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Pascal

31451 Rancho Viejo Rd., Ste. 103 (Ave. Los Cerritos) Send to Phone
Cozy San Juan Capistrano bistro featuring French cuisine created by Orange County chef-restaurateur Pascal Olhats.

Cuisine
Open
Dinner Thurs.-Sat.
Features

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Pascal, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Pascal Restaurant Review

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About the restaurant & décor: Tucked away in a small corner of a bakery and festooned with warm red hues and decorative touches that evoke a feeling of Paris at its cultural apex, this cozy, charming bistro has a limited three-day schedule that makes it even more intimate. (The bakery is open Monday through Saturday.)

About the chef: The Pascal lending his name here is Pascal Olhats, the Orange County chef-restaurateur and former Paul Bocuse pupil whose skill has influenced multiple generations of epicurean talent. His eponymous restaurant provides him plenty of room to demonstrate a singular knowledge, one that meticulously upholds the true ingredient-driven roots of modern French cooking, even as he adds nuanced nods to California into the mix.

Likes: Intimate bistro setting.
Dislikes: Limited hours.

About the food & drinks: Expect classics portioned out in three prix-fixe courses on the menu; in the care of Olhats’ craftsmanship, it becomes clear why first course delights like escargot with baked veal bone marrow and foie gras d’automne are considered traditional essentials. Definitive second course offerings like the salade Lyonnaise provide the ideal bridge for mains that display Olhats’ uncanny knack for marrying proper French technique with local and regional flair. This union results in compositions like smoked and roasted rack of lamb with lamb merguez jus, and grilled bacon-wrapped salmon tournedos and braised butternut squash, dishes that feel fresh without sacrificing a whit of old-world gravitas. Desserts such as the lemon tart with berry coulis and the flourless chocolate cake with caramelized pear are too indulgent to skip. The wine list isn’t massive, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in an abundance of thoughtfully sourced labels culled from some of the globe’s top appellations.



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