during my last business trip back to the OC, i had two dinner destinations that i was determined to go to. one was to visit my old haunt at CH1, and the other was Hopscotch Tavern in downtown Fullerton.
Hopscotch is where Chef de Party (as well as my OG pastry chef) was headhunted off to after i left CH1. it’s a whiskey tavern helmed by Chef Cody Storts, and one of the very few refuges in downtown Fullerton where adults can enjoy food and drink, away from the raucous college crowd.
even after we’ve parted our ways, Chef de Party would often text me questions like “what kind of yuzu pepper should I get?” or “”what’s the difference between katsuo and furikake?”, or send me photos of a vanilla foie gras torchon that they were working on at Hopscotch. last time we talked, he was trying to make a tobacco dashi dish. TOBACCO! and DASHI! what sorcery!
curiosity got me, and i finally had the chance to give it a try – and boy am i glad that i did!
house made pickles – seasonal. green papaya, watermelon rind, red onions, spicy cucumbers. so delicious. housemade pickles are a great way to showcase that the restaurant likes to have fun…
vinegar chips – house cut potao crisps, smokey blue cheese dip. combine with pint of beer and above pickles for a balanced pub meal.
ain’t it beautiful!
spaghetti and meatballs – buffalo veal meatballs, fresh herb pasta, san marzano tomato sauce, asiago cheese, microbasil. t’was good but it paled in comparison to the…. (drum roll)
BACON MEATLOAAAAF. guajillo chili sauce, mashed potatoes, purple heirloom carrots. little bit of heat and so much bacon. it was glorious.
Duroc Pork Butt. not shoulder, apple, pickled red onion, garlic, roasted root vegetables. sous vide’d until fork tender and oh-so-unctuous. the roasted carrots and parsnips were roasted perfectly and the red onions cut the fat wonderfully.
we were SO full and were ready to check out… until pastry chef Mai brought out desserts for us. Mai was the best pastry person CH1 ever had, so i had to stay to check out her newest creations. for pastry science!
Ricotta Thyma Fritters. soft, moist, delicious, fried. oomph.
Chocolate Goat Milk Cheesecake. surprisingly not goat-stinky! it was a beautiful dessert and it pained us to jab our forks into it, but it was also hard to resist eating cheesecake. so it was destroyed deliciously.
Chocolate Pot du Creme & Snickerdoodles. who doesn’t want homemade snickerdoodles!!!
booze: well curated, and, awesome.
vibe: energetic, like any good pub.
staff: awesome (really awesome)
136 East Commonwealth Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832