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 fried chickpeas and paprika mole, gnocchi and mussels served with olive tapenade, and bay scallop ceviche bound by avocado and pepper jam. Seasonal desserts have included spiced squash crème brûlée.