Both trends and top-notch tastes enchant at South Coast Plaza, and adding to the roster of renowned dining options is chef Ross Pangilinan. Drawing inspiration from his Filipino roots, and his classic French and Italian gastronomic training, Pangilinan presents Terrace by Mix Mix, his second proprietorship that’s a true standout in the O.C. dining scene. Capitalizing on his Santa Ana restaurant fame—see the award-winning Mix Mix Kitchen Bar—and his longtime tenure at the helm of Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge, the maestro is bringing his A-game with bold yet refined flavors that span the globe.
At the top of the Crate & Barrel wing, you’ll find a simply appointed dining room and a magnificent 80-seat alfresco terrace adorned with sustainable greenery and a magnificent reflection of the setting sun against the buildings that surround the landmark shopping destination. The ambiance is majestic and the hospitality is tremendous, but it’s the food that stuns—no surprise, coming from the culinary sensation who was named among Zagat’s first 30 Under 30 list.
Start lunch or dinner off right by selecting a unique glass of wine from the eclectic list of worldwide offerings ranging from an intense Greek rosé to a splendid Spanish grenache. The resident wine expert has vast knowledge of grape-growing regions, and he’ll take you on a sippable journey that will delight any oenophile. The list is big on Burgundian-style wines, with remarkable selections from Puglia to Paso, most of which are Wine Spectator top-rated. Then, pair chef’s impressive creations with your swills, and you’ll be bowled over by the feasting experience to come.
Peruse the menu and you’ll discover that Pangilinan is not messing around; his pickles, mustards, pastas and desserts are all housemade, and each dish highlights a striking combination of intense tastes and superb textures. Case in point: the pork rillettes toast, which features a bright mustard cream slathered on toasted baguette, topped with an unctuous pork paste and tangy pickled vegetables. The bacon-wrapped dates are brimming with manchego cheese and marcona almonds, and lie in a cast iron skillet that houses a harissa yogurt so delicious you’ll want to bathe in it.