
and refreshing, with the nutty cremini mushrooms accenting the creaminess
of the mozzarella, and the greens adding sharp flavor punctuations. Like a
skillfully crafted work of art, it gives the impression of easy replication,
when in reality, it is the quality of the ingredients, and their
shrewd and precise application, that make
these Flatbreads so satisfying.



From their appetizers menu, we also tried the Caramelized Dungeness Crab &
Shrimp Stuffed Mushroom with roasted garlic and Monterey Jack Cheese.
Another wonderful creation, superb in presentation and taste.



There is a large variety of great Lunch Main Plates, such as Ravioli, Chicken, Veggie Plates, etc. Although the Caramelized Sea Scallops and the Cedar Plank Roasted Salmon arrive together, their flavor profiles differ greatly, and showcase the diversity of the Season’s 52 kitchen. The pungent aroma of the seafood fills the air as soon as the Salmon is placed at the table, eliciting the satisfying, cozy feelings of a nourishing fresh meal. The buttery Salmon, infused with a hearty, taste, is accented by the toothy texture of the fresh asparagus and red bliss potatoes. The dish warms us to the
core, and is a wonderful antidote to the darkness of the approaching fall.



In contrast, the Sea Scallops is light and ethereal: a reveling in fruits de mer. This dish
is a bounteous, tangled nest of oceanic treasures. The flavors are as bright and varied
as the visual cornucopia suggests, accented by lemony acid and subtle ocean brine.



Jokingly lamenting that he has been relegated to baking flatbreads and making desserts, Chef Kast insists we try these mini sweet creations. We cannot resist
his charming entreaties. As soon as we see the desserts, we are glad we
succumbed. There is a huge variety of Mini Indulgences Desserts such as
Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse; Key Lime Pie, Pecan Pie, Carrot Cake,
Meyer Lemon Pound Cake, Mocha Macchiato, Fresh Fruit, Belgium
Chocolate Rocky Road and Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse.



Each bite overwhelms with the decadence of chocolate without being cloyingly
sweet, the tartness of the raspberries cutting through the richness. As our spoons
sink in, we are delighted to discover that each one of these charming small
desserts are truly spectacular. The desserts are astounding, delicate
and refined, and certainly nothing to lament.

As we take our leave, Chef Kast bid us affectionately goodbye with a hug and a
kiss on both cheeks, as if we are their own daughters. We leave behind the
amazing warmth of Seasons 52 for the noise of the South Coast
Plaza mall, our appetites and our hearts deeply satiated.

Open daily for lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday – Thursday;
open until 11:00 p.m Friday and Saturday. Entrees range from $12.75 to $26.95.
Appetizers are priced from $4.95 to $15.95.

The restaurant encompasses approximately 8,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor
space. Complimentary valet parking is offered. The main dining room seats300 and
the expansive outdoor terrace seats 65 diners. The bar area seats 30.

         With two private dining rooms and a chef’s table, plus full-service audiovisual capabilities and a dedicated event planner, the restaurant offers an ideal setting for private and semi-private events – from business functions to family celebrations.


For map and location click Here!

For more information please visit their
website at www.seasons52.com

Article By: Mary Adams
Photos By: Mary Adams


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