The Blind Pig Kitchen + Bar
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The Blind Pig Kitchen + Bar Restaurant Review: Like most inland South Orange County restaurants, this Rancho Santa Margarita gastropub is tucked in a sprawling strip mall. The place’s neighborly motif is marked by warm woods, eclectic music, some lounge-style seating and an outdoor patio that overlooks the adjacent man-made lake. Local folks like to belly up to the lengthy bar and knock back craft cocktails, which were created by mixologist Gabrielle Dion. They also drop by to explore executive chef Karl Pfleider's take on contemporary comfort food. The compact, shared-plates menu is highlighted by dishes that balance simplicity and adventurousness, such as grilled octopus served with barrel-aged hot sauce, gnocchi with brown butter honey and cured egg yolks, and bay scallop served with a chickpea emulsion. Seasonal desserts have included flourless chocolate cake with salted caramel.