Saturday, May 21, 2011

Temecula, CA: Yard House of Temecula

yard house temeculaTemecula is often synonymous with wines, the old west, antique shops, and golf. But thanks to a real estate boom in the 1990s and early 2000s, Temecula, CA has seen an influx of vibrant, urban living that has brought with it a more contemporary, modern lifestyle.

Yard House opened its doors to Temecula in 2009 as a centerpiece to the city's newly redesigned Promenade Mall, offering diners the finest in eclectic cuisine in the heart of Southwest California's energetic nightlife.

Our first step inside revealed modern, industrial decor with combination of angular steel beams and round pipes. Contemporary music showered down from the ceiling mixing with a cacophony of energetic, youthful clientele, while colorful artwork in the form of paintings and pottery reflected flair of an au courant touch.

yard house temeculaAles and lagers are the choice of Yard House patrons, contrary to the Temecula's well-known reputation for wineries. And you'll find 132 taps in all, enough for the establishment to claim as the largest collection under one roof. And not just domestic pilsners, but craft brews from small breweries throughout the west coast, including those in Southern California.

We started with Shrimp Ceviche Spoons from their Snacks menu, a mixture of mango & papaya salsa with seasoned tortilla strips, neatly placed on a set of four shiny spoons. Tangy is the word that seemed to dominate our thoughts culminating the freshness of the mango and papaya, bell pepper and corn.

shrimp ceviche yard houseFrom their Appetizer menu, we tried the Lobster, Crab & Artichoke Dip, combining maine lobster, blue crab, artichoke hearts, with a four cheese blend of feta, jack, parmesan and cream cheese, centered inside a mixture of tortilla chips and flat bread. The panko bread crumbs created a layer of crunch on top, while an olive oil blend teamed up with black pepper and parsley added extra flavor dimension.

Do you think you've already tried the best Mac & Cheese ever? You may give it another thought after trying Yard House's own version of the popular fare. With a blend of cheddar and parmesan, smoked applewood bacon, chicken breast, wild mushrooms, and truffle oil, tossed together into a cheesy, chunky, pasta party, we found it to be the ultimate expression of creative Americana.

yard house pan seared ahi tunaBut the Pan Seared Ahi, which we understood to be among the restaurant's most popular item, to be the most impressive. Large chunks of soft, silky sashimi grade tuna, seared rare over jasmine rice, and doused with a chinese black bean sauce, fried basil, and accompanied with asparagus, was a sight to behold. Easy enough to cut with a fork, the tuna was a perfect fit for the lightly sweetened, black bean sauce, which had touches of soy sauce and ginger.

To satisfy the sweet tooth, we recommend the Trio Sampler, a mini serving of their lemon soufflé, peach apple cobbler and chocolate soufflé. The lemon soufflé was tangy, with rich lemony flavor, real whipped topping, that reminded us running through the sprinklers on an August afternoon, and finishing up with a glass of fresh squeezed lemonade.

yard house trio samplerThe chocolate soufflé was lightly sweet, just right, warm and moist with a contrasting compliment of cold ice cream and mint leaves, like sensual kisses of Godiva chocolate that takes your breath away.

But we couldn't leave you without recommending a glass of Yard House's very own Belgian Trippel Ale. Brewed in Belgium by Brasserie de Silly, an award winning brewery since 1850, we found it to be a excellent belgian trippel in its own right, well balanced between a candied malt flavor, hoppy finish, and just enough kick to leave you smiling in between sips.

Yard House of Temecula
40770 Winchester Road (Promenade Mall)
Temecula, CA 92591
(951) 296-3116

Sun-Thu: 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Fri-Sat: 11:00 AM - 1:15 AM



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