Going Gourmet

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IMG_2975-2-Edit Evans Gourmet_photo Ashley Ryan
Chicken Dijon at Evan’s Gourmet | Photo by Ashley Ryan

Chef Evan Lewis expands on her Sawdust food booth and catering company with a new restaurant offering delightful dining options for dinner and brunch.

By Sharon Stello

 

A longtime fixture in the community, chef Evan Lewis, who grew up in Laguna Beach, has run her Evan’s Gourmet Bistro food stand at Sawdust Art Festival for nearly a decade and also maintains a successful catering business, finally opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant in town in January. Also called Evan’s Gourmet, the eatery is tucked away on Glenneyre Street in the cozy space that was home to Roux Creole Cuisine until it closed at the end of last year.

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Crab cakes (front) with the Asparagus Cigars and a glass of prosecco | Photo by Ashley Ryan

Pull up a chair at the counter to watch your dish being prepared or grab a table in the front area or the back room and settle in for a delicious dinner. While perusing the brief but memorable menu, sip a glass of Champagne or wine hailing from Napa or Sonoma in California, Oregon, New Zealand, Australia or France. A few beer options are also available.

When it comes to appetizers, locals will no doubt recognize the Asparagus Cigars from Lewis’ offerings at Sawdust. These tasty bites are deep-fried lumpia, each filled with an asparagus spear and Parmesan, served with lemon aioli. Meanwhile, the New Orleans-style BBQ Shrimp are a nod to Roux. And the crab cakes, made with blue crab and paired with jalapeno tartar sauce, are also delectable.

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The homey dining room at Evan’s Gourmet | Photo by Ashley Ryan

Two other menu items were also curated from her Sawdust booth: the Angus burger with barbecue sauce, Muenster and a hint of blue cheese, mayo, arugula, red onion, tomato and pickles, and the ahi sandwich with seared sashimi-grade ahi tuna, also topped with Muenster cheese, arugula, tomato and pickles on toasted focaccia with jalapeno tartar sauce.

When it comes to the elegant entrees, these dishes take it up a notch from any festival. Perfectly prepared filet mignon is topped with blue cheese butter and comes with mashed potatoes and vegetables while the miso-sake sea bass is a tender piece of fish with a tempting scallion sauce served on a bed of coconut forbidden black rice with bell peppers and bok choy for added texture and flavor. But the piece de resistance is the chicken Dijon, a rich and creamy meal featuring seared chicken breast, shallots, garlic, thyme, mushrooms and white wine all simmered in a Dijon cream sauce, accompanied by mashed potatoes and vegetables like asparagus. Lewis also plans to add a swordfish dish in tribute to Cafe Zoolu, which called this spot home before Roux.

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Kentucky butter cake with berries | Photo by Evan’s Gourmet

And for those who dine here often, Lewis mixes it up on Wednesday nights, offering fried chicken with white pepper gravy, mashed potatoes and pickled watermelon rinds. Or come on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for brunch. In addition to the Angus burger and ahi sandwich, the midday menu also includes Evan’s Egg Beastro, a breakfast sandwich piled high with eggs, bacon and cheddar cheese as well as avocado and smoked tomatoes layered on a focaccia roll with lemon aioli. Or opt for Evan’s Benedict, which starts with a toasted English muffin, then adds creamed Swiss chard, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce; filet mignon or a crab cake can also be added.

No matter what time you come, be sure to save room for dessert. Choose from the chocolate cake with whiskey-caramel sauce, a lemon cake with lemon frosting or Kentucky butter cake topped with roasted strawberries—all great options as the finale to any meal.

Evan’s Gourmet

860 Glenneyre St.
949-715-3707; evansgourmet.com

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